Meet Joe Paddler: Eric Mims, Isle of Palms, South Carolina
Meet Eric Mims, surfski paddler
Where you were born and where you live now?
Tennessee, now living on Isle of Palms, South Carolina
What is your occupation?
I work for Epic Kayaks, Inc.
Where do you SUP the most?
I surfski in the Atlantic Ocean off of Isle of Palms.
Do you have a favorite local paddleboard shop?
Epic Kayaks for all things surfski.
What paddleboard, surfski or OC do you ride most?
Epic V12 or V14.
Do you own any other paddleboards, surfskis or OCs and what kind?
Since I have access to all Epics, the only other boat I own is a South African river K1.
What paddle do you use?
I use a full carbon Mid Wing paddle from Epic.
Have you changed boards/paddles/equipment since you started? If so, why?
Yes, when starting in the early 2000s, selection was very limited. Boats were hard to come by and very unstable. So many fantastic options for paddlers now, especially those starting out.
If you could travel to anywhere in the world to paddle, where would you go?
South Africa or maybe Mauritius.
Best piece of SUP advice you’ve ever received?
Stability before speed.
Weirdest thing that’s happened to you while paddling?
Was paddling just off shore here in South Carolina with my wife and had a whale spyhop about 10 feet from us! Very unusual for our shallow waters.
Favorite SUP nutrition? (During races/ during a long haul)
Nothing up to two hours. Water-downed Accelerade for longer paddles. No solid foods.
Goals for this year?
With family and work commitments, it’s a successful year if I can stay near the front and, most importantly, still have fun.
Favorite post-paddle nosh (snack/beer/recovery drink)
Always chocolate milk.
Your favorite non-paddle thing to do.
What piece of SUP gear do you wish someone would invent?
I can’t tell you that, we might be working on it!
What’s your biggest challenge with SUP?
Getting to the next level of speed. You get to a point where you essentially have to double your training to gain a small amount of speed. Most people don’t have the time to invest.
What is your proudest moment in a SUP race or event?
Finishing Molokai mid-pack on a dead flat, brutally hot, wind in your face year.
Tell us about the best friend(s) you made through paddling.
Too many to count. Traveling to races, you quickly build a network of friends from around the country and the world, who are super friendly. It helps you feel right at home regardless of where you travel.
What was your best SUP travel trip?
What makes a good Joe or Jane Paddler? Someone who’s just an everyday, stoked up, fun, enthusiastic paddler, hopefully with a good story or two to tell. Is that you? Want to be featured as a Joe or Jane Paddler or know someone who’d make a good one? Fill out the questionnaire!