Meet Jane Paddler: Shazia McCormick, Toronto, Canada

Meet Jane Paddler Shazia McCormick

Where you were born and where you live now?

I was born in Alberta, Canada … I’ve lived in multiple cities, and countries. Currently in Toronto, Canada.

What is your occupation?

I’m a director at a large financial institution.

Where do you SUP the most?

Lake Ontario. But I also love travelling to SUP … I fell in love with it on a trip to Barbados, and have SUP’d in many countries. I also SUP year-round on the Great Lakes (the best waves are in winter!)

Meet Jane Paddler Shazia McCormick

Do you have a favorite local paddleboard shop?

Surf Ontario!

What paddleboard, surfski or OC do you ride most?

Surf-SUP on my Riviera Door.

Do you own any other paddleboards, surfskis or OCs and what kind?

I river paddle and travel with my Starboard iSUP. I raced last season on my Tuga.

What paddle do you use?

Hippostick is my go-to. I travel with a Kialoa three-piece.

Have you changed boards/paddles/equipment since you started? If so, why?

Yes! I love experiencing new boards. My first SUP was an NSP 10′. I rode for Tuga SUP this year so it was a first on their boards. When I travel I love trying out new gear.

If you could travel to anywhere in the world to paddle, where would you go?

That’s a long list! Sri Lanka is one I haven’t hit yet. But of course the South Pacific is up there too.

Best piece of SUP advice you’ve ever received?

Surf with your back foot.

Weirdest thing that’s happened to you while paddling?

A bird pooped on me while I was riding a wave.

Favorite SUP nutrition? (During races/ during a long haul)

I’m a fan of pre-hydrating … so lots of water before-hand. I don’t like gels / energy stuff, so a handful of nuts works. I take my nutrition strategy from my days running half marathons.

Goals for this next year?

Compete in some SUP-surf competitions. Finish my level 2 River SUP certification. Race (and place overall) in the Ontario SUP series.

Favorite post-paddle nosh (snack/beer/recovery drink)

I love post-paddle beer. Left Field brewery in Toronto is a favourite.

Your favorite non-paddle thing to do.

For sports I love running, yoga and rock climbing as cross-training. When I’m not paddling, I’m travelling, planning travel, or hanging with my friends. I also love doing work in my community.

What piece of SUP gear do you wish someone would invent?

Better integrated hydration with PFD.

What’s your biggest challenge with SUP?

Enough time to SUP everywhere I want to. And building my endurance.

What is your proudest moment in a SUP race or event?

I have a disease called alopecia which means I have no hair. I competed in the Sprint Race in Collingwood ON this summer without a hat … proudly showing my bald head! I placed 3rd and was proud to be who I am.

Meet Jane Paddler Shazia McCormick

Tell us about the best friend(s) you made through paddling.

That’s such a hard one to narrow down! But there are two surfistas that stand out. I first met Tricia when surfing in Nicaragua. And then I met Karen when SUP-surfing in Ecuador. These two ladies are huge parts of my life today and we stay connected constantly. Beyond that, the community of women that surf and SUP the Great Lakes is incredible. I help run an event called Ladies of the Lakes that brings all of the women together. I also started a Facebook group called Lake Surfistas to create a place for women to feel welcomed into the sport.

Meet Jane Paddler Shazia McCormick

What was your best SUP travel trip?

I’ve talked a lot about travelling to surf and SUP but my standout trip is here in Canada. Last September my partner and I SUP’d all 5 great lakes in 2 weeks. It was an amazing trip to meet the community all around the lakes.

Meet Jane Paddler Shazia McCormick