Who are you Ella ? When (and why) did you start stand up paddling ?
I’m living in the Netherlands and started Stand Up Paddling in 2016. My (competitive) paddle background is in white water rafting. Not the most common sport to practice when living below sea level. With a dedicated team and an artificial white water course, we started from scratch, travelled the world and competed in the top of the world rankings.
At a world cup in Turkey we won price money. First ever. Normally we came back from an event with an empty bank account, but the adventure was always worth it. I invested it in an inflatable board. At first as an alternative training stay paddle fit.
My old team mate Janneke Smits was my inspiration to pick up Stand Up Paddling. Thanks to the paddle community in Haarlem I soon got in touch with hardboards and racing. It did not took long to be hooked.
When the artificial course went bankrupt and the team was living further apart, practicing the sport got harder and harder and all focus is now on Stand Up Paddling.
It’s your second GlaGla Race. What do you think about this winter SUP Race?
This is my 3rd GlaGla Race actually. I love the race mostly for the journey and camaraderie on and off the water. The travel with friends. Stunning surroundings. Challenges such as the weather and a massive start field. It’s a fun weekend out and the best excuse to keep training in the winter.
How to do you train and what equipment do you wear when it’s very cold ?
Training really depends on weather and work. Working fulltime I’m mostly able to paddle in the weekends. It’s a good mix of long-distance training, speed work and the gym.
Clothing is always challenging, finding the balance between warmth, safety, and breathability.
When really really really cold I love to fall back on my dry-gear. I still have a bunch of rafting gear. Not the most breathable, but it will keep me warm, dry, and therefore safe.