We continue the series of articles on Paddle Surf or Stand Up Paddle (SUP) that we have been publishing from the Dénia Surf Club to publicize one of the nautical sports with the greatest future projection. Today we are going to learn about the experience of two young rider from the region: Pablo Gateau (15 years old) and Hugo Irigoyen (17 years old).
QUESTION. Hi guys, let's see how this double interview takes place. We start with Pablo. You have always been linked to sports. How did you know SUP?
Pablo. I have always been passionate about sport, I have always been attracted by its values, dedication, perseverance ...
Surfing is what brought me to this sport, I started going to classes in Xàbia to Leclercq surfing school. A couple of years later, Telmo, our coach, suggested that I try SUP, and I was hooked.
P. Hi Hugo, your experience is different. Tell us, how did you get started?
Hugo. Hello, I started SUP because of the business that my parents started, Leclercq Surfing. For quite some time I practiced it sporadically, until a couple of years ago I started practicing it more regularly and also helping at school.
P. It is clear that you have both hooked on hard. What do you like most about this sport?
Pablo. I think we are indeed totally addicted to SUP. SUP is much more varied than you might think. Every day is different, we depend on the sea and wind conditions. And apart from the sensations, I am very motivated by the desire to go faster and further.
Hugo. What I like most about this sport is that it gives you a lot of freedom when it comes to practicing it since you don't depend on anything, you can practice it in all kinds of conditions (with sun, wind, waves or without any of the above) and in any time of year, personally the one I like the most is in winter since the conditions can be very adverse and that is when I like to enter the water the most.
Q. Do you think SUP is an intense sport? Or just a summer walking activity?
Pablo. Without a doubt, it is a very intense sport, but in the end, each one decides the intensity they want to give. I started with short walks, we went out with the school a couple of friends, I also hooked up with my father and from time to time I went out with him, but when Coach Telmo put the bug on me, I started to get intense, to train more days at week, to compete.
Hugo. It depends on how you want to focus it and how you want to practice it, you can make it a very intense sport in very adverse conditions as I have previously mentioned or you can do it more moderately in calmer waters, and always at any time of the year thanks to the fact that the Climate and the place where we live allows us to do it in all these ways.
Q. How many hours do you train? How many kilometers can you do in a strong workout?
Pablo. I train 6 days a week 2 hours a day. I mark a day of rest to be able to recover, I also cross my training with more sports, such as swimming and cycling, I use this to not load myself too much, but at the same time keep training. We usually do about 15 km, but it depends a lot on the type of training we do.
Hugo. Lately I usually train from an hour and a half to two and a half hours every day. In a strong or long distance training I have done up to 20km.
Q. What does the sea and SUP give you to launch yourself to paddle also on winter days?
Pablo. I think it would be difficult for me to live without the sea. It transmits peace and energy to me. In winter it is a very nice period to paddle, we have the sea all year round, it would be a shame not to enjoy it. Also for my part, I am fascinated by the sensation that one experiences when being at peace with oneself in the sea.
Hugo. What I like most about practicing this sport in winter is that there are all kinds of conditions, from calm days to days of wind and wave storms. Another thing that I really like practicing in winter is the little maritime traffic that there is compared to summer.
P. Currently you are in the local team Leclercq SUP Team. Are you planning to participate in any competition?
Pablo. We started at the beginning of the year with some tests but now we are going to see if this winter the competition schedule is reactivated. I really want to!
Hugo. I am totally willing to compete in all the competitions that I can as soon as they are resumed, at the moment I am doing competitions organized by a virtual league where each rider does the solo test in his area and uploads the times to the web created by some professionals of the HIS P.
P. Although every day there are more people who start rowing, in our region there are still not many riders who dare to compete, what would you say to the kids who are reading you?
Pablo. We are privileged living next to the sea, we must take advantage of it. Every day I learn something new about the sea, and this makes me grow personally. It is enjoyed so much that it is very difficult to explain. For me, the evolution was made progressively, but I honestly think that the competition is something very interesting, there is a great atmosphere, you meet more riders, you meet them, you discover new places, improvements ...
Hugo. That you dare to try it, sportingly speaking it is a very complete activity that exercises almost all or all areas of the body and, in addition to being fun, we live in the perfect place, by the sea, with many and varied beaches and wave and wind conditions.
Q. Do you want to add something else?
Pablo. Sign up to discover surfing or SUP and you will get hooked. It is a different sport, with new sensations and in nature, although it is an individual sport, there is also team spirit. Hugo and I go out every day with our coach Telmo and we push each other to progress.
Hugo. I want to add that this sport apart from being very good physically speaking, it is also very good emotionally, it has taken away from me personally since I was little the fear of the sea, waves and wind storms, thanks to that now I can go far without always have any type of problem, with the correct safety measures (vest, invention, sun protection and water), with the appropriate material and knowing the weather forecasts and the conditions in which you enter the water.
Thank you both very much, train hard and see you in the water!
Text: Dénia Surf Club
Photos: Leclercq Surfing - Jerome Gateau