With Team GB landing in Peru a few days ago, in preparation for the ISA 2013 World Championships. SUPboarder caught up with the Team GB Peru manager Matt Barker-Smith. Matt was given the opportunity to be the Peru manager, after John Harvey, the UK team manager, was unable to go due to imminent father duties!
Matt is a passionate paddleboard surfer with a great sense of humour! He runs a paddleboard school and shop ‘The Sup Hut’ in South Wales, and is an experienced international SUP traveller. This has been very useful in getting the GB Team and all their kit out to Peru. Matt’s wife, Abi is also on the team, representing GB in the ladies surf event.
This is what Matt had to say to SUPboarder before they left, about the event, Team GB and Peru…
SB/ It’s great that GB will be represented by a bigger team in Peru than last year. Will Team GB be participating in every event in 2013?
Matt/ Our team will be participating in all the events apart from the prone paddle board. Unfortunately our kneel down brethren could not find sponsorship in time .
SB/ What are your hopes for the teams performance out in Peru this year?
Matt/ The whole team are going out to this competition because we have a shared passion for stand up paddling. I expect they will all have nerves and worries but it’s what they all love doing. I can only hope that our boards arrive in one piece , that we all get upgraded to business class there and back, and that its sunny and 4ft for the wave comp, and flat and calm for the distance paddling with a slight cooling headwind!
SB/ What logistics have you had to deal with in getting the team and all their kit to Peru?
Matt/ Our kind sponsors have donated lots of goodies over the past few weeks, so everyone has been weighing up what is essential. Boards have been booked for hire for our paddle racers and Marie is taking an inflatable. There is a lot to organise so we’ve had quite a few conference calls with all of us on the line, which has been a great motivation tool for the team and planning the logistics.
SB/ Have you any team tactics that you’re happy to share?!!
Matt/ I’ve made welsh cakes for the judges!
SB/ How much time will you have in Peru before the event starts, to prepare yourself?
We arrive 3 days before the official opening , so we’ll have some time to get ourselves sorted and scope out the waves and paddling routes.
SB/ It can’t have been easy for the GB Team to have been training over the winter months. Have you got any winter SUP training tips?
Matt/ Winter this year has been colder than last so it has been hard to motivate each other. We’ve had a good run of swell since new year so I know Abi and Jim have been out in the waves training hard on weekends. As the evenings have been dark by 4, I have personally been introducing Abi to more leg conditioning , as I feel this is a key area to develop if you want to become a more powerful paddle surfer. One particular method I’ve been helping Abi with in the dark evenings is using a ‘Carver’ skateboard and paddle pole, which is also a method Gareth Grant adopted when training for last years GB Team.These skate boards hot dog very similar to a SUP/ surf board and really bring into play how important your shoulders are in getting the compression of turns to build more speed to your surfing. The paddle pole also helps your paddle exchanges, which SUP judges are really hot on right now! I know the whole team has been working hard to bring their personal bests to Peru.
SB/ Which other teams and riders (apart from GB of course!) are you looking forward to watching?
Matt/ I’m keen to see what Japan have to offer. I’ve also heard the Mexican team are quite hot on the water. It’ll be great to see what styles this event brings .
It will also be interesting to see what everyone is riding , as I have just developed a custom line of stand up paddleboards ‘Barker Paddlesurf’.
I know Jim and Charlie also have custom boards so it looks like the paddle surfing element is developing quickly. Look for us on the webcam everyone.
And the answer to the question you all want to know is ‘yes I will make the team eat Guinea Pig!’
Team GB have safely made it to Peru,and are now out on the water getting used to the conditions before the event kicks off this weekend. SUPboarder would like to wish Team GB and all the other teams good luck at the event. Enjoy the warm conditions…