Article below by Casper Steinfath a young up and coming water man please support Casper in his quest to be the SUP global young grom of the year he is the only European surfer involved > Vote for Casper in SUP grom global
World Tour Education
The past 2 months have been very busy and packed with action. After spending an awesome winter season surfing and stand up paddling in Macaronesia, I wanted to try competing on the Stand Up World Tour. The Naish la Torche Pro, stop #2 on the 2011 World Tour, was held in great conditions in Northern France. This was my first SUP surf contest ever and I had no idea of where my skill level was at compared to the best in the world. I ended up doing very well and finished 4th in the internationally packed trials, which allowed me into the main event. Here I was up against some stiff competition but made it to the 3rd round and finished in 17th place. I made many new friends in France and a lot of the pros such as Kai Lenny, Garrett McNamara and Zane Schweitzer inspired me to keep pushing my surfing and doing the World Tour.
Shortly after returning home and seeing all my mates in Denmark and grabbing some new school books, I found myself on a plane headed to Tahiti in French Polynesia. Thanks to support from Naish, PLASMA and my family I went to Tahiti to follow the exciting energy, which I felt and saw around the World Tour in France. On Tahiti I met up with some familiar faces as well as many new interesting people. The local Tahitians were extremely nice and always up for a good laugh. I had a week on Tahiti before the contest started, which meant I had time to experience the beautiful Polynesian island and learn about the fascinating paddling traditions of Polynesia. It also gave me time to get a feel for the wave at Sapinus and overcome the 12 hour time difference.
My goal on Tahiti was to do good in the trials and hopefully make it into the main event. I gave it my best shot, but unfortunately the conditions did not come together for me during my heat, so I was forced to bow out of the contest quite early. I was pretty bummed afterwards thinking “why did I just not stick that wave?”. But after 10 minutes I realised, how can you be so selfish to miss the beauty surrounding you and the richness of the experience, because of a 20 minute heat and a personal mistake.
Freesurfing the rest of the week was very educational. As the waves got bigger it became extremely exciting to challenge myself in the big waves while sharing the line-up with the world’s best! From a 40 foot catamaran on the side of the line-up I watched the rest of the contest unfold and people pulling into monster barrels. In the end it was Peyo Lizaruzu from France who took the win, Tahitian Patrice Chanzy in 2nd, Kai Lenny from Hawaii finishing 3rd and the Polynesian waterman Didier Tinhin in 4th. I learned so much and shared so many great laughs with the nice crew of people surrounding the event. I look forward to coming back to Tahiti with more experience next year.
Now I am back in Klitmøller, Denmark, finishing my school exams and training in the Scandinavian waves for the next event on the 2011 Stand Up World Tour, which will take place in Brazil in September.