SUP is not equal SUP Fascination SUP Race

How could we possibly show the difference between a professional and amateur paddler? Like coincidence wants, at Indiana Paddle & Surf there’s a great pun for that project. SUP race professional Lauble and Indiana employee and SUP amateur Laible will take on that duel to show the difference in Lauble vs. Laible.

Stand up paddling is a lot more than just paddling few meters off shore and chilling. Socially stand-up paddling has evolved as a sport for everyone and only few really know what possibilities there are with a SUP. From SUP yoga, to touring, whitewater paddling all the way to racing, opens paddling a broad range of possibilities. With this background we searched for the biggest contrast and wanted to show the difference between an amateur hobby paddler and a professional racer. The biggest difference lays pretty obvious in the choice of board, other than that the variance is mainly on the skill side. But overall, both mainly go paddling with a similar motivation. Both want to have fun, be active and enjoy the outdoors. Clearly there is a big gap when it comes to strength, paddling cadence, technique and experience. Also, the competitive ambition is most likely not equally distinct.

With the whole skill package equipped, Manuel Lauble reaches incredible performance scores. In a sprint race he reaches a max. speed of 16 km/h and holds an average speed of up to 10.6 km/h over 10 km. Laible on the other hand reaches only a max speed of 10 km/h.

Pretty sick comparison, right?

Back to the topic SUP Racing, still as a niche sport known, it’s evolving and gains more and more exposure and attention in many European countries. For example, this year, the finals in Berlin were streamed live on the German channel ZDF.

Laible: “I would describe myself as a sporty and competitive waterman, but I just started paddling this year. In the meanwhile, I tested the whole SUP range of Indiana and had the most fun on the race hardboards. Out of personal motivation I wanted to see how big the performance gap between an amateur and professional actually is. That’s how the duel with Manuel evolved. And I got to say, it is impressive and instructive.”


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Manuel faces 5 questions:

What does SUP as a sport mean to you?

Standuppaddling is a sport I can do all year round, on every stretch of water and in all conditions. It doesn’t matter if there’s wind or swell. In the ocean, the lake or on a river, I can do it literally anytime and everywhere. And thanks to the inflatable SUP Boards I can also go on an excursion with my family and always have a board with me.

Important to me is finding the balance to my all-day office job where I mainly sit. So I experienced paddling and established it as my workout. That way I can train my inner muscles, strength and endurance while clearing my head in nature and gain new energy.

How will SUP evolve?

For myself, I just started paddling four years ago and became a competitive racer three years ago. Even in this short time the sport has become so much more professional. The level increases from race to race – on the athlete and the organizer side. Top-athletes started training with professional coaches and created very structured and individual training programs to become world class.

But who knows where the sport will develop to. Will SUP racing one day be an Olympic discipline?

Where do you see the biggest difference between a professional and an amateur?

First of all, I believe both want the same – having a good time on the water, be active and enjoy the nature. Other than that, I think the biggest difference lays in the choice of the equipment. An amateur paddler is most likely the happiest with wider board, that gives him more stability, is robust and is easy to transport. A professional on the other hand is looking for a narrow and light board, which makes it a considerably faster board. Those specially for racing optimized boards, are manufactured by Indiana in a hollow construction made of carbon.

What are your career highlights so far? And what goals do you have?

Already in my «short» career there are many highlights. For example, my first participation at the world championship in Ungarn last year, where was able to measure myself with the absolute world elite. Or the first participation at the German championship, where I landed a great 3rd place in the long-distance race.

Further highlights this year were:

  • Top 10 result at the ice race in Thun
  • Invitation to the finals in Berlin and the bronze medal win
  • First place at the SUPalps trophy at Altmühlesee

Short-term my goal is to race to a podium spot in all categories (sprint, tec and long) at the German championship.

How does the collaboration with Indiana look like? And what do you like about it? It’s beneficial that Indiana shaper Andi and Kurt live and work close by in Constance at Bodensee. That way I’m always able to test new prototypes and can therefore have an impact of the development process with my feedbacks. That is how the DHC 14’0 race board was developed and it is in my opinion an unbeatable board with its great manufacturing quality, the super lightweight and the incredible performance. I’m super grateful for the support and the shown trust in myself as a Indiana team rider. I’m proud to be a part of the team and I’m sure that we will further develop our partnership and achieve big goals together.