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What's Up Magazine

15 Minutes with Stand Up Paddle Board Competitor, Jeramie Vaine

May 12, 2016 04:00PM ● By Melissa Lauren

Photo by Kimberly Williams

By Melissa Lauren

What’s Up? Media talks with Jeramie Vaine, Professional Stand Up Paddle Board Competitor. SUP is happening all over the world. Fingers crossed that SUP competition becomes part of the Summer Olympics in the not too distant future. In the meantime, we look forward to the First Annual Bay Bridge Paddle Competition. Jeramie will be competing in this inaugural event.

The first ever across-the-bay-bridge-not-for-the-faint-of-heart Bay Bridge Paddle is Saturday, May 14th at Sandy Point State Park. The event will have something for paddlers of all skill levels. The 8.4-mile race will take competitors across the breathtaking Chesapeake Bay and underneath the magnificent Bay Bridge from 8–11 a.m. More than $7,000 in prize money will be awarded. There will also be a 5K paddle, as well as a novice slalom course for kids and adults closer to the beach area. The event will benefit the Foundation for Community Betterment and the Maryland Special Olympics. Registration is $35–100. For more information call 415-766-7223 or visit

When was the first time you saw a stand up paddle board?

Ten years ago, on a lake in Atlanta.

You’re in California now. There is water everywhere and the weather is always great for SUP training. Where do you compete?

I compete and specialize in SUP Surfing competitions throughout North America.

How long after your first SUP experience did you start competing?

I started competing four and a half years ago. I couldn’t wakeboard anymore because my body was beat up and one of my friends had a SUP company and brought me out. I thought it was pretty cool. That July I went to a race in Florida. After the race, we SUP surfed and I was exposed to something that brought me back to the feeling that wakeboarding delivered. The race opened my eyes to the competitive side of SUP and I started training.

We are thrilled to have you as one of the competitors for the Bay Bridge Paddle! Is there a standard set in this sport similar to running competitions?

I’m super excited to come to Annapolis! The event benefits great charities. One thing about SUP competition is that it varies depending on the race because each body of water has [different] features. A prime example is the Carolina SUP in North Carolina, a top race in the U.S. It has three different lengths, three-mile, six-mile and 13-mile. There are races throughout the globe. We see competitions [ranging] from five miles to 32 miles. It is cool to see the sport evolving.

You mentioned different categories of SUP. What are all of the categories? Which one is your favorite and why?

With SUP there is so much going on. If there is water we can paddle, even in indoor pools. The discipline that everyone relates to is Recreational Lifestyle SUP. That’s the most important [type] because everyone can do it with their friends. There are more aggressive disciplines such as, SUP Racing, SUP Surfing, SUP Yoga, and SUP Whitewater. I love them all. My favorite is actually SUP Recreational—being with friends and enjoying nature.

This event will have clinics. Will you be teaching any of the clinics?

Yes, I’m actually going to teach an All Level Paddle Technique Clinic. I like to teach across all ability levels.

What advice would you give to a novice Stand Up Paddle Boarder?

Get out there and try it. SUP is the most user-friendly sport I’ve ever been involved with. It is the only sport where grandchildren and grandparents can paddle together. My dad is in his 60s and I paddle with him. I put my three-year-old nephew on the front of my board and paddle with him. My sister was recently pregnant and paddled pregnant. If there is fear, just get out on the water and do it. The first 15 minutes is the scariest part about Stand Up Paddle Boarding. Once your mind lets go and you realize everything is going to be okay, you’re having the best time of your life.

Do you see this sport growing in the same way professional extreme sports like skateboarding has become mainstream? Do you think this sport will be in the Summer Olympics someday?

The sport of SUP is so new and dynamic. The thing that is so rad about it is all of the different disciplines. I think it is going to be like cycling as far as the recreational aspect of it. Everyone knows how to ride a bike and everybody has a bicycle in their garage. There is talk of getting it into the Olympics. I think that would be a great thing for the sport. As far as mainstream, big companies host [professional competitions] and they’ve done a lot of work with the athletes.

Where have you traveled to compete?

Throughout the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean.

Does Australia have a big SUP culture? They are known for surfing.

Australia has an amazing culture. They are doing big things down there. Hawaii, Tahiti, and Europe have huge paddling cultures. There are guys in Thailand doing SUP Yoga. People in Scandinavia and Sri Lanka are paddle boarding too. The sport is global, for sure!

To learn more about Jeramie Vaine visit

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