WHERE IT BE­GAN

SUP Magazine - - Frontside - – CASPER STEINFATH

MY SUP RAC­ING CA­REER STARTED OFF WHEN I LIED about my age and the po­lice towed our fam­ily car.

It was 2009, and I was a 15-year-old kid from Kl­it­møller, Den­mark, who had a pas­sion for SUP but had never trav­eled to pad­dle or com­pete.

While I loved pad­dling back home, it was a lonely ac­tiv­ity in Den­mark. I wanted to travel and broaden my hori­zons about what SUP truly was. When I heard about the SUP World Cup in Ger­many, I con­vinced my dad to drive seven hours so I could com­pete in the am­a­teur di­vi­sion.

When check­ing in for the am­a­teur race, a mean-look- ing lady asked if I was 16 years old—the min­i­mum age to com­pete. It felt like the floor was be­ing pulled out from un­der­neath me. My dad whis­pered, “Hold your poker face and go with it!” At­tempt­ing to stay cool, I told her in in bro­ken Ger­man that I was 16. Thank­fully, no ID was re­quired.

Un­til that day, I had never heard of Robby Naish. He be­came my hero when he lent me his per­sonal board for the am­a­teur race. I had never even set foot on a race­board prior to this event. Ter­ri­fied of scratch­ing Robby’s, I pad­dled hard to get away from ev­ery­one and crossed the fin­ish line in first place, se­cur­ing a wild­card to race the pros later that day. When I fin­ished in the top 10 against them, I was hooked for life.

Af­ter­wards, we heard over the loud­speaker sys­tem that a Dan­ish-reg­is­tered car was be­ing towed from the street be­hind the event. We spent the next three hours at the im­pound lot, try­ing to get our car back.

Rac­ing in Ger­many opened up a whole new world to me and sparked my pas­sion for SUP. Some­times we must travel to find our pas­sion—even if you have to learn not to park your car in front of a bank en­trance in down­town Ham­burg.

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