[ This coming weekend Annabel Anderson is having a workshop in San Diego at Aqua Adventures, and we wanted to get the scoop from her on what folks can expect, as well as ask her some questions about paddling and life. We invite you to get to know her a little better below with this interview by our ambassador Loraine Gruber. We are pretty sure once you do, you will want to join her this Saturday April 21st 8:30-11:30. ]
We are so excited about your “ultimate summer” workshop with Aqua Adventures in San Diego this Saturday (April 21st) and know a lot of paddlers who are stoked to attend. What sets this workshop apart and makes it different from others?
This is a workshop that is solely focused on helping you plan your best summer ever while identifying what will make the biggest difference to your paddling and how to put that into action. It’s back to basics, simplifying things to create maximum fun while making sure you kick some goals no matter what they may be come fall.
CP: Cali Paddler’s mantra is “to be EPIC” -- Every Paddler in California -- and we are stoked that your workshop is inclusive of all types and abilities of paddlers. We love that you embody doing “Epic Sh*t”. How did this come about and why is it important to you?
I’m more about the adventure and the journey than I have ever been about competition. I couldn’t compete without the promise of adventures and have gone for years without competing as a result. Some people see this as ‘doing EPIC sh*t’, I see it as doing what I have always done and making the most of the environments and landscapes I have found on my doorstep.
When a friend designed a cycling kit that carried the words ‘do EPIC shi*t’ it became a ‘thing’ and in the process of going full privateer on the sponsorship stakes, wearing a hat emblazoned with ‘do EPIC sh*t’ embodied exactly why I did and continue to do things while garnering a few wry smiles from onlookers and observers along the way.
CP: We know there are a variety topics you plan to cover in the workshop that will help each attendee set a path to achieve progress for their particular goal(s). What can a paddler looking to improve their technique expect?
To learn to have one primary focus at a time. To learn that we can only change one thing at once and that in order to make gains in the long term we must identify exactly what that one thing is. I’ll work with you to find what that one thing is and help you come away with a small handful of gems to work on that one thing consistently over the coming month....before you move on and identify the next one thing to focus on.
CP: You’ve often mentioned that you are constantly learning. If there is one tip or topic a mentor could give you in a workshop or would it be?
One stroke at a time, one day at time, one week at a time - focus on the process, don’t get ahead of yourself.
CP: We are excited that you frequently spend time in California. What keeps you coming back to California and what are your favorite waters that you enjoy while you are here?
Ever since my first visit to the US I seem to keep rebounding back to California. Now it’s as much about catching up with old friends as it is about the water based activities that have traditionally brought me here. My board shaper Brian Szymanski lured me south which lead to discovering the wonders of North County while the South Bay’s proximity to LAX and the open arms of Lanakila Canoe Club always welcomed a kiwi to join them standing up while most of them were sitting down.
Over the years I’ve found new ways of exploring different parts of California on and off the water and these days I usually have a bike as well as boards in tow. I still feel like I have hardly scratched the surface which only means one thing, I’ll keep coming back for more.
CP: The last time we chatted we talked about rising from adversity, which you’ve faced a lot of (both on and off the water). Is there an experience and learning you can share with us where you’ve had to rely on your mental skills and toughness?
You are the sum of all experiences that have brought you to this point. Whenever I’m challenged or face adverse situations which tends to be frequently, I know that I’m helping write my next chapter while building the tools to assist me in navigating better than I may have done otherwise. I’ve learned to embrace those challenges, to accept them, to laugh at them and to find humour in the situation. As for one particular experience, there is a book full of them to be written about at some point.
CP: As you know, Cali Paddler’s mission is to focus on community, conservation and connection. It is awesome that you share these values, and would love your input on how we can better foster these goals?
When people spend more time actively recreating in their environment it raises their awareness of their personal impact and the impact of people on the environment.
By bringing more people together to spend time on the water, people see first hand the ecological impact of humans on the water that surrounds them and so through recreation and community we bring conservation and preservation to the environments in which we play; changing our day to day behaviours and those of others to do what we can to protect what we have for the generations that follow.
We are so stoked to share all this with the Cali Paddler Tribe. Now that you know a little more about this awesome paddler, we are pretty sure you will enjoy spending several hours with in person at her workshop. Below is the info and links, don't miss out!
Here is the official link for the workshop:
About Annabel Anderson - A multiple world champion and world #1 SUP athlete for years on end (consecutively since 2012), an elite cyclist & mountain biker – you’ll also find this adventure hunting free spirit just at home sending it on yachts, running up and down mountains, skiing, surfing, hosting TV shows, coaching the super stars of the future and weekend warriors to unleash their ultimate potential all while capturing it all with mind-blowing imagery.
She’s won the biggest titles in the world, but her eyes will light up just the same at the hint of a mission and the scent of an adventure.
Hailing from the idyllic mountain resort of Lake Wanaka in the heart of New Zealand’s Southern Alps Annabel’s always been accustomed to making the most of what ever she has found on her back door – be it snow, mountains, rivers, oceans or even the concrete jungles of some of the biggest cities in the world. She didn’t grow up surfing or with ocean sports, yet has tamed waves and some of the most challenging oceans in the world in the pursuit of adventure and rising to the top of a sport.
It’s been a journey that was far from plain sailing and smooth seas. With an unquenchable thirst to push herself and physical boundaries, this drive resulted in catastrophic career ending injuries in both ski racing and triathlon, all before the age of 24 counting no less than 11 major surgeries to her legs these set backs did little more than build tenacity and resilience that saw her excel in the business world before a fork in the road saw her athletic abilities emerge to the forefront once again.
It’s this jack-of-all trades versatility of brains and heart that separates her from the pack and has allowed her to forge a unique trajectory combining both talent and passion.
Annabel combines the drive to get out and do, to be relentless in the pursuit of adventure and relentless in the pursuit of excellence.
About Loraine Gruber (Cali Paddler Team Ambassador) - For Loraine, any day spent on the water is a good day. An avid outdoor woman, Loraine discovered stand up paddleboarding while living in Colorado. As a Pisces and water lover, the feeling of reconnecting to the water in the landlocked Rocky Mountains was amazing and brought back memories of growing up playing in the water on Long Island, NY.
In 2013 while in California for a business trip, she raced the Battle of the Paddle at Doheny State Beach. Paddling through the surf for the first time, she discovered the Pacific Ocean’s vast playground. Paddling with dolphins and seeing her first whale spout sealed the deal.
Less than two months later, Loraine loaded her board on her car and moved to Cardiff by the Sea, California. She surfs both regular and stand up paddle, and her favorite breaks are Cardiff Reef and SanO. Loraine is an avid prone paddler, training with North County Paddlers and has set the Hanohano Huki Ocean Challenge, the Carolina Cup Graveyard 13 miler, the Jay Moriarity Memorial Race, and the Chattajack 31 as her goal races for this year. She recently started 6-man outrigger canoe training with the Hanohano Outrigger Club. Loraine has been team ambassador with Ocean of Hope for the last three years, raising money to support the Sarcoma Alliance and the sea of people affected by cancer.
With over 20 years of experience working in marketing and event organization for the outdoor, snow and paddlesports industries, Loraine feels extremely fortunate to have married her lifestyle with her career and share her passions to positively influence others to get outside and on the water to play.