Born and raised around the water, Matt’s love for the ocean came at an early age. His parents were both long time ocean lifeguards, so it comes as no surprise that Matt picked up the sport of surfing at a very early age. Matt started teaching in 2004, when he moved to California for a brief period of time to surf and work at a surf school. Matt started paddling stand up paddle boards in 2008 and quickly rose to the rank of instructor as the commercialized sport made its entrance into Florida. With a strong desire to be on the water at all times, Matt was immediately hooked as it filled the gap when there were no waves. He can be found competing on occasion, but mostly enjoys having fun and riding waves with any craft. When SUP certifications were established, he took his love of the sport of SUP to the next level and became an ACA, WPA, and a PaddleFit certified SUP instructor. Matt currently directs weekly classes and leads a growing club of 900 SUP enthusiasts in Jacksonville, FL. Matt has traveled near and far to train paddlers to become certified SUP instructors and better teachers. He is a manager and the head instructor at a large paddle sports store in Jacksonville, Florida. Matt considers himself as a true Florida waterman and is committed to sharing the excitement, safety, and knowledge of the ocean and riding its waves.
When and where did you start SUP ?
I first jumped on a board in 2008 at a store in Jacksonville, FL I was working at that started carrying them. At the time they SUP was just starting to get introduced into Florida and the Southeast.
Which sports did you practice before? And now?
Before SUP I was Surfing, running, swimming, and almost anything active in the surf. Now I mostly just SUP Surf, but I still occasionally ride a surfboard or even sometimes bodysurf. It mostly just depends on the surf conditions and what I’m feeling up for.
How have the sports you did before helped with SUP?
These activities have allowed me to be an efficient, safer, and more knowledgeable paddler, especially in the ocean. This in return has definitely allowed me to share the fun in paddling a SUP even more!
What attracts you to SUP?
I am drawn to SUP because it bridges the gap between other ocean related activities and provides another opportunity to be out on the water and have even more fun. I also get stoked for SUP because it gives me even more of an opportunity share my passion and to teach about water safety and the ocean with all types of people.
SUP race, SUP surf or something else?
SUP Surfing for sure and I also enjoy flat-water paddling when there are no waves to stay fit.
SUP is booming, do you think this is a fad or a change in attitudes over the long term?
To some it may seem a bit faddish, but I think it will be around for the long term. I think surfers will especially continue to discover how it can fill the void for another fun activity to do on the water, especially when there are no waves and for staying fit.
Do you participate in competitions?
I have in the past and do occasionally, but I’m not really the competitive type. I’d much rather just enjoy the surf and share the stoke teaching others how to paddle.
ACA Level 3 Surf SUP Instructor
ACA Level 2 SUP Instructor Trainer
WPA Level 2 Instructor Trainer
PaddleFit Level 2 Coach
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