Kamp Kalama, Namotu Island Resort , Fiji. (Monday November 2, 2015) There was a mix of winds today with very light SE Trades early before easing off mid morning and then they swung to the South West and kicked back up late morning. The swell was in the 3'- 5'+ range with surf sessions at Namotu Lefts and Swimming Pools. Pools was the pick of the spots early with virtually all the Kampers out in the line up. Photo: joliphotos.com

WHERE WERE YOU WERE BORN AND WHERE YOU LIVE NOW?

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Now live in Manhattan Beach, Calfornia

WHAT IS YOUR OCCUPATION?

President of the “Oprah Winfrey Network” OWN & founder of #OWNSurf

WHERE DO YOU SUP THE MOST?

Northside Pier, Manhattan Beach, California

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE LOCAL PADDLE SHOP?

Nikau Kai, Manhattan Beach, CA

WHAT BOARD DO YOU RIDE?

Infinity Round Nose Blurr. (RNB) my 8’2 & 7’10

Do you own any other boards?

Ha! Way too many to list. But I have a variety of Laird, Kalama Performance, Infinity brands. Also ride a 12’6 Infinity Blackfish

WHAT PADDLE DO YOU USE?

Quick Blade V-Drive 91

Erik's Gear

Erik at Manhattan Beach

HAVE YOU CHANGED BOARDS/PADDLES SINCE YOU STARTED? IF SO, WHY?

Dropped a bit in volume, but been having some fun with the more performance sizes from Infinity. Just trying to push myself, with each step, I gain more respect for the elite riders in our sport.

WHERE WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO SUP?

Namotu, Fiji

BEST PIECE OF SUP ADVICE YOU’VE GOTTEN? 

Dave Kalama: “Slow Down! You jackrabbit”

WHAT are YOUR 2016 PADDLE GOALS?

Enter a few more races, improve in a couple with some new PB’s. Explore a few new surf spots and keep trying new things and pushing myself.

WEIRDEST THING THAT’S HAPPENED TO YOU WHILE SUPPING?

For sure the first time it happened, but out in the lineup one time a sea lion must have been tired, he jumped up on my board for a rest. I kept paddling, he hung for a few then said #later

FAVORITE SUP NUTRITION?

Water and HDX

FAVORITE POST-PADDLE NOSH (SNACK/BEER/RECOVERY DRINK)

CRAFT BEERS. All of them. Hard to get, but Fiji Bitter would be the one

YOUR FAVORITE NON-PADDLE THING TO DO?

Just hang with my two girls at home and have them remind me that I’m not as cool as I think.

WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE WITH SUP?

Outside of the obvious, paddling out in larger beach breaks, I do think the ‘vibe’ is always a buzz kill in the lineup. So funny that people run to water for all the spiritual aspects and to connect, however the “chippy” boarders can really suck the aloha out. I always try to go overboard with saying “Hi,” calling people on waves, etc. Sometimes it doesn’t work.

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT IN A SUP RACE OR EVENT?

Crossing the finish line and seeing my 8-year-old and wife on the beach for the first time.

Erik and Family

TELL US ABOUT THE BEST FRIEND(S) YOU MADE THROUGH SUP.

I’m so blessed to have so many to list here. Plus, I’m not sure I can withstand the hazing from those I’d leave off the list, so I’ll take the easy way out!

Erik Toppenberg and friends

WHAT’S YOUR BEST SUP TRAVEL TRIP?

I have two: Nosara Paddlesurf in Costa Rica & Namotu, Fiji

Erik Toppenberg

WHAT ONE PIECE OF GEAR DO YOU WISH SOMEONE WOULD INVENT?

Need a SUP beverage cart out in the line up. Mornings should be fully stocked with coffee and maple bars. By 1:00 pm, switch to craft beers. Just like the beverage cart in golf, but in the lineup!

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