January 5, 2011

Q & A with Rob Rojas

Q:  When did you first start paddling and on what type of board before you started SUP?

A: I started paddling during the summer of 1994 in Pembroke Va., paddling down the New River on a Coleman Canoe.  After that, I started paddling OC-6s, Surfskis, marathon canoes and OC-2s in 1995.

Q:  How did you get started in SUP?

A: I first paddled a SUP in 2006 during a charity paddle from Dana Point to La Jolla where we paddled Dory’s, surfski’s, OC-6’s, and SUPs.  After that I was hooked and met Bob Reed and Russ Coble from Ohana Paddleboards during the Dana Point Ocean Challenge in 2008.

Q:  What is a average training day like for you?

A: On even days, wake up and paddle first thing.  On odd days, wake up, go to SPI in Laguna Beach and paddle SUP, paddleboard, or surfski later in the day.  Maybe squeeze a swim workout in there somewhere or a surf session if its good.

Q:  What goals do you have for yourself in the sport of SUP?

A:  To become a major figure in the sport of SUP.  Right now through racing and then as time goes by, I would like to become a mentor or coach for those moving up the ranks.  I figure if SUP makes it into the Olympics someday I would like to be there either as an athlete or coach.

Q:  What one tip would you give to someone aspiring to become a better paddler?

A:  Water Time is key.  Paddling will make you a better paddler.  Also, practice moving around on your board and learn etiquette and the rules of the road in the waterways and the surf lineup.

Q:  What do enjoy most about the sport of SUP?

A:  What I enjoy most is the glide and the nice people.

Q:  What are goals for 2011?

A:  Win the 2011 BOP Distance Race in Dana Point on my Ohana Unlimited SUP, and place in the top 10 in the elite surf race at the BOP Dana Point.

Q:  What makes your motor run and what turns it off?

A:  Good Music and H2O Overdrive make my motor run.  Jumping on a 12’6” after eating a big meal makes my motor go kaput.

Q:  Who is your favorite athlete?

A: Mike Shea.  He was one ugly tough paddler.

Q:  What would you most like to be remembered for?

A:  My passion for paddling Unlimiteds.

Q:  If you could lobby for one thing in the sport of SUP, what would it be?

A: I would lobby to ensure the unlimited class remains as significant as the 12’6” and the 14 foot class in the sport of SUP.

Q:  What is your biggest pet peeve?

A:  People who tell me why unlimited SUPs are too big, bulky, and difficult to paddle when they have never paddled one.  In addition, I can’t stand how loosely the term “Waterman” is used these days.

Q:  What is your favorite tunes while training?

A:  Rocky Music!!!

Q:  After a race, Beer or In N Out?

A:  A room temperature Heineken and a 4×4 animal style with chopped chilies, a side of fries, and a large Coke.  Yes that’s right!  I want a beer a burger and fries and a coke after I race!!!  All in that order.

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