Interview with Dylan Geiger
Dylan Geiger is racing with his dad Jason Geiger on a tandem standup paddleboard.
Hometown: Satellite Beach, Florida
How long have you been paddling? 3 and a half years.
What’s the hardest part about tandem standup paddleboarding?
Switching sides with the paddle. We thought it would be hard to time our paddle strokes with each other but that is pretty easy now. The hardest part is switching sides with the paddle. We are really close to each other and we keep extra food & water on the board. We try not to hit each other or knock any of our stuff in the water.
Getting in sync can be a little tricky on a tandem standup paddleboard. Do you think you or your dad will have any swims during Chattajack?
Probably my Dad. Just kidding. He’s old but he’s got pretty good balance. We haven’t had any choppy conditions on any of our training paddles so far. My dad told me about the big boats on the Tennessee River and the windy conditions towards the end of the race. I think we might fall off once or twice.
Do you have a target moving average when you paddle tandem sup?
My dad always says we need to go easy on our training paddles. We both like going fast though so I don’t think we ever paddle easy. My Dad calls out the pace after each mile and we have been going between 10:20-11:00 as our mile pace. At the race, we are going to paddle hard and do the best we can. My Dad reminded me that we both want to have fun too. I would like to finish in front of some of the elite paddlers if we can.
What do you like to eat/drink during long days of fun on the water?
A couple of granola bars, some sports beans, and other sorts of energy chews. We mix water with some Skratch too. I’ve learned a lot about hydration and electrolytes. My dad sweats a lot more than I do so he has to drink a lot more.
Who made your board?
It was originally made for William Pope by MHL. It’s a really big board and is perfect for my Dad and I. It’s pretty cool looking too.
What paddle do you use?
My Hovie SUP paddle that Brian Hovnanian gave to me. Mr. Brian sponsors me and I paddle Hovie SUP boards when I’m not paddling tandem with my Dad. I also paddle with a Quickblade Microfly paddle but the blade is smaller. My Hovie SUP paddle is bigger and it helps make the big tandem board go
faster. Did I mention we like to go fast?
How long is your tandem board? 18 feet long by 25.5 inches wide.
Where will you store food/hydration during Chattajack?
We keep small, easy to eat food in our hydration pack pockets. We also have a small waterproof box we velcro to the strap of our board to hold more food and snacks. The box is strapped to the board between my Dad and I. I usually have to get the food out so my Dad doesn’t have to try to turn around on the board.
Who will paddle in the front and who will paddle in the back during the race and why?
My dad paddles in front and I’m in the back. Since my dad weighs much more than me, he said we don’t want to bury the tail of the board. We tried switching around a couple weeks ago and it didn’t work. We laughed a lot and fell off a couple times. I think we’re going to stick with my dad in the front.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest), how stoked are you for Chattajack?!
Definitely a 10. I started asking my Dad 2 months before Chattajack last year if I could race it tandem with him but he told me to wait a year. I like long races and used to run long trail runs with my Dad. My Dad showed me all the pictures from the first year he went to Chattajack and told me all his stories. I’ve wanted to do this race ever since then.
You’ve done quite a few races this year, can you remember how many?
Probably somewhere around 10-15. It’s really fun but I hope more kids start racing. I like racing a lot but it would be better if there were more kids my age to race against.
Will this be your first race on a tandem sup?
Yes. We were going to the Race Around Palm Island (a 13 mile race in Florida the weekend before Chattajack) but I have a big lacrosse game that same day.
What’s your favorite class in school?
It is between math and reading. I can’t decide which though. I am pretty good at math but I really like to read too.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I have lots of ideas about what I want to be when I grow up. I still can’t decide though. I might want to be a teacher like my Grandpa. I would also like to play pro lacrosse and then paddle and surf as much as I can.