Chattajack Interview with Eric Mims. Eric is a boss when it comes to Chattajack. He’s been instrumental in promoting the race since early on and he soars through the course so fast we are wondering if he has foils beneath his ski. Learn a little more about this dude.
What was life like for you 10 years ago?
Living in my home state of Tennessee, had just started paddling sprint K1 on my local lake, and was running a CNC routing business.
Tell us about your day job.
I work for Epic Kayaks at our headquarters in Charleston, SC.
When was your first paddle race and what was it like?
my first paddling race was an OC6 race in Hana, Maui, paddling for Kahana Canoe Club. That was back in 2001.
It is race day – what do you do to get ready?
Wake up in time to grab breakfast (bagel, eggs, apple, or anything I know will sit on my stomach without problem). I like to put myself in a position where I don’t have to scramble.. I did a race once where I was scrambling around that morning and forgot a bunch of stuff. I do my prep work the night before and have everything triple checked before I go to sleep.. I sleep better that way, too.
Do you eat anything particular before a race?
Last year, I ate at Waffle House before Chattajack.. that qualifies as ‘food’, right?
What are 3 things important to you in order to go into a race with confidence?
Realistic with my paddling fitness relative to the other paddlers (every year is different, so no reason to mentally stress yourself if you haven’t had time to train as much this year).
Having at least a couple/few days of good recovery before the race.
Having your checklist of race essentials all figured out before you go to bed the night before.
What’s your most embarrassing race moment?
National sprint K1 Champs - 1000m finals… I flipped my K1 with about 50m to go!
At what moment did you know you were totally hooked on Surfski?
When I realized that they were the fastest, most versatile craft on the water. As fast as a K1, but can take on any sized wave.
What’s the first thing you do after you cross the finish line? -
I like to greet the next paddlers across the line (or the ones who beat me!), then I drink an inordinate amount of chocolate milk.
What are 2 things you’d like to improve upon this season?
Time on the water. It’s been limited this year with my baby and house work.
If you could have custom graphics done on your ski without any limits what would you like?!
not sure. On my last boat, I did full rainbow colored chevrons down the deck. Probably dazzle camo next time.
Where’s your favorite place to paddle?
either my home (Isle of Palms, SC) or Maui.
What’s the one piece of paddle gear you can’t live without?
I don’t like carrying a lot of gear… I usually only paddle with my ski, my wing paddle, a leash and my shorts! I suppose my leash is the most important piece of safety gear for me.
What do you do when you’re not paddling or working?
hang out and play with my 16 month old daughter, Elliot.
If you could be a rock star who would you be?
None, too much paparazzi!
If you could be any animal which one would you choose to be?
Orangutan, they can still paddle!