Interview with the godfather of stoke, Jeremy Whitted
What was life like for me 10 years ago?
I was living in Orlando, Fl.
I was living a rough life, having too much fun, going nowhere fast.
My day job?
I’m a skilled carpenter and work as a subcontractor. I stay very busy working for a residential builder on custom homes, as well as taking on my own, smaller projects, when time allows.
When was my first SUP race and what was it like?
I believe it was 2011 or 2012. I think it was the Shem Creek Shootout. It was extremely windy that day, in Charleston Harbor. Of course, I was on a surf style board. I definitely spent more time falling and trying to get back on my board than I did standing and paddling, but, hey, so did everyone else.
What do I do to get ready on race day?
I get ready the day before! No, really, I procrastinate. I pretty much get everything ready the night before, but tend to leave things for the morning of, then end up scrambling around, misplacing things, straight up losing stuff, talking too much, etc. I’m a disaster. “Hey! Who took my Speedcoach?!Where’s my PFD?!”
Do I eat anything in particular before a race?
No. I try to get a good meal the night before. I try to remember to drink water, but definitely have a coffee. I like a granola bar and a banana before a race.
What are the 3 things important to you in order to go into a race with confidence?
1. Do I feel like I’m rested, both body and mind? 2. Do I feel confident that I’ve trained properly? 3. Am I familiar with my competition and the course?
What’s your most embarrassing race moment?
Ha! Which one? Surf To Sound 2012. I couldn’t get past the shore break and ended up buckling my 14’ board (I think John Beausang has this on video).
How about the time at Hunting Island? I was wearing my headphones and didn’t listen to the start instructions. Ended up starting with the canoes and kayaks…for quite a few seconds, too!
My worst was bonking big time at Carolina Cup 2013. I couldn’t finish and had to be picked up. (Ben Friberg went out of his way, on the ocean, to offer me his water). I felt like such a rookie.
At which moment did I know I was totally hooked on SUP?
Short answer: the very first moment. I heard Angels singing.
The first thing I do after I cross the finish line?
I puked a couple races ago…Sometimes I might get emotional for a brief moment, depending, but I appreciate my time racing with others and always try to congratulate my immediate competition.
Two things I’d like to improve upon this season?
My strength, endurance and technique. (That was three, my bad.)
If I could have custom graphics done on my board without any limits?
Probably the Metallica ‘Kill Em All’ or Iron Maiden ‘The Trooper’ album cover. Hey, you asked!
Where’s my favorite place to paddle?
The Tennessee River Gorge
The one piece of paddle gear I can’t live without?
I feel pretty naked without my Speedcoach.
What do I do when I’m not paddling or working?
I make a bee line to Florida, where my daughter lives. She is my best friend.
If I could be a rockstar who would it be?
Probably James Hetfield or Bruce Dickinson. Research it.
If I could be an animal, which one would I choose to be?
I don’t know, maybe a polar bear. Polar bears don’t seem to mind the cold.