Janna

Janna grew up in Florida but didn’t get into surfing till her early 30’s. Knowing surfer beach life was in her future, she moved in Maui in 2007 and was luckily to get exposed to SUP early on.

“Pro SUP rider Ann Marie Reichman was great to teach us and we were hooked. I instantly wanted to spend more time on the boards and thought of getting people out in Toronto, on the lakes”.

She finished her 200hr yoga teacher training in 2008 and started her company SUPGirlz in Toronto the same year. She has been a vegetarian for 20+ years and has run SUPsurfing/ vegan retreats in Ecuador since 2009. Competing sometimes in SUPsurfing and SUP racing, she leads workshops and classes most the year teaching teachers and students all elements of SUP and surfing.

She is master certified through PIF and WPA and additionally holds certifications from ISA and YA. More info on retreats at  Love Life Adventures and Adicto Surf.  Janna is happy to be part of the Rogue SUP team too!

IMG_4884 IMG_4884robin Pisces baby Robin has been frolicking in the water since she was tinier than she is now. Born and raised in Toronto, she has been surfing Great Lake and Ocean waves since 2006, paddle boarding since 2009,  and has a wealth of local geographical knowledge. She won’t only teach you how to pop up and paddle, but she’ll also show you how to read the water, waves, and the weather conditions so you can get out there safely to rip and ride.Robin is one of the first women to surf the breaks in the Greater Toronto Area, and is also the first Asian-Canadian member of the Wyldewood Surf Club – one of the oldest surf clubs on the Great Lakes. In addition to this, she’s also a member of the Eastern Surf Association, won 1st place in Women’s Overall in the 2013 Lake Huron Fresh Water Classic, won 2nd Women’s in the 2013 Gales of November Magilla Schauss Memorial Contest (Lake Erie), and has been the enthusiastic “shop girl” selling surf and SUP gear and been instructing beginner SUP techniques with Surf Ontario for 4 years and now with SUPGirlz too!

Michael McKenzie

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Michael comes to the SUPGirlz  Crew with a ton of water experience. Growing up in the Beach as a skim boarder he helped pioneer the The Great Lakes surf scene in Toronto expanding skimming to surfing. Not stopping there, the passion and drive to connect to water lead him to guiding in Canada’s North as a canoe tripper, Canada’s West Coast and Belize as sea kayak guide and onward to Panama where he created Fluid Adventures Panama offering sea kayak expeditions and surf camps. Living the virtual ‘endless summer’, Michael sees the overall benefits to surf and SUP in a broad sense, valuing balance in the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of elemental connectivity. Being near, on, or in water is where he feels the most complete. Travelling has rounded his appreciation for culture, perspective and ways of being. We hope you’ll enjoy Michael’s wholistic, fun and philosophical approach in sharing his experience to this sport and connection with water. “Life is an adventure, a journey and an opportunity to evolve.”  Check out his buisness in Panama! http://fluidadventurespanama.com

image1Lia grew up in Venezuela, with the Caribbean beaches at her disposal. When she moved to Canada she lived by a lake on Vancouver Island. She has always been drawn to the water and has never been afraid to try water sports, from diving to wake boarding, sailing to canoeing. She first tried SUP in Vancouver in 2008 (she the attached picture). Years later she would end up marrying a surfer and start their own brand of surf and later paddle boards, Tuga SUP.  Lia is a certified Pilates instructor. She has been teaching for over two years. Recently, she travelled to India and certified herself to teach Yoga. She is also WPA certified to teach SUP. She trained with Paddle into Fitness to be able to teach SUP Yoga and is happy to have joined the Supgirlz team! 

Sarah Sarah   Any chance I get you can find me in the water!  Lake, Ocean, River, Bay or bath tub I’m there splashing around and trying new tricks. Being active for over 10 years now with Yoga, Pilates, Running, Tap Dance and Swimming, I started Surf & SUP’ing back in 2011 as a social adventure and have never looked back!  My fav. thing about SUP’ing is trying new things and falling into the water.  Every time you fall, the braver you get the more tricks you can do, the better surfer you are.  At least that is my thought, so when you come out splash away and get into the water!

IMG_2179IMG_4824SARABETH   Born a Maritimer, Sarabeth grew up around the North Atlantic waters between New Brunswick and Nunavut. While working a tour guide in Pangnirtung, Nunavut, she was introduced to yoga by a group of hikers in 2004. Slowly but surely she developed her own practice, taking it with her to let it simmer as she moved her life to Spain for a few years. Finally, in 2011, she completed her first 200-hour yoga teacher training in Ottawa. This kicked off her life as a yoga teacher, sharing a light-hearted practice with the yogis in her classes. While she had dipped many a paddle and oar into the water from the comfortable seats of kayaks and row boats, it was only when she transplanted to Toronto that she tried the likes SUP. The immediate smile that appeared on her face reflected in her heart, and she knew she was hooked. She has completed WPA, Paddle in Fitness and Yoga Alliance training.

kaitlinAn ability to connect to her happiest self through interaction with water seems inherent in Kaitlin. Her delight and passion for time spent in, on or around water is not only contagious, but it’s also what drove her to pursue a lifestyle where she could embrace the expansive blue. Years spent as a world traveller led her toward experiences in lifeguarding, yachting, surfing, free diving andteaching scuba diving. Integrating yoga into her routine was a natural progression from her waterborne activities, as she sought balance and grounding in her time away from home. Her pursuit of knowledge and self development soon compelled her to become versed as a Pilates and Vinyasa Yoga Instructor, which has found her settled in Toronto where she blends her love for the water, with her dynamic movement teachings as a SUP Instructor. Kaitlin draws from her experience and her education in diverse movement modalities to illuminate a focus on connection, stability, strength and freedom of movement on the boards.  Her understanding of the complex and unique benefits that SUP brings to a movement practice, is what’s encouraged her to continually expand the range of the practice she explores out on the water. ‘SUP brings an aspect to the practice that’s different than anything we can do on a mat. The challenge of movement on a Stand Up Paddleboard encourages you to pay attention to how your entire body works as a complete unit. Every action, every movement, every breath is reliant on the whole body system connecting as one.  Each session leaves you exiting the water with a stabilized and strong feeling, not to mention; you feel completely connected to nature and in a state of drifting bliss. In my opinion, it’s the definition of a complete practice!” Kaitlin De Brabandere. Join her for her Paddle Flow, Drift Movement, Meditation and Sunrise Sessions this summer!

CHARLOTTE 1472975_10151874349448068_916659188_nLike any rebellious prairie kid, Charlotte’s been drawn to paddling and surfing since she was a little girl. After paddling canoes and sea kayaks for decades, she’s never looked back after paddling her first SUP board (which was an ancient Alpha windsurf board) and then, catching her first wave.Charlotte is a cross country skier and a long-ago mountain bike a racer and she is dedicated to sharing the empowerment of fitness, sports and outdoor adventure with other women. A former SUPGirlz student, she sees the confidence and pure joy SUP brings to everyone, regardless of their background, experience or athletic abilities and is enthusiastic ambassador of the sport.  Her kids borrow her skateboard, but they know better than to touch her pretty little purple board without her permission.

IMG_7795KIMI first fell in love with surfing in 2010 on a trip to Costa Rica. It has turned into an obsession and I have travelled to various places for surfing, including California, Costa Rica, Nova Scotia and Morocco! I wanted something I could to do a little closer to home so I tried SUP and loved just as much! I been doing it since 2011 and have gotten more involved in the last couple of years! There is no better feeling than being out in the water, it really makes you feel relaxed and in the moment! I want to be able to teach people the sport so they can feel as excited and happy as I do when doing any of the various activities on a SUP!

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Jordan-na is a quirky mix of arty and sporty, a museum professional who spends her free time SUPing and surfing. Her first encounter with board sports was trying to unsuccessfully balance on a homemade surfboard in an old boyfriend’s pool. It wasn’t until she started paddleboarding with SUPGirlz that it all came together. During her first lesson in 2012, she experience a moment of clarity doing the downward dog on a board and hasn’t looked back. A SUPGirlz ambassador since 2014, she’s been an enthusiastic SUP paddler and surfer, participating annually in SUP4MS and Lake Surfistas, racing in the Solstice Cup and the first ever indoor SUP race, and surfing Hawaii, the Philippines, and the Great Lakes year round. You can usually find her around Ashbridges Bay, paddling with the SUPGirlz crew or playing beach volleyball. She also can’t stop talking about her love of SUP and is determined to show people that Lake Ontario is actually really pretty, clean, and peaceful, especially when you’re on a board. 

Courtney L
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It’s all about balance and becoming more aware of all that is possible moves your whole life into greater balance! Courtney’s training in dance, power cheerleading and paddleboarding has given her a solid foundation on land, in the air and on the water! Growing up by the lakeside of Ontario provided the opportunity for Courtney to play on the water from a very young age and her passion for all things SUP has grown to include racing, socials and teaching yoga on the paddleboard. Courtney is a high school French and Math teacher who thrives on continuous education from a variety of disciplines and sources. Surf and SUP boards aren’t the only boards she plays on… Courtney is an avid snowboarder who also helps run her high school ski and snowboard race team.

Health issues lead Courtney on a path of self-discovery through yoga, beginning her yoga teacher training with Yoga City (www.yogacity.ca) in January 2015. In March she travelled to San Diego, California to become certified to teach SUP and SUP Yoga. Courtney’s ‘gentle’ personality and diverse teaching experiences are gifts that help her teach yoga classes from the heart while creating a welcoming environment for students to begin to explore and expand within their own body and consciousness. Courtney’s strength and body awareness that has grown through her experiences in stand up paddleboarding, snowboarding, rock climbing, dance and power cheerleading have helped her transition to teaching yoga and resonates in her practice. She hopes to inspire and help students realize the limitless potential that already resides in them! Come try SUP Yoga… outside of your comfort zone is where magic happens!! https://instagram.com/sup_courts/

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Karen works hard and plays hard as the “Surfdoctor”. She is a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon and a Surgeon Scientist. SUP and SUPSurf have allowed her to create the balance that is required to be successful in both a career and life. She is from Newfoundland and the water is just part of her DNA. Her father taught her how to swim as a baby and carried her in the canoe until she could paddle for herself. Her passion for SUP happened through SUPGirlz and a first time class with Janna. She then spontaneously decided to go to Ecuador with LoveLife adventures and fell in love with surfing. Within less than 6 months, she bough a SUP (“affectionately known as Venus”), paddled daily and became SUP River certified. “It changed my whole life….reconnecting back to the water, I found an escape, found my passion, met incredible people, and realized I could create a balanced life.  Life is just a series of choices. It is what you do with your time that truly determines who you are and who you can become”. She has translated this message of health to her patients, her students and colleagues. She has been all over the world SUP’ing and Surfing but her first love will always be Canoa, Ecuador. She is affectionately known as “el mono” …..you can ask her when you meet her in class.

Profile 2Rob began teaching almost 10 years ago in performing arts and has also been teaching yoga around the world in locations such as Bali, India, Australia and his homeland Ireland. He is a qualified 500hr RYT and has keen interests in acro yoga, scuba diving, SUP and all things water related.
It is this combination that has led Rob to Toronto and in particular the SUPGirlz team.  He is excited to spend the summer months developing his own skills whilst passing on his knowledge, energy and enthusiasm to others.

 10475515_10100787169175181_5439477823633581022_nDiana Lee
Born and raised in Toronto, Diana Lee lives for adventure, the great outdoors and sunrise stand up paddleboarding sessions! The list of ways she stays active is endless- aerial arts, biking, camping, snowboarding, hot yoga, you name it! She’s got an activity for every letter of the alphabet! As a Race Reporter for Get Out There Magazine, she often finds herself crawling over obstacles, wading through mud, running through clouds of colour, jumping from high places and zipping through the mountains. Check out some of her reviews which includes SUP events like Paddle 4 the Cure and SUP4MS. Diana spent several years paddling competitively in dragonboat but now enjoys SUP adventures, exploring meandering rivers, scenic lakes and pretty much anything SUP-related! When she’s not out and about, Diana is a librarian who enjoys helping her community and tinkering with all sorts of tech nerdery, all while planning her next adventure and encouraging people to get out there and SUP! See what she’s (S)UP to on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/only1phoenixx/ or Twitter: https://twitter.com/only1phoenixx

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Ramona is a natural athlete who has competed at the provincial level in indoor volleyball and loves to play beach volleyball. In addition to regular sports, Ramona is experienced in falling off tall buildings and jumping out of planes (with a parachute). She also knows how to handle sharp pointy things in a stage combat setting. With her mad ninja skills it was a natural fit to sign up with SUPGirlz. 
 
She has always lived by the water but it wasn’t until a decade ago that she first tried paddle sports. She trained and competed at the international level for three seasons with a competitive women’s dragon boat team. From there it was an easy jump onto the kayak and outrigger canoe.  After a few years’ hiatus from paddling because of injuries, she was determined to take advantage of living in the Beaches and get back on the water. Ramona tried SUPing and loved it! She always wanted to learn to surf. It seemed a natural progression for her to combine the two and, through SUPGirlz, a love for SUP Surf was born.  She was able to test out her new skills this past January with Janna in Ecuador. It was her first trip to South America. It was an amazing experience that she will never forget! Whether it’s flat water, surf (and maybe even racing), Ramona will continue developing her SUP skills and going on more SUP Surf travel adventures. 

13243836_10209063201074919_7433008795358522367_oJanet I grew up having some great adventures as a child, and I thankfully never lost the urge to play, even as an adult. That’s probably why you could still see me booting all over town on one of my longboards ! After a never ending desire to try surfing , I went to Costa Rica in 2009 and that was it for me! Coming back to Toronto I new I had to continue, and got myself a SUP board and dragged it into any wave I could find! The diversity of a SUP has something for everyone: Flat water, yoga, racing, surfing, and much more. I feel so grateful for being part of the SUPgirlz community and for all the amazing people I have met because of StandUp Paddle boarding.

DSC_0027[1][1]1472975_10151874349448068_916659188_nJOSH GORDON Josh is a Great Lakes surfer from Ontario Canada. His fascination with boardsports started at an early age. He was an accomplished skateboarder by age 16 and was heavily involved in the Ontario snowboarding scene. Although he grew up on the shores of the Great Lakes he had no idea there was a small and unique group of dedicated lake surfers. After seeing a photo on the internet in 2006 he immediately bought a surfboard and his life was forever changed from that moment on. Josh tried SUP surfing for the first time in 2009 and a new obsession was born. The Great Lakes have close to a 10,000 mile shoreline which allows for endless possibilities on a Stand Up Paddleboard. From surfing to downwinding to exploring, the Great Lakes have it all. The main surfing season is fall through spring which means lake surfers are often enduring the harshest and coldest conditions. Lake waves are generated by wind which requires a special quiver of boards to negotiate the often choppy, wind blown conditions. Only the most dedicated surf during the winter months. With temperatures often dipping below 0 degrees, 6mm suits with 7mm boots/gloves are mandatory. Waves on the Great Lakes have known to reach heights of over 20ft during storms. There are times the lakes will provide sizable waves that look just like the ocean and it’s those days that Josh and his crew of lake surfers live for. To beat the Canadian winter blues he often takes trips to warmer climates. Traveling south has allowed Josh to take the skill he has learned locally on the lakes and apply them to the ocean.  He competed at the ISA World SUP Games as a member of Team Canada in Nicuragua. He will also be competing in the ESA events on the east coast of the US. Josh is working to push the sport of SUP surfing around the lakes and promote awareness around many of the issues affecting our coastline.He represents the Canadian Surfing AssociationBoardworks.

indo yoga board picindo yoga board picsusanSusan is a CanFit Pro certified personal trainer, certified YogaFit instructor including INDO Yoga Board, Boot Camp Fitness Instructor, a SUP Skirt designer, and water gal.

“We were lucky to have grown up with an in ground pool, and being born a Cancer, naturally lived in it until prune fingers and toes bled with delight. Imagine my cousin and I day in and out in the summer jumping off the diving board pretending to be every one of the Miss America pageant contestants. When the snow flew in Upstate NY, time to join the swim team in high school, grow up and scuba dive all thru the Caribbean, learn to surf in Barbados and now the only pre-requisite for vacation is to be between 5-10 degrees latitude and we must be able to SWIM! I learned to sail and race ‘big boy’ sailboats here in Toronto where my dreamy paddleboard lives, a drop in the water to absolute bliss. Sitting on the bow of the sailboat in my own space makes me all choked up, watching her glide through the water, the sound…Now with the paddleboard and being able to practice yoga on it in my own little world on the Lake makes me cry with ridiculous joy.”

13045669_10153920507221066_32811946_nShazia Shazia has always been a nomad; travelling, exploring and finding new adventures. She isn’t a born athlete and in her mid-30′s fell in love with running and yoga. Combining her love for the water and travel, on a trip to Nicaragua in 2012 she took a surf lesson and she hasn’t looked back. She started her SUP adventure with SUPGirlz. Now the water calls to her at home and when travelling. She’s had the opportunity to surf in a number of countries including visiting some of the SUPGirlz crew in Ecuador. She’s a Great Lakes surfer who spent her first full winter on the lakes in 2015. She can’t imagine a life without the thrill of catching a wave, the wash of the tumble and the stoke of the surf. Shazia is also a team rider for Tuga SUP.

doeunsurf DoEun feels claustrophobic when she has been out of the water for too long. Salt water, fresh water, frozen water — this Piscean loves it all! Though she started snowboarding when she was 12, and worked as a lifeguard and taught swimming lessons in her early years, she didn’t learn to surf until 2012 in Costa Rica … and became completely hooked. She learned to SUP shortly afterwards in Toronto. Now you can find her in the waters of Lake Ontario, surfing when she can through the stormy winter, and paddleboarding during the warmer months, determined to make up all the years she missed out on. Through SUP and surf, she seeks to increase her skills and fitness, indulge her sense of adventure and connection with nature, and instill stoke in everyone around her.

Nadia Austin

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Nadia always knew that there were waves in the Great Lakes; but it didn’t cross her mind that they could be “surf-able” waves until she was in her late 20’s. Her husband Mike had recently moved from Florida to Toronto and although Nadia had mentioned that “these lakes were no inland Florida or Georgia lakes”, it wasn’t until they took a walk along the shore at Ashbridge’s Bay that he saw the potential of the waves on the Great Lakes. After discovering these very real waves, Mike decided to do some research. We came across a beach clean up at a local beach being hosted by the very welcoming Great Lakes surf community, they were so open and wanted to share the stoke of surfing the Great Lakes with anyone willing to give it a try. We were hooked! Nadia SUP’s and SUP-Surfs all year, rain or snow, she has a passion for surfing, but truly enjoys all water sports. Nadia has competed in SUP-Surf competitions on Lake Huron and Lake Erie and plans to continue this year. She also SUP races in both the Toronto and Ontario SUP SERIES Races as part of Team TUGA. To keep fit, Nadia is passionate about Yoga, enjoys running and land surfing on her custom longboard.

“Always find time for the things that make you feel happy to be alive…”

Mike Austin Mike Austin 1 Originally from the Sunshine State, Mike grew up in the beach town of Pensacola, FL and was instantly attracted to all things water. Surfing, Skim boarding, and Wake boarding were just a few of the daily activities hard to resist with friends. With his family later moving to Atlanta, GA – Mike was land locked and became a Certified Lifeguard at the local water park. There he was introduced to the Flow Rider wave machine and took on a greater love for the sport. After Atlanta he moved to Altamonte Springs, FL with his home break being Cocoa Beach, and shortly after that he took a career on a Cruise Ship and sailed the Eastern & Western Caribbean. This is where he met the love of his life “Nadia Austin”. The two travelled for a few years and eventually settled in Toronto where Nadia is from. Mike Austin 2 (1)Mike’s first introduction to lake life was through Kite Boarding in Ontario. After a few years of chasing the wind, he turned to SUP right around the same time he and Nadia had travelled to Hawaii. “We first tried it out in 2010 in Kauai, HI and of course instantly fell in love with the sport.” Upon their return, their love for the sport exploded and instantly took on surf sup & then sup racing a year later. Mike is now very active in the sup / surfing & racing community and is very passionate about the preservation and beautification of all the Great Lakes. He is very open minded and motivated to help others reach their goals, while always living the Aloha! You are sure to bump into Mike during a beach clean up or at a local surf break in Toronto hanging ten.