Exclusive Interview With 3 Time World Champ Colin McPhillips


“Colin McPhillips on Shortboarding”]Why am I turning so weak and going so slow?

Episode 2 of the Paddlewoo.com Podcast features 3-time world Longboard Champ and
US SUP team member Colin McPhillips.

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Colin was the poster boy for Op in the ‘90s, and to this day represents what’s best in surfing. Any paddle enhanced surfing haters should spend a day with Colin and watch him seamlessly weave figure eights on eight-foot point breaks. I speak from experience – that’s exactly what it took for this former SUP-hater to give the sport a chance three years ago. And for that I am eternally grateful.

You don’t have to appreciate SUP surfing to appreciate Colin. While he is best known for longboard surfing and his world titles, what Colin is first is a waterman, followed by a close second of grom. The only real problem while surfing with Colin is that you can’t get him out of the water. And all this water time adds up to incredible water skills.

A couple years ago, Colin and I decided to paddle out at a heavy beach break during a building, already big, SW 17 second swell. Colin paddled out to the edge of the impact zone. I was scratching for the horizon, taking monsters on the head. Colin was relaxed, waiting patiently for the break. When it happened, he popped up, stroked to the lineup and took off on a bomb. On his way back out, he got caught by a sneaker set. But instead of taking them on the head, he took a smaller wave all the way to the beach, stood in wait-deep water until the set passed, and casually stroked back to the lineup.

I learned more that day from watching Colin navigate large surf on a SUP than I had in two years of surfing that spot on my own.

It was that session that made me realize that surfing isn’t only about riding waves. That’s the part we celebrate, but the beauty and skill of surfing is expressed in harmony with the ocean, And in efficient wave riding. Paddle surfing is the most efficient way to ride waves on most days, and Colin may be the best at it. There are kids who turn harder or charge harder, but there isn’t anyone who fits into ocean better than Colin.

Take an hour and listen to a black belt in style and flow discuss boards, breaks, culture, the industry, family, strength, paddles, wax, rails, athletes, and his future in surfing.

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Erik Antonson is the host of the PaddleWoo podcast, and an owner of BlueZoneSUP paddle surf camps. He is passionate about paddle enhanced surfing and practices daily in Costa Rica. “Paddle Enhanced Surfing is the future of surf, folks just don’t know it yet…”