Surfing America Announces 2016 Usa SUP/Paddleboard Coaches

Photo by Greg Panas

Brody Welte Named Head Coach For Usa Sup/paddleboard Team
Usa Sup/paddleboard Advisory Panel Formed

Global Partner

San Clemente, CA – Effective immediately, the executive director of Surfing America, Greg Cruse announced the new 2016 Coaches for the USA SUP/Paddleboard team and key addition to Surfing America Board of Directors.

Erik Logan – Surfing America Board of Directors Member – SUP/Paddleboard Committee Chair
Brody Welte: Head Coach and SUP Race Coach
Dave Boehne: SUP Surfing
Steve Shlens: Paddleboard

“I’m pleased to announce our 2016 Coaching staff for the USA SUP/Paddleboard team and a key addition to our board of directors. This group of individuals deepens our overall coaching experience in all disciplines and leverages the invaluable experience they all have from our Gold Medal win in 2015, either as a coach or participant,” announced Greg Cruse.

Surfing America Board of Directors Member and SUP/Paddleboard Committee Chair – Erik Logan

Erik Logan’s professional career has been largely centered on turning around businesses for over three decades.  His passion and love for Standup Paddling and fresh approach to thinking about this growing industry will be a valuable asset for Surfing America.  Logan will work directly with other members of Surfing America’s board, chairing the SUP/Paddleboard committee, all working to unify and set forth major programs and advancements for all levels of Paddlers.

“It’s such an exciting time for the sport of SUP and Paddleboarding and having the opportunity to work with this great team is a privilege.  The foundation has been laid and with the work ahead, we will continue to advance the Surfing America programs and driving toward the goal of SUP and Paddleboarding becoming an Olympic Sport,” said Erik Logan.

Head Coach / SUP Race Coach – Brody Welte

Brody Welte has made a name for himself in SUP as an industry leader in SUP technique and coaching with innovations not only on the water but for land based training via PaddleFit. As a member of the 2015 coaching staff, Welte’s leadership was a key ingredient in fusing a group of individuals into a Gold Medal winning team.

“It is a special opportunity to be a part of the next chapter of the USA SUP and Paddleboard team. We have a substantial but exciting task in front of us to create the infrastructure needed to cultivate and develop the best athletes from the US,” said Brody Welte. Welte added, “I look forward to working with an outstanding group of coaches and athletes to propel us into the future and hopefully someday the Olympics.”

SUP Surfing Coach – Dave Boehne

Dave’s 30-year competitive career in all disciplines of surfing and his focus for the last 10 years in SUP, have made Dave one of the most consistent competitive SUP surfers in the US. Boehne’s talents are consistently on display as he still often achieves the finals in the largest SUP surf events every year, as evidenced by his recent finals appearance at Steamer Lane during the Santa Cruz Paddlefest this year.

“I am honored and excited to have been selected as the new Surf Coach for the USA SUP/Paddleboard team. We’ve assembled a great crew that is committed and determined to bring this team and program to new heights that everyone can be proud of. I realize I have some big shoes to fill with the departure of my Coach, Ian Cairns but will rely on my experience working with athletes and as a member myself of the 2015 Gold medal team,” said Dave Boehne

Paddleboard Coach – Steve Shlens

Steve Shlens is a traditional or prone paddleboarder living in Santa Barbara, California. Steve grew up with paddling in the 80’s competing in sprint events on the West Coast, East Coast, and Hawaii as a state and national champion.  In 2015, at 45 years old, Steve was an integral part of the gold medal winning US Paddling Team.  He’s now thrilled to transition into the position of paddling coach for the team and is looking forward to more adventures and success with this group of athletes.

Steve Shlens comments, “It’s a distinct honor and privilege to have been asked to help out the USA SUP/Paddleboard team as a paddling coach. The camaraderie developed in Mexico was an experience I hope to pass on to future generations of paddlers, as well as advice and assistance to succeed.” Shlens adds, “We all have an opportunity now to elevate not just US paddleboarding but worldwide paddling into the next realm with hopes of eventually achieving Olympic inclusion. The talent pool across the globe is staggering and it would be incredible and deserved to see that talent pool celebrated on the world stage.”

Additionally, Greg Cruse announced a USA SUP/Paddleboard advisory panel that will be used as a resource to assist our coaches and Surfing America in gathering information, varying points of view and development of ideas on key decisions about the advancement of the sport.

Commenting on the formation of the panel, Greg Cruse added, “The goal with this panel is for Surfing America to be more inclusive than ever before about gathering all the voices in SUP, so our coaches and the Board of Directors will have a much wider field of view on the issues and opportunities. We will be announcing this panel in the coming weeks.”

About Surfing America

Surfing America is the ISA-recognized National Governing Body for Surfing in the United States. The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for Surfing, Stand Up Paddling, Paddleboarding, Bodyboarding, and Surfriding.

About Erik Logan

Photo courtesy of Oprah Winfrey Network
Photo courtesy of Oprah Winfrey Network
Erik Logan was named president of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in July 2011.  Under his leadership, OWN has delivered consistent ratings momentum and was recently named one of the “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Hollywood” by Fast Company Magazine.

A veteran radio and media industry executive, Logan joined Harpo Studios in 2008 as executive vice president.  Previously, Logan was executive vice president, programming and broadcast operations for XM Satellite Radio where he helped build the subscriber base to beyond nine million subscribers, negotiated partnerships and managed day-to-day relationships with major content providers including Major League Baseball, PGA Tour, CNN, Clear Channel Communications, Fox News and many more. Prior to joining XM, Logan also served as president of programming for Citadel Broadcasting, and served for over a decade at CBS/Infinity Broadcasting in a variety of roles, including vice president of programming.

About Brody Welte

Photo by Chad Jarae
Photo by Chad Jarae
Coach Brody Welte hails from Surf City, NC, where he lives with his wife and three sons. Brody works full-time as a paddling coach and the founder/creator of PaddleFit, a globally respected SUP coaching system. In addition, Brody coaches SUP with respected Hawaiian paddler Dave Kalama on the SUP adventure trips known as Kalama Kamps. Under Brody’s PaddleFit system, he has helped develop over 1600 SUP coaches in more than 35 countries around the world. Brody enjoys all aspect of SUP coaching from introducing neophytes to the sport to maximizing the abilities of elite athletes. Brody began Stand Up Paddling many years ago after learning to SUP as an adventure guide on the island of Kaua’i. In 2015, Brody worked tirelessly as the race coach for the Gold medal winning United States team at the ISA SUP and Paddleboard World Championships. Brody continues with the team as it’s head coach and SUP race coach and, as he did in 2015, hopes to help all members of the US Paddling Team maximize their potential as athletes and ambassadors of the sport.

About Dave Boehne

About Dave BoehneDave Boehne is a professional Stand Up Paddler / Surfer from Dana Point, CA. and is widely recognized and respected as one of the great ambassadors for the sport of SUP.  Born into the surfing lifestyle his parents co-founded the legendary surf brand, Infinity surfboards in 1970.  Dave’s professional surfing career includes competition in short board, longboard and SUP, culminating as a competitive SUP Surfer on the 2015 ISA Gold Medal Team USA.  Dave took his professional surfing career and applied it in sports marketing management in various positions growing value for powerful brands such as O’Neill, Lost, Sole Technology and OAM, On a Mission.  

Today, Dave serves as the day to day operator and co-owner of Infinity Surfboards and lead designer of all SUP brands for the company.  Dave’s vast knowledge in the water, coupled with his leadership and management acumen was highlighted he we successfully negotiated the acquisition of some of the sports top athletes to compete on Infinity board in SUP Race and Surf.

Dave’s newest venture is being the co-founder/co-CEO of Shred & Speed, a new International Production division of Infinity Surf Co. Exploiting the equity in the world renowned custom built Infinity Brand with new lines of world class production boards, further extending the company’s brand.

About Steve Shlens

Photo by Greg Panas
Photo by Greg Panas
Steve Shlens is a traditional or prone paddleboarder living in Santa Barbara, California.  Originally from the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Steve grew up with paddling in the 80’s competing in sprint events on the West Coast, East Coast, and Hawaii as a state and national champion.  In the mid-90’s, Steve moved away from the coast but found his way back to Santa Barbara in 2000.  He started paddleboarding again in 2009 and found his love for paddling had not diminished.  In 2012, Steve won the prestigious 32 mile Catalina Classic Paddleboard Marathon on a stock board, and followed this up with solo and team wins in the Rock-to-Rock, The Jay Race, The Loop, the Molokai-to-Oahu race, and a number of other distance races.  In 2015, at 45 years old, Steve was an integral part of the gold medal winning US Paddling Team.  He’s now thrilled to transition into the position of paddling coach for the team and is looking forward to more adventures and success with this group of athletes.

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