SUP International magazine caught up with Conner Baxter, one of the best SUP racers and all-round watermen on the planet, for the low down on what is happening in Maui right now. He has been paddling for Starboard since he was 5 years old and has recently become a father to ‘Trestle Cru Baxter’ born on March 5th, 2020!
SUP INT: First up, congratulations to you and Anae on becoming a parents! How are you enjoying your new role and how are you all coping?
CB: Becoming a dad has been an amazing experience. It truly has given me a new outlook on life. Everyone is healthy and enjoying the time home at the moment with everything going on.
SUP INT: Has being a dad changed your outlook on life at all?
CB: Becoming a dad has changed some priorities and given me some new realizations and that is winning isn’t everything but now providing for this little guy is my number one and winning does help so it goes hand-in-hand.
SUP INT: What will it mean to your career and focus on SUP racing?
CB: It has motivated me even more than ever because now winning means food on the table and college in future. Plus being an athlete is what I do best, and I love it.
SUP INT: How is the lock down situation on Maui right now?
CB: At the moment Maui is a bit more relaxed than most places but I believe we have 90 cases and it’s a small island. Everyone is still allowed water time but just surf and the go home. I have definitely been taking advantage and giving the body some much need recovery as this is the longest, I have been home in 15 years and not competing in 20 years.
SUP INT: How are you training both on and off the water and what is a typical work out?
CB: I definitely want to stay active and I have been doing a lot dynamic movement with bands and definitely jumping on the bike as much as possible. I have been getting water time but not paddling as much, just surfing and having some fun and taking this time to be a kid again.
SUP INT: What are those strange trousers we see you wearing?
CB: I believe you’re talking about my Normatech device which is an air compression system that promotes recovery and blood movement.
SUP INT: How did it feel to win the SUP Sprints in Paris at the end of last season?
CB: To win any race nowadays is a huge accomplishment and always exciting. At the end of the year after everyone has been traveling and competing nonstop and going into the off-season with a win, is a nice way to end things.
SUP INT: What is the highlight of your career so far?
CB: There’s been a lot of events lots of trips lots of memories but some of the best would have to be winning Molokai to Oahu, winning battle of the Paddle, the year I won the distance race and the technical race at PPG, the Pan-American games and the world record 200 m sprint in China.
SUP INT: Why do you love SUP?
CB: I love SUP because of the community and the amazing places it has brought me over the years.
SUP INT: Do you think you will be competing again this year?
CB: I will for sure be ready for any competitions that pop up when all of this is over, and I do believe there is an end to this all.
SUP INT: What are you three words to live by?
CB: Never Give Up!