Year of Birth: 1986
Place of Birth: Sarasota, Florida
Current Residence: Fort Myers, Florida
Occupation: Owner/Installer at Soundwave
Owner/Artist at Upriver Ceramics
Status: Married to Alison Kearney
Other Sponsors: GoPuck, HoneyStinger, Virus
Links: Matt's HookIt Page, Instagram
Boards: 14' x 24" 404 V3, 12'6 x 25" Hovie Comet ZXC, 404 Floater 10’6”
Paddle: Hippostick 8.0 Al Pro and 8.5 Al Pro
Fins: FCS Danny Ching Fin, Fins Unlimited 6” Keel
GPS: Speedcoach SUP 2
How did you get into SUP racing?
I used to love kayaking but sitting in a hard seat for hours at a time got to me. So I found SUP and got a big surf-style cruiser to do leisurely paddles with the local Beach Bum crew. Soon, I realized I could push myself and use it for fitness since I didn’t enjoy running that much. And then I heard about SUP races, my competitive side came out, and it was all downhill from there! Now I’ve trained with some of the top pros in the world and competed in some of the biggest races too. I’ve come a long way since the days of riding my Yolo board around with a cooler of beer.
SUP Racing Goals:
I want to continue to get faster and compete at higher levels. I’ve made huge strides over the past couple of years. One of the biggest things I need to get better at is going into strong head- or side-wind. But I also want to check off some bucket-list races around the world. I love long distance and have completed the 32 mile Chattajack race in TN already. I’d also like to do the SEA Paddle NYC race around Manhattan, the 11 Cities Tour in Holland (136 miles in 5 days), along with shorter distance but equally awesome races like PPG and others in Hawaii and around the world.
My average week consists of 3 days training on the board with a very effective program put together by our team coach, Mark Athanacio. I also do strength training in the gym 2 days per week and then we usually have a race on the weekend. So I devote a lot of time to this sport. Part of it is wanting to get better, but part of it is that I just love doing it and hanging out with the great team and SUP community we have here in SWFL.
I was never an athlete of any kind before SUP racing. So anyone can become competitive and enjoy this sport with a little dedication. It just depends how much you want to dedicate to it.