Jen Lee, SUP Paddles with Tiger Blood

Stand up paddle boarding for only a short time has not deterred Jen Lee from performing remarkable feats, such as a solo Catalina cross and much more. Befriend Jen Lee on Sup Connect and follow her sup adventures.


Jen Lee stand up paddle (sup) boarding in Waikiki on Oahu, Hawaii, where she teaches sup lessons. Photo Courtesy: Jen Lee.


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HONOLULU, Hawaii – If Charlie Sheen's use of the term "Tiger Blood" has any serious meaning, then Jen Lee's short stand up paddle (sup) boarding career makes for an excellent illustration. With only about one year of stand up paddling under her belt, she crossed the Catalina Channel (totalling nearly 40 miles) solo and then two days later on a two-person relay team. Below she gives an account of her athletic background, introduction to stand up paddle (sup) boarding, and outlook as she delves deeper into sup. Befriend Jen Lee on Sup Connect.


Path to Oahu

Originally I am from the Lake Tahoe area born and raised, then during my early 20’s I moved around a lot for college and graduate school, and almost four years ago I finally settled in Hawaii.  I feel really blessed to call Hawaii home.  For a living I teach surfing and stand-up-paddling on the beach in Waikiki.  It is an incredible honor to have the opportunity to share my love of the beach, surfing, and SUP with others in Waikiki.


Sports Background

Yes, I ski raced growing up and did a couple of triathlons here and there. I also trained in martial arts for years.  Then about three years ago I started surfing in contests and loved it.  Last year I was really blessed to be able to surf in a few LQS events, that was a lot of fun.  I still surf in a few competitions a year. Join the Sup Race Group on Sup Connect.


Introduction to Sup

I have only been really Stand-Up Paddling for about a year.  Prior to that I had been out on a SUP maybe a handful of times.  During the Battle of the Paddle last year I got an offer to use a board but I actually turned it down to compete in China Uemura’s surf contest at Queens.  Uncle China is such a good man and it is such a good event, all the proceeds go to a really good cause, so I had no intention of giving that up to race in a sport I had never really competed in.  That Saturday by a strange twist of fate, I managed to lose 5 heats in a row.  I figured that I wasn’t mentally tough enough.  To make myself tougher after that Saturday, the next day, Sunday, I decided to enter the Battle of the Paddle 9 mile Hawaii Kai Run cold turkey.  At that point, I had never even seen a race board.  I fell in love with being out in the middle of the ocean gliding on my feet and the rest is history.  I entered every race I could afford after that.  That first day as I was rounding Black Point, I was pretty upset at myself for not even thinking of googling “paddle technique” the night before.  If only I had seen Jim Terrel’s youtube videos; things would have been infinitely easier.  


Catalina Crosses

I really felt like I had a calling to do the solo paddle.  A ton of challenges popped up, but I figured if it was put it in my heart to do there must be a reason, so everything would work out just fine. Jen Lee paddled a Bark stand up paddle (sup) race board across the channel both times.


Looking Forward

God willing, I am planning to do some of the major races this year: both Battle of the Paddle races, most of the races on Oahu this summer, the Hennesy qualifiers and with some luck the big Hennessy Race in October.  I plan to return to Lake Tahoe for the first time in almost a decade to compete in Tahoe Nalu.  I will also be paddling across Tahoe and Donner Lakes, thus fulfilling a childhood dream of mine.  I have paddled across those lakes so many times in my mind, doing it in real life will be a dream come true.  As far as channel crossings, I would love to do the Molokai to Oahu race solo along with more channel crossings when I can afford it.  I am planning to paddle for a couple of causes and am starting to think about a multi-day distance paddle, but will wait to share until the plans are finalized. Find Sup Events in your Area to become involved.


Helpful Links related Jen Lee:

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Last modified onThursday, 21 March 2013 02:18

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