SAN DIEGO, California - With the 12th Annual Supconnect Awards wrapped up and the winners announced we here at Supconnect wanted to give you a bit of insight on the deciding factors that led to the choosing of this year’s winners. With over 79,000 views, 19,000 interactions, and countless phone calls, texts and emails with our advisory board and industry feedback, you’ll be able to understand why we selected the winners below.
Man of the Year
Photo courtesy: Starboard
Michael Booth is a world champion SUP athlete. He's an Australian super-human that has largely dominated the sport globally over the past several years. The last four years has seen the best of Booth as he has become APP World Tour Distance series champion, 3x World Distance Race Champion, 3x Australian Champion and 3x European Tour Champion. While his resume is something most could only dream to achieve what truly stands out is Michael's sportsmanship, attitude and community involvement. Michael’s mission is to encourage people to believe in themselves, pursue success & live a healthy & active lifestyle. He shares his knowledge of the sport through his podcast "Boothcast" and also has a coaching business which he offers all over the world as well as tailored and personalised online programs. Michael is a true ambassador of the sport and is the perfect choice for 2021’s Supconnect Man of the Year.
Woman of the Year
Photo courtesy: Starboard
Inspirational, dedicated, strong. These are just a few words that describe our pick this year for SUP Woman of the Year. To put it simply, Fiona Wylde is one of the most talented standup paddlers in the world in both SUP surfing AND racing with World Titles to her name. In addition, she’s quite the foiler as well! Putting her resume to the side, Fiona is not just an incredible athlete, she’s an incredible human. She’s powered through a life changing diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes when she was 18-years-old. Rather than allowing her disease to slow her down she’s done the exact opposite and has become an inspiration for the millions of people who face that challenge while aiming to continue to live that outdoors athletic life. She advocates for healthy lifestyles and promotes awareness about Type 1 Diabetes through social media and outreach events. Fiona truly believes that if you have a dream, you can achieve it! Fiona embodies all that we look for in Supconnect's Woman of the Year and we’re proud to recognize her accomplishments with this award in 2021.
Grom of the Year
Photo Courtesy: SIC Maui
New York’s Jameson Roeber loves paddling out of his hometown, Port Jefferson on the North Shore of Long Island. At just 11-years-old Jameson’s passion for the sport is undeniable. He’s been paddling for more than half his life if you can believe it! At such a young age Jameson already has a ton of racing experience not only in his local race scene but he’s also been stacking international race experience as well. And to challenge himself, Jameson likes to compete alongside the adults, opting out of the kids races even though he is only 11. Talk about determination! More importantly though, Jameson has a heart of gold and loves to give back and help others. In 2020, he sponsored an organization called Kids Paddle and SUP Pup division for Paddle for The Cure, based out of New York in efforts to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for Breast Cancer. Jameson is exactly what we love to see in the future of our sport and we can’t wait to see his progression in the years to come. Congrats to our 2021 Grom of the Year.
Brand of the Year
Photo courtesy: Starboard
When choosing Brand of the Year we take many things into consideration. We look at product quality, community outreach, relationships with dealers and more. This the 2nd straight year, Starboard once again stood out above the rest. Starboard continues to innovate and invest in the sport coming out with new products every year and also supporting not only many of the world’s best athletes but also supporting athletes on the local level. Starboard has also been working hard over the years on making their production one that is environmentally friendly. They’ve put a lot of energy into various organizations and regularly plan and conduct beach and waterway cleanups. And not only that, the overall feedback from dealers was that Starboard did well with their customer service and backend support. Starboard has also been a constant support of the SUP industry by partnering with various global media publications and has been engaged with SUP’s industry association (SUPIA) over the years and has even partnered up with the ICF (International Canoe Federation) to work on environmental plans and advocating for SUP safety. All that combined make Starboard our choice for 2021 SUP Brand of the Year.
101 Surf Sports
Shop of the Year
101 Surf Sports is no stranger to this category as they’ve won this award in the past. Well, this year the brands have spoken and 101 Surf Sports is back on top. 101 Surf Sports is a full service Water Sports Sporting Goods Shop specializing in Stand Up Paddleboarding, Prone Paddleboarding, Windsurfing, Kiteboarding, Surfing, and Kayaking. Located in San Francisco, California, 101 Surf Sports is known for carrying premium quality products with a staff that is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. What’s more, they’re very active in their local SUP community putting on a race series annually. All this combined with feedback from brands in the industry are why 101 Surf Sports is the 2021 Supconnect SUP Shop of the Year.
Sales Rep of the Year
Kevin has been a SUP Specific Sales Rep for over a decade now. Kevin has worked for many great brands like Futures Fins, Quick Blade, Laird, Virus, Hamboards, Vestpac, Body Glove and now Starboard. Kevin’s passion for the sport comes out in his work. There’s no doubt that Kevin goes above and beyond for the brands that he represents but also the shops that he works with. He hosts demos and lessons, he educates consumers and does in store clinics with the retail staff on all the selling points of each board. Kevin’s dedication, community involvement and support make him our pick once again for 2021’s Supconnect Sales Rep of the Year.
For more info and to learn more about the Supconnect Awards and history, click HERE.