By Andrea Swayne
September 27 was a big night for Dana Point’s Dave Boehne of Infinity Surfboards as he was selected as a winner in the second annual SUP Magazine, SUP awards.
We caught up with him at his shop in Dana Point to chat about what the award and about how he feels about being the only local man to win among a field of Hawaiians and what the award means to him personally and to his shop team.
“There are so many great guys who don’t get nominated, so just to be a nominee for the second year in a row was cool enough,” Boehne said. “As a top five finalist among guys sponsored by some of the bigger more world-recognized brands like Naish and Starboard, having our smaller family-owned local brand from California recognized at the awards in San Clemente was really neat and fun. I really didn’t think I had a chance to make the top five with nominees on the list like Chuck Patterson and Danny Ching. When they announced it, I was really in shock.”
The magazine created the SUP Awards, stand-up paddling’s highest honor, to recognize the best athletes in the sport. To choose the winners, nominations are collected from readers and fans worldwide and from there the top five male and female paddlers, the top SUP expedition, the top philanthropic effort and the top movies of the year are chosen to receive recognition.
“It was a huge honor to be chosen for this award. I got fifth and my fellow team rider Slater Trout from Hawaii got third,” Boehne said. “For two of our team riders to be chosen from the group of larger brands, is a great accomplishment. The movie Slater and I were in, H2indO, also won an award, so it was an awesome night for us. I’m blown away by being chosen from among such amazing world-class athletes.”
Infinity Surfboards, Dana Point, was started by Dave’s father Steve Boehne in 1970. The company began making stand-up paddleboards in 2004 and SUP has since become an important part of their business.
When asked how he feels knowing that winning relies on the public voting for their favorites, Boehne said he attributes that to the close-knit community SUP has grown into over the last eight or so years.
“It really makes me think about how special SUP is and what a different community and camaraderie there is compared to other sports. You see people in the Harbor and at the beach every day and realize how many friends you have and people you’ve met through the sport,” Boehne said. “I’ve gotta think a lot of them probably voted and that’s awesome. It just shows that if you just be yourself and do what you do, people like to support authenticity. The whole SUP thing has been a fun little ride for me.”
Candice Appleby of San Clemente was another local paddler honored at the event.
Appleby was named Female Paddler of the Year.
For more information, videos and profiles of the full list of honorees, see www.supthemag.com.