Fourteen year old Jade Howson of Laguna Beach, California started paddling at age seven. She entered her first competition when she was nine years old and has steadily progressed to compete in the Pro Elite Division at major events alongside many of the top professional athletes in the sport. Jade maintains a 3.8 GPA as a student at Laguna Beach High School and is currently ranked as one of the top 50 female paddlers in the world.

Jade Howson, SUP Examiner, The Paddle Academy, Dana Point, Doheny State Beach, Mike Muir, Riviera Paddle Surf, Stand Up Paddling, SUP, SUP Racing

Jade Howson, at home on the water. Photo: Mike Muir

SUP has grounded Jade. She has a passion for it and always wants to paddle either at a race or just for fun. The sport has also had a profound impact on her family and has given Jade and her father an opportunity to bond through her teenage years more than usual due to SUP – they both compete in SUP races. SUP also keeps Jade focused. She finishes her homework on time knowing she has practice in the evenings – something which has taught her great time management skills.

According to her mother, the greatest impact SUP has had on Jade is that it has helped her find her passion – something which will last throughout her lifetime. There are no scholarships or real money to be earned solely as a SUP racer, per se, but…Jade will always have a love to take anywhere she goes for the rest of her life. “Our family can take our vacations around this wonderful sport…Pick a state, pick a country, you will always find fun places to visit and compete in!” her mother told me.

Learn More About Jade Howson

What are Jade’s favorite subjects in school?

Science and Spanish

What are her favorite interests outside of paddling?

Going to the beach, playing the Ukulele, traveling and eating, being crazy and listening to music.

Does Jade take part in a group training program?

Yes, The Paddle Academy in Dana Point. Jade really enjoys training alongside her new friends and getting top-notch training from her coaches.

Is she involved in any other sports?

In the past Jade played soccer, but this year she had to focus on one sport and chose paddling.

Fantastic! What does she enjoy the most about paddling?

Jade really enjoys the training process, getting results and then testing them. She also enjoys being with friends that have similar goals.

Jade Howson, SUP Examiner, The Paddle Academy, Dana Point, Doheny State Beach, Mike Muir, Riviera Paddle Surf, Stand Up Paddling, SUP, SUP Racing

Jade Howson expertly navigating her board through the white wash. Photo: Mike Muir

That’s great! What are some of her notable paddling achievements?

  • 2016 Pacific Paddle Games technical race – 5th place Women’s Pro Division
  • Naish Gorge 2016 course race – 7th place Elite Pro Women’s Division  
  • 2016 SUP Fiesta 2016 – 1st female overall
  • Water Warrior 2016 – 2nd female overall

Wow! Jade is really making an impact on the SUP racing scene. What are some of her favorite events?

Jade always has fun at Race the Lake of the Sky due to its location and the variety races; Olukai – for the chance to go downwinding, and enjoy a family vacation in an amazing location; Pacific Paddle Games – for the intensity of the competition; and the Gorge race due to its format and the adventure of padding on a river in such a scenic location.

Where are some of Jade’s favorite places to paddle?

Hawaii, Laguna Beach, Dana Point

What is her favorite memory while paddling?

Jade’s favorite experience is paddling in Laguna Beach, California due to the town’s scenic coastal beauty, clear blue water, and all in her home town! Her favorite race memory was this year’s Pacific Paddle Games because Jade did better than she thought she would and it felt so good to do that!

Jade has had the opportunity to visit and paddle in some great places. Is there anywhere she would like to paddle which she has yet to visit?

Tahiti and Sayulita, Mexico

One final question, Does Jade have a favorite paddler or person who inspires her the most?

Her top person is Lina Augaitis because she won the world title in 2014 and Jade really looked up to her after that. And Shae Foudy of course for her continuous everyday inspiration!!

That’s fantastic, two great role models! Thank you for your time. We are looking forward to watching Jade’s paddling career progress!

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Matt Chebatoris

Matt is a former national security professional and lifelong adventurer. He has published material on a variety of topics in the foreign policy arena and founded SUP Examiner™ as a platform to share his enjoyment of the sport with others. Matt resides in Los Angeles with his wife Karen and their tuxedo cat Maximilian.