Welcome to the website for New Zealand Stand Up Paddling, inc.

the association for all things SUP in NZ

NZSUP inc organises the national race championships and teams for international events, oversees SUP schools and instruction, and campaigns on behalf of all paddleboarders in New Zealand on matters of safety, legislation and all other aspects of negotiation and liaison with other governing bodies.

You may be wondering why New Zealand needs a SUP association. Surely the sport is all about being free, able to go where you want to, away from rules, regulations and organisations! Well, yes it is, and that’s the way NZSUP wants to keep it. However, without a national organisation representing the interests of the sport, those rules and regulations will get imposed anyway. If you’ve ever taken your paddleboard into waves in New Zealand, then you have already directly benefited from NZSUP. Without the society’s hard work in 2013, successfully negotiating an exemption to NZ Maritime Law, you would now have to wear a life jacket every time you went SUP surfing.

Please take the time to join NZSUP – it’s absolutely free to join as a community member, and by adding your voice to our community you help us lobby on your behalf. Joining is super simple, just click here!

NZSUP Inc is a member of the New Zealand Safer Boating Forum, a formal network representing a cross-section of national and regional government agencies, local body groups, organisations and the marine industry, involved in promoting recreational boating safety in New Zealand. Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) leads the Forum and works with Forum members to coordinate safe boating activities.

NZSUP Inc is a member of Water Safety NZ (WSNZ). Water safety NZ is an incorporated society with charitable status that contributes to strategy and promotion of water safety to our paddle sports community. WSNZ is also a member of the Safer Boating Forum mentioned above.

NZ SUP is a voluntary organisation, and relies upon the generous sponsorship of its sponsors and supporters.

NZ SUP is grateful for the support of its corporate members:


Meet The Team

Our highly valued committee members. Details about each are shown below, always good to put a name to a face….

GAVIN HOUGHTON – President

To most Auckland paddlers Gavin will need no introduction. He and his wife Rosie are super keen paddlers, and their son Ollie has won the NZ National championships on numerous occasions, and stood on the podium at the World Championships too.  Following in his Dad’s footsteps, as Gavin also has a pretty full trophy cabinet!

“I first saw sup when Jeremy Stevenson was paddling off takapuna beach. At the time I was competing in waka ama which I loved but it didn’t love me as it aggravated my lower back. I transitioned to SUP and have participated ever since.”

“The appealing factor of SUP to me is its diversity. Downwinders, touring, racing, surf – and of course it’s a great way to get and be fit.
It’ s all there and there is no other craft that offers such variety. Coupled with that is the wonderful group of people that the sport attracts and being on the water is a great place to be.”

HELEN BLAIR – SECRETARY

Helen discovered stand up paddling and a love of the ocean aged 40. Prior to that her career was in Human Resources, as an academic, then as a practitioner with the BBC, Marks & Spencer and Fonterra. Over those 15 or so years coaching and guiding leaders and teams became second nature. Life took a new turn two years ago and Helen discovered being a SUP coach was an amazing way to enable people to balance mind and body on the water. She and the Kiwi boy who brought her to New Zealand 10 years ago, live in Auckland’s Eastern Bays. If Helen’s not on the water, she’s in the forest improving her mountain biking skills … always something to be learning.

BILL DAWES – Treasurer,  Safety Officer & Training Officer

Bill was the original founder of NZSUP. He conceived the idea for a national organization and was our first President. Bill has been involved with all aspects of the SUP industry, as an importer, manufacturer, designer, journalist, instructor, coach and event organiser. He runs the NZ SUP instructor training scheme, coordinates SUP safety in New Zealand, and gets plenty of time on the water running Northland Paddleboarding, NZ’s longest-running fulltime SUP school, and the weekly Paddle at the Pear tree SUP club and race in Kerikeri.

JONATHAN WOOD

Jonathan is a lawyer and very enthusiastic SUP surfer and racer. He is assisting a number SUP clubs to set up both in Auckland and in other parts of New Zealand and is a member of our sub-committee developing NZSUP’s club and SUP community strategy. Jonathan has been a member of the NZSUP committee since 2014.

Trudy Lile

Trudy is a professional musician and music teacher, based in Auckland. She performs regularly and teach approximately 150 kids a week of all ages, in 7 different schools around the Auckland area. Going for a paddle is balances out this lifestyle perfectly.

She calls herself a weekend warrior, and first tried SUP in 2012 on a friends inflatable.  She did her first race in 2013 and has been collecting upgrading carbon race boards ever since. She loves the social aspect of SUP racing, great group of people, who are super encouraging.

“Auckland is the perfect SUP destination, with loads of places to paddle in all wind directions, so we paddle all year around.”

Trudy surfed her first wave at the age of 46 – such a buzz flying down a wave – both on surf sups and race boards. For that reason she also loves down winding. A race board also makes a great sun bathing platform!

STEVE DUNLOP

Keen Auckland racer and long-time member of the paddleboarding scene, and father to some seriously hot up-and-coming youth talent too!

ROD KING

Rod is one of the committee members of the Nelson SUP Club and a bit of a newbie to SUP. After moving from Christchurch to Nelson, with his wife Lyn, in 2011 and discovering the joys of year-round paddling, the kayak soon gave way to the first paddleboard. It did not take long to get involved with the local SUP group and after a few pub meetings the decision to formalise and incorporate the Nelson SUP Club. Being pretty much retired and self-employed he can be found most mornings on a 14ft board down at Tahunanui Beach looking to achieve a bit more speed.

Rod is on a mission to bring new people into the sport, ensure the SUP safety message is out there, and establish Paddlefest Nelson as an annual “Top of the South” event that brings all types of paddlecraft together for a few days of serious and social paddling out on the sheltered waters of Tasman Bay.

CRAIG LATTA

Craig is a super keen paddleboarder from Dunedin, and a stalwart of the local scene in that scenic corner of our country.

He qualified as a paddleboard instructor in 2015, and started Paddleboard Dunedin – Dunedin’s first and still only paddleboard school.

Soon after that he took over Watercooled Sports; the leading paddleboard and watersports store in the lower South Island, and in 2018 he launched the Dunedin spring/summer kayak and paddleboard race series, which has run ever summer since then.  In 2019 he brought a team of Dunedin paddlers up to the Nationals in Northland, a massive trek that was rewarded with some silverware for their team, and definitely showed their dedication to the sport!

CHRIS THORNTON

I have been Paddling for my whole adult life.  Starting in the Able Tasman as a sea kayak guide, where my SUp days started on an old windsurfer with a kayak paddle.  From there I have spent many summers in the norwegian fjords Kayaking and Stand up Paddle boarding, only to find myself in the picturesque lake wanaka 8 years ago, starting up Paddle Wanaka, a SUP and Kayak rental company. Over the following years, my wife and I have grown the business to provide Sup rentals, Instructional SUP and guided tours.  I have a passion to be on the water, it has provided some of my most amazing experiences, as well as giving some of life and my carriers toughest challenges.
I love active paddling, over the summers I use Suping as my release. My favourite local SUP Paddle is the Upper Clutha river from Albert Town to Luggate Bridge.

BECOME A NZ SUP SPONSOR

Magrette Timepieces
Magrette Timepieces
Mechanical Heart, New Zealand Soul
Magrette Timepiece is a boutique watch company based in Auckland (City of Sails), New Zealand.
Contact Details
Magrette Timepieces

Maui Jim
Maui Jim
Created on the Hawaiian Islands to make the colours shine, Maui Jim sunglasses feature patented PolarizedPlus2® lens technology for brilliant colour so every detail is crisper and cleaner and without glare or harmful UV. Slip on a pair and See The Brilliance.
Contact Details
Contact Mark at Maui Jim NZ

0421 721 722

Rosie Houghton
Rosie Houghton - Harcourts Cooper & Co
I know what's SUP in property!
I will be competing in the race I'm sponsoring this year and look forward to the banter with the girls afterwards. It’s going to be an amazing fun, family, event. When I'm not on the water I`m selling Real Estate for Harcourt’s Cooper & Co so if you are thinking about selling your home or buying your next home or investment then come talk to me.. 021 623 952 or www.rosiehoughton.co.nz See you at 2017 NZ SUP Nationals!
Saxe Coburg Ltd
Saxe Coburg Ltd
Our Goal Is To Produce Positive Returns For All Of Our Clients In All Market Conditions
At SCL, our ultimate aim is to win the trust of our clients. This feeling of trust may take years to achieve, but it is the true test of a job well done. Our goal is to produce positive returns for our clients in all market conditions. We aim to protect capital first and foremost, and with this underlying objective, to find investments and build portfolios which can generate growth and income above that on offer through bank deposits. Over the last ten years under Mark’s direction, we have been successful in shielding clients’ portfolios from the two major crises which have impacted investors, the GFC and the collapse of the New Zealand finance company sector. None of our clients lost a cent in any finance company debenture or deposit.
Saxe Coburg Ltd

19 Como St, Takapuna, Auckland 0622

09 489 4890

Northland Paddleboarding
Northland Paddleboarding
New Zealand's longest running SUP school
The first full-time SUP school to be established in New Zealand, Northland Paddleboarding is a registered and Accredited stand-up paddleboarding school, with a team of highly qualified instructors. Rather than aiming for high throughput and quick turnarounds, Northland Paddleboarding has always been about personal service and ensuring that our clients get what they need. The pace of life is slower in Northland, it's why we live here. We'd rather take a bit longer with your lesson, spend some more time getting to really understand your requirements and give you the best possible service. We coach at every level, from beginners (individuals and groups) through to advanced level race and surf coaching. We're blessed with a location that really is pretty much perfect for paddleboard tuition, at any level. Whatever your requirements we will be able and happy to help!
Contact Details
Northland Paddleboarding

58 Rangitane Loop Road, Kerikeri

0277771035