One of the worlds best young guns of Stand Up Paddle
1. Can you introduce yourself to anyone who doesn’t know you yet?
Hi I am Lincoln Dews from the Sunshine Coast Queensland Australian. I have a passion for being in the surf. I am 18 years old and work as a professional ocean lifeguard and preparing to start University next year. I am also continuing my SUP and prone paddling career because its my passion. I live near the ocean and all my family is involved in some way with the ocean.
2. Many consider you a true "waterman". How would you define yourself?
I like the label “waterman”, but I realize it is only a title that others give me as a mark of respect. I just consider myself to be lucky to have the ability and the equipment to go and play in the ocean. I enjoy a range of ocean-sports, some competitive, some not. I enjoy the time to surf with my brother and sometimes with mum or dad at our local surf break – sometimes it is as simple as going body surfing or doing a downwind paddle along the coast. But I also do enjoy the early mornings with my swim squad and yes, yacht racing with my dad. But nothing compares with riding good waves or competing with the elite racers.
3. Of all the sports you practice, what is the one you like the most?
That’s a hard one, I don’t real have a preferred sport – may be the favorite is the one I am doing at any one time – just enjoy the moment kind of thing.
4. At what age did you start surfing and what made you follow the sport of SUP?
Started surfing at 5 but I cannot remember a time that I was not in or on top of the ocean. I started SUP racing very young – I can remember not being big enough to carry my own board down the beach and dad had a cut down paddle for me to use. I remember some of the Hawaiians coming to my home break at Noosa Heads with some SUPS and paddling around on them but never thought I would be doing it at this level. My first race was a hoot with everyone being so much bigger than me but I did get that feeling only a SUP paddler gets when you get a edge over the racer next to you as they get caught by a breaking wave – funny looking back at that race now.
5. What is the most important and the most difficult competition in which you have participated?
Definitely the most difficult is the 32 mile Molokai to Oahu in Hawaii. My dad and I did it as a relay team when I was 13 years old – made me want to go and do it the next year solo on a prone board. The most important SUP race is the Battle of the Paddle that Jerry Lopez puts on each year in California as all the best racers compete at this event. Still you cant go past the ISA event. Racing for my country in the ISA Championship is specially tough with the pressure to do well in my country colors.
6. How did the contact and subsequent sponsorship by the Portuguese brand ONDA Wetsuits happen?
This is my favorite story I tell people. I was selected in the Australian team to race at the ISA World Championships and not expected to be in contention for a medal as I was so young. I prepared well and received so much coverage during the race I suspect ONDA management were be kind to a skinny kid from Australia and that began a long and powerful partnership. Being an Australian and being supported by a Portuguese company certainly makes my friends envious.
7. What's your opinion about the new SUP Series Collection by ONDA Wetsuits? Which product do you like the most?
Where do I start. I train 4 hours each day starting with 8 km in the pool swim squad that includes some Olympic swimmers. I then do gym and onto my SUP or prone board so I need gear that is comfortable and practical – and yes looks good. The compression gear is amazing and I now realize the importance of having specific designed kit that suits the sport you are doing. I am constantly surfing in my ONDA wet suits and have been amazed now comfortable they are – given the beating I give them while surfing my short SUPS. What can I say about the board shorts, tested in Australia and Bali and always in my kit bag when I am near the water. I guard them closely as so many of my friends have their eye on them.
8. What’s the importance of SUP in your life today?
Its fun, its tough and its in the ocean – I can not say any more than that.
9. What new projects and/or competitions we can expect for 2015?
The year 2015 is going to be different – I am launching my new design of SUP surfing boards and my prone race boards a well as developing a new paddle design. I am going to lift the intensity of my preparation for some of the SUP races and also do some surf life saving (life guard) races in Australia (its called the iron man series and involves swim, prone board and surf ski). My plan is to prepare for Molokai to Oahu race in Hawaii as I by-passed it over last year to concentrate on Battle of the Paddle. If possible I want to experience SUP racing in Europe and continue development ideas with ONDA.