Joe Cerdas has an opportunity to race in the World Championship SUP Contest known as the Battle of the Paddle, sponsored by Rainbow Sandals. Help this Galveston local simply by having fun! There will be a fundraiser held from 10pm-2am on Friday, October 18, 2013, at Yaga's. The event will include raffle prizes, a silent auction, live music, and cold beer. Event t-shirts will be available for purchase. Wristbands to get into the event are $20 per person and must be purchased in advance. Tickets are available at the following establishments: Ohana Surf and Skate, Southern Spears Surf Shop, Island Bicycle, Outback T-Shirts, Surf Specialties and Lifeguard Headquarters. The proceeds will assist Joe Cerdas with travel needs to compete in the Battle of the Paddle held in Brazil.
Who is the man behind the paddle?
It all started when Joe’s dear friend let him borrow his Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) back in 2006. When Joe had extra time, he would take it for a surf. He also credits Galveston Beach Patrol with giving him a jump-start into the SUP racing industry. He grew up doing prone racing with beach patrol, taking part in the USLA Lifeguard Championships.
It was not until the beginning of 2012 (some six years later) that Joe became enamored with SUP racing. He switched from his regular SUP and started using a racing SUP (more pointy board). Before having met Kelly Leftkowitz of Rio SUP, Joe would rent racing boards to compete in contests. Soon after, other sponsors noticed his talent. It was at the East Coast Paddleboard Championships in Daytona Beach, Florida, where Art in Surf first saw the potential in Joe Cerdas. For the East Coast, this was one of the most prestigious contests. Joe finished second overall and first in his class in the 12-6 division.
Other prestigious contests have prepared him for the Battle of the Paddle in Brazil. Most recently, in Dana Point, California, at the National Championship Battle of the Paddle, Joe competed against some of the most elite paddleboarders. He relayed, “Dana Point is just chaos.” In pictures, it almost appears as if all of their boards hover over one another. How does anyone get anywhere, let alone race? Despite these highly competitive circumstances, he managed to place 36th out of 500 and 25th in the nine mile race. However, he is most proud of competing in the Paddle for Humanity in Austin, Texas. In September, he won it for the second time. Cerdas has had steadfast success in Texas, the ratio of wins to losses being 20:0.
While Cerdas says he is “always in it to win it,” his agenda in going to Brazil is heartwarming. Cerdas proclaimed: “Texas is the last to get on the SUP [bandwagon]… nobody shows us props or credibility. There are a lot of good surfers here, but they don’t get the exposure. I want to promote Texas racing, fitness, a healthy lifestyle, and get everybody out on boards.”
Even though Joe will only be raising money for himself to go to Brazil, he plans on strapping “a couple of GoPros” to his board for his sons to get a good view. Joe’s dream is to make it to the Stand Up World Series. He would love to travel, race, and surf. The 170 lb., six-foot-tall Cerdas explained that the key to racing is “stroke technique and body rotation.” Even though many people try to muscle their way through a race, it is important to get back “to the fundamentals,” he instructs. Joe seems to have another heartfelt fundamental that he likes to get back to; he reiterated time and again how he merely wants others to have the same opportunity.
If you cannot attend the fundraiser, you can donate various amounts here: