We all have dreams of kicking the winning goal or hitting the winning runs, for some its standing on the dias as an Olympic Champion like Slipstream Surf Paddler Tate Smith. As life goes on the dreams fade and we become time poor,other priorities, family and work commitments kick in and the dream dissolves. As the dream dissolves the waist line grows and get ourselves into a false sense reckoning. This blog is being put together for all those that are struggling with there own weight loss demons and share a journey of weight loss sucess, that has been totally inspired by Paddling alone.This isnt about Tate Smith , Hugh Dougherty or Brodie Moir, but 4 everyday people, who decided it was time to get healthy for the better of them selves and there families. The common factor is the growing bond between the Slipstream/Stellar fraternity in paddling to get fit. Case 1 Michael Lieberman 41 Kgs Lighter- A Marine Surveyor by trade and is a big man by his own admission, he was like all of us, thought he was going alright. Michael decided time had come to do something about it, being a waterman all his life and owning a fishing kayak, he decided to start paddling. He started to get really enthused as time went on, then he made the phone call that accelerated the passion or what is now  an obsession. I offered him my demo Stellar SR less than six months ago, he came down for a test paddle and i kid you not, he all but sank it. he managed to stay upright and that was all he needed, i sorted him a paddle and his amazing journey was well on its way. Michael is now a regular on the magic waterways of Pittwater, he paddles during the week at Narrabeen and i am bombarded by texts and the regular photos of his paddling destinations on facebook.A Saturday will now be a fun filled paddle of over 15km and so big is the change in Michael’s life, his wife is now into paddling.

Michael on a Holiday  That sparked the transformation!


Michael after a paddle today! Amazing transformation.

Case 2 Sean Smith 25 kgs lighter – Sean or his more famous alias the “Fat Paddler” was living behind his brand name and just floating around on Sydney’s waterways, bogged down in the work family cycle that we all get caught in. For Sean it was a proposition  and an adventure to do a race in Mauritius with his good friend Nat Bradford that fueled the fire. This all seams nothing out of the ordinary, well in my game fat and racing don’t go well unless its a pie eating competition.The next issue was Sean had never sat on a surf ski, it was just something he always wanted too. A call went out on facebook for a ski to get him to the race and a journey began that is all but amazing in such a short period.Myself along with Stellar Australia came to the party to get Sean on a Stellar SR for the journey, what happened next is well documented at fatpaddler.com, but from my side i saw a big man shrink, his outlook on life grow and his family once again seeing a happy dad and husband. All of this generated by a man and his Surf ski and a desire to live a better life. Case 3 Jamie Power 26 kgs lighter – Freight Powers director was caught in the viscous ways of setting up and running his own business, boozy lunches, lack of sleep making sure world wide deliveries were met this as well as many more demons led Jamie to Balloon considerably. The former Randwick Grade footballer will confess to be being in a very un- healthy state. About six months ago he contacted me after following my own journey on facebook, and living in Sydneys south with great paddling grounds only a down the road, he enquired about a Stellar Surf Ski. Jamie ended up in the Stellar SE, and is now loving the new adventures paddling brings.Jamie like the boys above is now regular turning the paddle over for a 15-20km paddle, this is from the humble beginnings of falling in at the start. Jamie is now looking further and is hoping to complete some harbourseries races and Ocean Series racing in the future. Case 4 Gavin Clark (me)- 15kgs Lighter – My journey came after a wake up call, i was surfing with with my 5 year old son at Christmas and struggled after about 10 minutes of swimming along side him. Dad had to tell his son he was too tired to help his son surf. i was determined that this was going to be the low point in my life and i was going to do everything to reverse it. i signed up to do the Michelle Bridges 12wbt, and about 8 weeks into that my great friend Jim Walker of Mykayakcoach started the paddling squad named Jimsquad out of the St George rowing club that has change my life and lifestyle forever. As in common with the good folk above i opted for Stellar SEL, and my journey began struggling to get out an 8km paddle in an hour, i am no Tate Smith or Hugh Dougherty but my paddling has improved and along the way my whole outlook on life and family is better than its been for the last 20 years. The social side and mate ship that has been forged is also great and another great reason to get you into a surf ski. I just turned 40, 2 weeks ago and i feel fitter and stronger than i could of imagined and i put it all down to the great sport of paddling.

One Day we just may end up paddling like this guy!

In short this is more than a promotion of the Stellar brand, it a showcase of what paddling can do, you don’t have to be an Olympian or and ironman/woman to enjoy our sport, being on the water is the best relaxation mode available, once you have purchased your gear the best places a free to explore. Many of our holiday destination’s are coastal, so there is really no excuses to not paddle. You never know the winning goal, run or Olympic gold medal of your very own might just come your way if you get out and go for it. Mine is being able to surf along side my son and him telling me he is tired!