After an an amazing Brand Ambassador search which led to 72 entries in 22 different countries, we are excited to welcome Katherine (Kat) Pyne to the #livelovesup Family! We're excited to have her join us as we continue to spread the SUP stoke worldwide and she definitely knows "It's More Than Just a Board and a Paddle" - now it's time to meet Kat!

Where do you live?
Bradenton, FL. I’ve been in the area my whole life. I’m 26. Love it here!

How long have you been paddling?
I got a board while in college. I’m thinking 2012??
Katherine Kat Pyne Live Love SUP Brand Ambassador

Tell us about your first experience on a SUP? What got you hooked?!
I remember it so well! I bought the board I was using the next day! Haha. It was a rough day on the water, pretty choppy and windy but still nice out! We had a group of 3 of us going. One guy had a lot of experience and we went with him. We were all on raceboards and did a 7 mile loop that went around this island. It was so challenging and so much fun. I remember being so tired and sore. I couldn’t believe it. And I think that got me hooked!

Where's your favorite local place to paddle?
This is tough, there’s so many good spots around. But I really love going in the Gulf of Mexico along the beach. The water is usually so clear and you see so many animals! Every time I go, it’s different. Spotted eagle rays, manatees, dolphins, sharks, fevers of stingrays, starfish, big conch shells, sea turtles, I don’t get that in rivers, lakes or anywhere inland. There’s also something nice about looking out into the distance and seeing only water. 

What do you most like about SUP?
The people I’ve met through the sport and the people I’ve gotten into the sport.

Race the Reef Kat Pyne

Tell us some places on your SUP bucket list? Any future SUP travels on the calendar?
I haven’t thought too big about this but Lake Tahoe is on there! Paddling in the Maldives or Fiji would def be on my list. Nothing on the calendar yet! I’m pretty last minute!

What does Live Love SUP mean to you?
Getting into SUP has made me more aware of the problems we face with pollution. Now, more than ever, I have seen firsthand what is happening. The water is where I am the happiest and right now, my area has been dealing with a water crisis. “Red Tide” has taken over most of South Florida. Manatees, dolphins, fish, sea turtles, are all dying and there’s nothing we can do. I have not gone to the beach or paddled in the gulf for over a month. To me, Live Love SUP means to protect our oceans and educate people what is going on and how easy it is for them to change their habits to make the world a better place. We all should want to Live and enjoy the earth, not destroy it, and Love the animals by protecting them from our harmful ways, so we can continue to SUP and explore the outdoors like we are supposed to do. 

You both race, tell us about your training? And what do you recommend to any first timers looking at taking part in their first race?
First timers should talk to people who have been doing the sport. I remember my first race was a beach start. I had no idea what that meant. I had no idea how to turn(it was 4 laps with 7 turns each lap!), so I asked around and met up with people who were more than happy to get me feeling confident. I’m going to say that most people who paddle are super awesome. They will not turn anyone away who wants to try to SUP! As for my training, all depends on what races I’m planning to do. But I paddle about 3-4 times a week. What I think that keeps me going is cross training. I also run, play tennis, bike, slackline, and try to just get outside. I also make sure to chill some days. 

What's your favorite off the water activity?
I love to spend time with my boyfriend and family! I have 3 sisters and we are all super close.

What's your favorite pre/post paddle snack or meal?
Right before a race I normally just eat a Larabar an hour before I go out. But I do love fruits like watermelon and bananas. After a paddle sesh, I just eat whatever I’m craving! Sometimes it’s pancakes or a big sub. My nutrition isn’t super on point. Haha. I always like to end the day with something sweet, like ice cream! That’s definitely a priority cause after paddling, I’ve earned it!

Live Love SUP Apparel and Goods - Katherine Pyne Live Love SUP Ambassador

Any must have on the water when you SUP besides your board and paddle? GoPro!

What do you do when you're not paddling? What's your day job?
I work as a social media coordinator 5 days a week and give some tennis lessons, too! #sidehustle

Where do you see the future of SUP heading?
I really want SUP to become more organized! Rowing has done it! We need to follow in their footsteps. I would love to see SUP as a college sport so if I ever have kids they can get a scholarship!

What was your first SUP board? What board do you ride now? I got a raceboard right from the start! 12’6 x 25 HovieSup Comet. I currently ride a 12’6 x 24 Flying Fish Board.

Tell us more!? Anything else to share?

My craziest sup experience to date was having a 12-foot hammerhead go right along my board. I was just paddling right outside the swim buoys at the beach. I saw a dorsal start to come out of the water. At first, I was like ohhh, a dolphin, but then the fin continued to come out of the water and I saw the tail poke out too! It turned and headed right for me! It went right alongside my board, that’s how I know it was about 12 feet. It was insane. I’ve never had an animal in the wild that big come up that close to me.

Race the Reef Key West Florida Kat Pyne Stand Up Paddler - Live Love SUP

My dream is to paddle with whale sharks. They keep getting spotted offshore and I would love to just be out there one day and see one. That would be AMAZING!