Riviera Paddlesurf presents their inaugural SUP development team (L to R) Alex Higginson, Tyler Jones, Shae Foudy, Reese Schwab, Conrad Rojas, Daniel Russell, coach Mike Eisert and Nick Scheel. Not pictured, Dana Rambo. Courtesy photo

San Clemente-based Riviera Paddlesurf forms a development team for south OC youth

By Andrea Swayne

Riviera Paddlesurf, a San Clemente-based business led by owner Brad Rambo, on November 30 announced the launch of their new stand-up paddle training program for local youth.

A select group of promising SUP racing athletes from south Orange County was chosen to be part of the company’s inaugural development team.

Riviera held a launch event at their warehouse to kick off the program and to present the kids with new stand-up paddleboards and products from supporting sponsors to use during their training. Supporting sponsors include Ocean Minded sandals, Zinka Sunscreen, Kaenon Sunglasses and Hinano clothing, said Riviera sales manager Brandon Rambo.

The eight member team is made up of four girls, Alex Higginson, 9; Shae Foudy, 13; Dana Rambo, 15 and Tyler Jones, 16 and five boys, Conrad Rojas, 10; Nick Scheel, 13; Daniel Russell, 16 and Reese Schwaab, 17.

According to head coach Mike Eisert, the program is based on the idea that dedication, accountability and consistency can all be taught through the sport of SUP and the team’s demanding training schedule will produce successful, physically fit athletes with strong skills as well as an awareness of ocean/water safety and environmental issues.

“The ultimate goal is not only to build strong paddlers, but strong kids with strong values as well,” Eisert said. “These kids are off-the-chart amazing. Every one of them is a solid athlete with a great personality, and none of them have a clue about how good they really could be.”

Eisert’s watersports experience includes coaching as well as national and international level competition in flat water sprint Olympic kayaking, rowing and outrigger canoe paddling. As head coach he will be joined by a team of mentors and assistant coaches that includes athletes, ocean safety professionals, environmental advocates, parents, teachers and other community leaders.

Team members were chosen based on attitude, dedication, ability and a willingness to learn and all have pledged to maintain a high standard in

their schoolwork as well as a dedication to a rigorous training schedule, said Mike Muir, Riviera president.

“We are really excited to be a part of this program and look forward to watching the growth of these young paddlers,” Muir said.

Riviera is looking to expand the program for the spring season by offering additional opportunities and levels of training for other interested athletes. For more information, contact Eisert at danaoccmike@gmail.com.

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