Coreban International is the new Southern African distributor of SUP brand Mistral. They will be making the brand available to any reputable dealers in the area, says owner Gary van Rooyen. “Mistral is a lifestyle brand as well as a SUP brand,” he explains. “Their offering extends from SUP, windsurfing, footwear, clothing, watches, sunglasses to kayaks.” On the other hand, “Coreban has strengths that are specific that fit perfectly into the gaps in Mistral’s range.”
For example, they are distributing Coreban custom boards to South African retailers and Van Rooyen foresees a collaboration of Mistral by Coreban (shaped and designed) in the areas that Coreban is strong in. These areas would include technical surfing, down winding, long board style and foiling. These custom board will be available in South Africa from December and worldwide from November 2018.
Worldwide the SUP market is growing and the profile of competitors changing. At the recent ISA SUP & Paddleboard World Championship in Denmark there were kids as young as ten years representing their countries, says Van Rooyen. “Six years ago, the average age was 34!”
Aged 59, Van Rooyen was one of the oldest competitors in SUP surfing. Another South African team member, Kit Beaton is 49 – yet came 7th in the Paddle Technical event and 12th in the Paddle Distance event.
“Our South African team racers will need to really train hard, commit to camps and step up their game to compete nowadays,” says Van Rooyen. “Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Denmark, France and the US are all incredibly strong and professional in their approach.”
Despite being deprived of strong national as well as international competition due to the cost of travelling long distances to compete, South Africa’s SUP team did us proud by finishing 10th out of 42 competing countries. South Africa was one of seven teams to compete in every event, which contributed to their 7 740 team points total.
The women, especially, performed well. Tamsyn Foster reached the semi-finals in the Women’s SUP Surf competition and Jacqueline Le Court De Billiot came 5th in the Sprint Women’s Final.