Originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin, Westy now resides in Chicago, where he sometimes paddles through ice-covered waters. He began racing on a lark – the result of a friend’s dare that he couldn’t complete the 12 mile Key West Paddleboard Classic. Finish he did, and ultimately he assumed an integral role for the annual event, serving as the Race Director for 4 years. Westy continued competing and has experienced much success in the 14′ elite racing circuit.

In addition to SUP, Westy has recently added paddling outrigger canoes to his training regimen and enjoys the boost oc-1 training has given his stand up racing. He’s looking forward to spreading the YOLO vibe at events across the country as a team rider. Westy is also sponsored by Kialoa paddles, H2O Overdrive, On It Pro, Kaenon and Watermans Applied Science.

When he’s not paddling, Westy is director of operations atĀ  Chicago Paddle Company, in Chicago, IL.

What is your idea of a perfect day?
Get up early and take a run, followed by breakfast and coffee. After the caffeine rush I would hit up a Bikram Yoga class to get centered and stretched out. Meet up with friends and get on the water for a long paddle. Just cruise and enjoy natureĀ  and each other’s company. Once we’re all finished it’s time to light up the grill and get cooking! Everyone brings a bit of food to toss on the barbecue and we enjoy dinner outside on the deck. That’s a day that would be better than most!

How would you describe your style?
Barefoot and board shorts for sure!

Who or what inspires you?
People that take themselves to their limit. We’ve all seen it before. A person takes on monumental task and it pushes them to just break down. I love seeing that moment where you’re confronted with a choice; quit or push harder. It seems that most will just keep going, keep striving. That’s pretty inspiring.

What is your greatest indulgence?
The “shower beer”! After an intense training session I like to grab a beer, preferably some flavor from the North Coast Brewery in Northern California and enjoy it in a hot shower. It’s relaxing! (There are going to be paddlers who read this who ask themselves, “why didn’t I think of that?”) I don’t make it a habit but the shower beer is always a nice treat.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Members of the military, particularly those in the Wounded Warriors Project. Talking with these warriors you realize how much they sacrifice for us. They are heroes, no question about that.

What’s your motto in life?
Never Too Late