Meet Joe Paddler: Rob Moran, Cary, NC

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Joe Paddler Rob Moran

Where you were born and where you live now?

Born in Appleton, WI but am a North Carolinian and live just outside Raleigh in Cary, NC.

What is your occupation?

Pediatric Dentist. It’s afforded me the opportunity and time to do the things I love over the years.

Where do you SUP the most?

Wrightsville Beach, NC, Hilton Head, SC and the lakes around Raleigh.

Joe Paddler Rob Moran

Do you have a favorite local paddleboard shop?

Carolina Paddleboard Company in Wrightsville Beach, NC. They’ve never steered me wrong and always have the best advice, so SHOP LOCAL!

What paddleboard, surfski or OC do you ride most?

Hobie Apex 4R and Hobie CMLB Comp

Do you own any other paddleboards, surfskis or OCs and what kind?

I started with a Walden Magic Model which I have since sold for more SUP “gear”. I also currently own a Riviera 10’6″.

What paddle do you use?

I have a Quickblade V-Drive for racing and Starboard High Aspect Super Flex BX for surf and racing.

Have you changed boards/paddles/equipment since you started? If so, why?

Oh yeah. I’m fairly new to SUP and started with a heavy Walden and got my first race board, the Hobie Apex 4R in February 2016. Since then I’ve got the Hobie CMLB surf board and most recently the QB V-Drive paddle. I definitely plan to get a new, lighter race board soon and as I progress in the surf, add to the surf quiver.

Joe Paddler Rob Moran

If you could travel to anywhere in the world to paddle, where would you go?

I’ve spent most of my time prior to paddling in the Mountains out west so this is all new to me. I think I’d love to go to Costa Rica or Hawaii.

Best piece of SUP advice you’ve ever received?

Anything Jason or April at Carolina Paddleboard tells me. Right now I’ll listen to anything… I’m still learning it all.

Weirdest thing that’s happened to you while paddling?

Nothing too weird so far but like I said I’m still a little new. Check back with me later.. I’m sure something will happen. Absent minded? Maybe. Most recently hustled out to the Inlet to meet April for an Inlet session and lesson, was dropped off at the south end of F8, hiked in and just as I got in the water realized I forgot my leash. April gave me hers to use because, you know, she’s that good.

Favorite SUP nutrition? (During races/ during a long haul)

I’ve always been a fan of NUUN tabs and GU. GU has been a good sponsor over the years and it works for me. Another great pre-race item is Generation UCAN. I even use that in a bottle during long events.

Goals for this next year?

Just to get better at it all, racing and surfing both. My main goal is the Carolina Cup Graveyard. I’ve registered so I guess I’m committed. I’ve got April helping with a training plan and a great training group for stoke and encouragement. I also think it would be cool to see more teams and clubs. It works great in cycling and that is a great model as the sport grows.

Favorite post-paddle nosh (snack/beer/recovery drink)

Burritos, pizza, water and then Bud Light…. I’m a simple guy when it comes to this. Maybe a Long Board or Negro Modelo too.

Your favorite non-paddle thing to do.

Not sure there’s enough space to include it all… I’ll try a lot. I’ve been fortunate to have raced bikes for the last 25 years and have been all over the US. My first love is skiing. Always will be but that’s a little hard to do all the time living in NC.

Joe Paddler Rob Moran

What piece of SUP gear do you wish someone would invent?

Maybe not a piece of gear but a way to ensure everyone goes out self sufficient and safe. Always have a leash and PFD, especially if you’re by yourself. And be prepared for the conditions. You see it with accidents in the backcountry, oftentimes tragic, while skiing and people riding in the woods and trails with super high end bikes but no tube and pump. It can be basic and simple but it needs to be there. As SUP grows, so does awareness of safety and self reliance.

What’s your biggest challenge with SUP?

Like most “Joe Paddlers” finding time to paddle since I don’t live on the water. And personally, because I feel like I’ve reached a pretty high level with cycling and skiing I immediately want to be good at SUP… especially surfing. It’s an absolute blast!

What is your proudest moment in a SUP race or event?

Hopefully it’ll be the Graveyard this April. So far its been Jason and Chris’s suggestion for my Hobie CMLB and then catching waves on it… I haven’t had a piece of new gear that’s been that much of a game changer in years. In the future without question it’ll be when my daughter joins me out paddling

Tell us about the best friend(s) you made through paddling.

Like cycling and skiing, I think anyone who likes to get outside and get after it, at any level, are great people. Since starting to race I’ve connected with a great group of people and no doubt we’ll all become closer friends as I continue to do this. I’ve got a great training group through April Zilg. Jason, Chris and the gang at Carolina Paddleboard are great along with a couple guys I seem to be with at all the races. The really cool thing is the guys I work with on a daily basis also ski and paddle so we are constantly planning, checking out and talking about new SUP gear, watching surf videos and paddling together.

Joe Paddler Rob Moran

What was your best SUP travel trip?

So far 2016 Chucktown Showdown. I raced well in my division and it also coincided with the tail end of tropical storm Julia so there were great clean waves right outside where we staying in Isle of Palms.

What makes a good Joe or Jane Paddler? Someone who’s just an everyday, stoked up, fun, enthusiastic paddler, hopefully with a good story or two to tell…not looking for pros, even though we love them too, nope, just your typical paddler next door.  Is that you? Want to be featured as a Joe or Jane Paddler or know someone who’d make a good one?  Fill out the questionnaire!

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