MADE THE MULLET :: Madeline Leblanc

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Maddi Leblanc

Maddi is one of those paddlers who we see on our timeline every week. She’s always stoked and always paddling. That is our measure of Made-the-Mullet-ness. Maddi is primarily a SUP paddler who trains, races, and plays on her Starboard Allstar in Ontario, Canada. When she’s not on her SUP, she’s prone paddling or surfing.

Where is your favorite place to paddle?

Welland Ontario – The Welland Recreational Canal specifically. Welland is home for me, and this paddling location will always have a special place in my heart. The canal is long and flat, which allows me to grind out long paddles and work on my technique.
Photo of your crew and/or where you paddle

What is your favorite event and why?

My favourite event is the Lake Ontario Paddleboard Crossing Race. This is because I get to paddle in a relay team across a very special body of water we have here in Canada. We start the race in Niagara and finish the 32 mile race in Toronto. This race tests my will and determination as a paddler and is always so worth every sore muscle. The feeling you get when everyone greets you at the finish line is so indescribable. It motivates me to come back to this race every year. I love it!!!

What is your favorite paddling moment and why?

My favourite paddling moment is when I get to host my annual fundraiser ‘On Board’ every year. It is a 5km SUP ride for brain cancer research that takes place on the Welland Recretional Canal. This is my favourite paddling moment because I put so much hard work and time into planning this event every year and when the day comes and I get to paddle with everyone, I always realize in that moment that it was worth every ounce of hard work.

This event attracts lots of SUP racers and new comers to the event, and I love seeing the SUP community grow at this event year after year. Its a fun day out on the water while giving back to those who meant so much to my Welland community.

Do you have a bucket list event?

I have soooo MANY!!
I love distance races so I definitely want to do these events in the future:
– M2O
– Chattajack
– Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge

What are you grateful for?

Just being able to paddle. SUP has changed my life in so many miraculous ways, and I feel so blessed that I found SUP. When I was ten years old I was introduced to the sport of stand up paddle boarding. I bought my first paddle board in 2012, and started paddling in 2013. In 2014 I started my own stand up paddle board fundraiser called ‘On Board’, which then introduced me to the world of ‘SUP’ racing. My racing career started in 2016, and in 2017 not only did I get certified to teach SUP, I also got picked up by my current stand up paddling sponsor company called ‘Starboard’. This past summer while working for Paddle Niagara I also hit a huge accomplishment in my athletic career by winning the overall title for women’s elite division in the Ontario SUP Series. My passion for the sport of stand up paddling has largely effected my undergrad career at the University of Waterloo as well. This summer I was fortunate enough to turn that passion into my last co-op job working as a SUPKids camp director for Paddle Niagara. Since beginning my paddling journey, I have learned and seen so many diverse sides of the sport that make it truly unique and one that I highly recommend everyone try at least once in their lifetime. I am so grateful for my paddling journey and I am super stoked to see where it will go in the near future 🙂

Advice or tips for paddlers?

HAVE FUN!!! Paddling is only as fun as you make it! Yes, there are days where training is hard, but never take the time you have out on the water for granted. I am currently finishing up my undergrad career at the University of Waterloo and it can be so hard not being able to get out on the water for a week or two. So all I can say is that if you can get out on the water, just enjoy every single moment of it, even if its not easy.

Do you have a favorite charity?

Besides my own personal charity, I also love Paddle 4 the Cure in Barrie!

Comments

I just want to say a quick thank you to everyone who has supported me as a paddler and has recognized my passion for the sport. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the support of these people below so thanks again for everything:
– Mom + Dad (YOU’RE THE BEST!)
– Glen Buchanan from Starboard SUP North America and the Ontario SUP Series
– Tim Bala from Paddle Niagara
– Coach Larry Cain from Paddle Monster
– Coach Jessica Rando from the Paddle Coach
– All of On Boards event sponsors: Check it out at: http://Facebook.com/maddisrideonboard