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About Paddle Monster

Paddle Monster is a paddling community created by co-founders Larry Cain and John Beausang in 2016. It began as a paddle training platform, providing subscription-based coaching to paddle athletes around the world. In 2020, Paddle Monster merged with Distressed Mullet, a top online paddle blog started by John Beausang in 2008. Together, these two platforms cover the paddle community and events, provide paddling technique and strategy education, celebrate the people who paddle and for those seeking to train for races, coaching and training programs.

At Paddle Monster, all paddlers are welcome.

No matter what level, no matter what goal, you are one of us. We paddle. We will meet you wherever you are in your learning journey and help you to be more efficient, more confident, more connected, and safer—so that you can enjoy paddling.

Larry Cain

Co-Founder and Head Coach

Undoubtedly the best thing to ever happen to me was finding my way to the Burloak Canoe Club (then the Oakville Racing Canoe Club) at the age of 11 in 1974. My first visit to the club has resulted in more than 40 years of paddling enjoyment, self-discovery, health promoting training, challenging racing and satisfying coaching that I still enjoy today.

In 1976 I remember watching John Wood win a silver medal for Canada in the C1 500m at the Olympic Games in Montreal. I turned to my parents and told them “that is what I want to do”. With excellent direction from coaches and role models and lots of hard work I was able to make that dream come true in 1984 in Los Angeles when I won Olympic gold and silver medals in the C1 500m and C1 1000m. In a seventeen year National Team career I was able to compete in three Olympic Games, two Junior World and ten World Championships in sprint canoe as well as countless World Cup events. Upon retiring from the National Team I raced dragon boat as 5 World Championships winning 7 gold medals. I also raced outrigger, completing 5 Molokai to Oahu crossings in OC-6 (top finish 2nd) and one in OC-1. In September 2010 I started paddling SUP and it’s been the best form of paddling I’ve tried yet. It’s like C1 but standing up and can be done in virtually every kind of water condition. I have raced SUP a bunch, had some great success and done a lot of clinics and coaching.

I was privileged to coach at successful canoe clubs since 1996 and continue to enjoy sharing my passion for paddling with some great athletes at Burloak. We’ve been the best club in Canada at three of the last four National Championships. More recently I’ve worked with the National Team and helped coach some of Canada’s top athletes, including three Olympic medalists. Working in such a successful environment and with some of paddle sport’s top coaches and athletes has been the best learning environment one can have and it’s allowed me to continue to expand my knowledge and find new ways to help people go fast in a paddled watercraft. I’m looking forward to sharing what I’ve learned with you.

John Beausang

Co-Founder

It was 2005 and I’d just moved from New York City to Wilmington, NC after more than a decade as a copywriter and creative director at traditional and digital advertising agencies. My wife enrolled me in a surf camp with bunch of 10 year olds. I was 32 entering a local lineup of people who’d surfed before they could walk. Fortunately, I made a few friends, respected the etiquette and the locals and found my place. I know what it’s like to be new at something. I went to the beach every morning even if just to see the sunrise. I surfed every chance I got.

A few years later, a friend introduced me to stand up paddle boarding and I was hooked. The only problem was that when I was first learning how to paddle, I resembled a mullet in distress. For those of you who don’t know what a mullet is, it’s a stinky baitfish. That was me. I floundered. I fell. Still, SUP became irresistible. No matter how badly I got my ass kicked, I wanted to get better, to paddle more. Flatwater turned into distance paddling, which turned into surfing and downwinders, which turned into open ocean downwinders, then the rivers… dang that’s fun. I started the blog, distressedmullet.com which has turned into one of the top sites for paddleboarding in the world. I met people who paddle from around the world and knew right away I’d found my water family. I paddled the SEA Paddle NYC then Chattajack, started the Carolina Cup and paddled the graveyard as often as I could. Battle of the Paddle, Key West Classic, Catalina Classic, Florida State Championships, Gulf Coast Championships, Causeway to Causeway, Bay Bridge Challenge, Paddle for a Cause, Cold Stroke Classic, Neptunalia, Cape to Cape, OABI, and many, many others.

Distressed Mullet, now part of Paddle Monster, lasted for 12 years and 13,000 posts. We were Blog of the Year for 2016, 2018. In 2014, I pitched Larry Cain on the idea of Paddle Monster and by 2016, Larry was in a spot where we could launch our training platform. Our training community grew.

I live in Wilmington with my wonderfully supportive wife, Amy, waterbaby/daughter, Stella, and my lab, Trixi B, DJ dog.

Lisa Schell

Managing Editor

Lisa is a former news reporter with more than 30 years experience in print and broadcast journalism and state government communications. During her journalism career, she covered state and local politics, as well as military, education and environmental issues in California and North Carolina. In 1993, she became Press Secretary for Fourth District Congressman David Price. After her tour of duty in Washington, D.C. she returned to North Carolina where she worked for over 20 years as lead communications staff for the North Carolina Division of Forest Resources, the North Carolina Aquariums and the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. In 2010, she was hired as the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Social Media Coordinator, becoming the first person in state government hired solely to focus on social media. She wrote the first social media policies for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the NCDOT, and her work was the model for the State of North Carolina’s overall social media policy. During her career, Lisa received recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio and Television News Directors Association of Southern California, the National Federation of Press Women, the Associated Press, the N.C. Association of Government Communications Officers, the N.C. Museum Council and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Lisa is a graduate of California State University, Northridge, where she received a B.A. in Journalism. Lisa also is a standup paddleboard and kayak instructor and outfitter with Recreational Equipment Inc., where she won the company’s prestigious Anderson Award in 2015. Lisa paddles all the things - sup, outrigger, surfski and prone board - and she especially loves downwinding and paddle surfing. She is a six-time Chattajack finisher, racing both sup and OC2. She was born in Kailua, Oahu, Maui and now makes her home in Raleigh, NC.

Tim Myers

Chief Operations/Technology Officer

As a fairly recent transplant - about seven years ago - from the Mid-Atlantic area of the US, I moved to Florida when my three now grown children left me as an empty nester. I was never a water person being landlocked for most of my life, but after moving to South Florida, I took up paddle-boarding recreationally. I was hooked by the beauty of paddling and observing marine life that you can see while standing on water. I, frankly, was dead set against climbing the ladder past recreational paddling.

Three years ago, I connected with a local paddle group that runs a Wednesday night race league, and with my heavy hull displacement board, showed up a bit fearfully and reluctantly and gave it everything I had. The rest is history. I've spent the last three years working on improving including Training from Larry, Travis and Seychelle and local paddle guru Packet Casey. I connected with John a few years ago and have been supporting Distressed Mullet and Paddle Monster for a few years now. When not paddling SUP or OC or growing the Monster, I moonlight as a Technology and Operations leader in Financial Services and related industries.

I live in Fort Lauderdale with my beautiful better half Jen Hulett who is my partner in crime for attacking races from Carolina Cup to Chattajack on our Kaiwaa Gemini.

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