When you first see a photo of Noa Hopper, he looks like the quintessential California surfer dude -- blonde, tanned and healthy. As one of Garden of Life’s youngest sponsored athletes with the YOLO Paddle Board Race Team, the talented teenager is taking the stand up paddle board (SUP) circuit by a storm and spending his summer competing throughout the country.
On July 20, 14-year-old Noa competed in the Red Bull Revolt Summer Series in San Diego. Not only did he compete, but he won the Junior SUP race and took home some amazing prizes, including a new GS Skateboard.
When Noa is not racing for YOLO, he competes in Junior Kayak. In August, he will travel to Oklahoma for the 2013 USA Canoe/Kayak Sprint Nationals & Paracanoe Nationals. A win could help him potentially become part of the US Olympic team for Kayak.
Noa is also getting ready to compete in the Battle of the Paddle, a grueling race against some of stand-up paddle boarding’s most elite athletes of all ages at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, CA. Over 1,000 racers from all over the world are expected to be in attendance on July 27-28. Racers will also be taking part in two new Guinness World Record attempts, with the first on Saturday to break the record for “the world’s largest paddleboard race” of “404” paddlers that set the record at last year’s event. On Sunday, racers will try to break the existing record for “most surfers riding a single wave” (currently 110 surfers in Cape Town, SAF, 2009). Last year the Battle of the Paddle was very close with 95 surfers catching a wave off Doheny State Beach.
Since starting his new Garden of Life products, Noa has been making shakes and smoothies inspired by his friend and mentor, Garden of Life sponsored YOLO Boarder EJ Johnson. He’s been trying different combinations of juices and Raw Protein flavors and says they are much better and less chalky than other proteins he’s tried. His mother, Susie, said that Garden of Life has been the catalyst for him making positive changes to his diet and declaring, “no more fast food, ever!” That’s music to any Mom’s ears!