SHE’S A WINNER: Lennox Head stand up paddle board rider Jenny Ryan has won the NSW open women’s title.
SHE’S A WINNER: Lennox Head stand up paddle board rider Jenny Ryan has won the NSW open women’s title. Smithsnsw

Persistence the key for women’s pioneer

LENNOX Head surfer Jenny Ryan can be considered a pioneer for women's stand up paddle boarding in Australia.

Ryan, 33, started out slowly in the sport four years ago and now competes in regular competition.

"When I first started (2010), we didn't even have a women's division," Ryan said.

"Now we have our own division and have a full field of competitors at state titles.

"It's come a long way in only a couple of years."

Ryan recently took out the open division at a New South Wales state event.

It was her first win at state level in NSW after moving to the area from the Gold Coast 12 months ago.

"I was really stoked with the win because I have been competing for a while now," Ryan said.

"I surfed shortboards for about 10 years but this is completely different.

"It was like being back at grommet level and starting all over again.

"Once you start doing stand up in the ocean, it's a whole other world.

"It's all about pulling off the best moves with the paddle when you're out there."

Ryan first got into the sport after a friend with a back injury recommended it.

She was sceptical at first but quickly fell in love with it. "It's hard to describe but a lot of people call it pilates on water," Ryan said.

"It gives you a lot of core strength and is good for the body.

"It takes a bit of getting used to but persistence is the key."

Ryan will have a break from competition now before competing in the Australian championships on the Gold Coast in November.



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