Team Speedboard Athlete Profile – Nathan Bankson

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Nathan Bankson

Nathan Bankson

Team Speedboard rider Nathan Bankson has not been racing for very long but he is quickly establishing himself as a guy to catch. Nathan is a prime athlete and ambassador for Speedboard – a very active person who jumped on a board and became passionate about it. He shares how he became involved in the sport and his training plan.

Nathan Bankson

Age: 34

Army Officer and Judge Advocate

Currently serving as a civil litigation attorney at Fort Belvoir VA.

2013 Highlights thus far: 1st place in a race in DC, 4th  in the Money Island race at the Carolina Cup, and 3rd at the Dominion River Rock 2013 SUP Enduro.

Paddling is my peace!

I grew up on the waters of the Pacific Northwest.  From Snohomish, Washington originally, went to college outside of Tacoma, Washington and Law School in Portland, Oregon.  I have always loved the water and have done every water sport other than whitewater kayaking; from sailing through the San Juan Islands to whitewater rafting on Hood River, Oregon and most recently SUP.  I picked up SUP during a two-week vacation during my last deployment.  My wife and I flew from Baghdad, Iraq to Hawaii and jumped on a couple of SUPs and I was hooked.  We are incredibly active people and yet I had never been so sore! I knew this was the sport for me.

Upon finishing our deployment in 2010, I bought my first board, a 12’6 Riviera Paddlesurf Ron House Race/Tour board.  It was perfect for what I was doing in the Puget Sound and the lakes near Fort Lewis, Washington.

We moved to DC shortly after that and I ran into Kathy Summers (now a fellow Team Speedboard rider). She had the market on ULI inflatables and she let me demo one of her boards and inspired me to compete in an upcoming race – Paddle for Humanity. I ended up buying an inflatable to ride some standing waves near Great Falls National Park and fell deeper in love with the sport. The best part is the people.  I have met some of the greatest folks at the races and on the water. We all love the same thing and it creates an amazing bond.

After my first race in 2011 I became hooked on going fast. In 2012 I met Bill Gassett and discovered Speedboards.  After I tried his board at a race in Annapolis I knew that I had to have one.  I contacted Andy and MHL got to work on a 14’.  Getting used to the narrow board and finding the secondary stability took some work.  I managed to podium in one race.  Determined to do better, I upped my game and focused hard on the 2013 season.

Nathan Bankson (far left) on the podium after another successful race.

Nathan Bankson (far left) on the podium after the Dominion River Rock 2013 SUP Enduro

My training plan:

Eat as healthy as possible

Get enough rest–frustrated by my little baby boy

Crossfit/functional fitness/TRX three times a week

3 mile run with my 2 labs three times a week as fast as I can go (currently 6:55/mi pace)

Paddle every other day:

5-10 min warm up, 4-7.5 miles of hard paddling, 5-10 min cool down

I do sprint starts (25-50 paddles choked up as hard as I can) and turns at least once a week.

One day on the weekend I jump on my Badfish MVP 8’0 and surf some waves north of DC.  This is fantastic for balance and fast twitch muscles.

I have recently incorporated the TRX Rip Trainer into my routine as well.  I get on a bosu ball and paddle using the medium resistance for 1000 strokes.  This helps balance and the negative of the paddle.  Since the stroke is not the full range of motion and largely one sided, the Rip Trainer enables full range of motion and also resistance on the entire stroke.

My primary goals are to keep having fun and find my way to the podium as frequently as possible.

Nathan slows down and rides the wave – Video


Speedboard USA

About Speedboard USA

Speedboard USA is a stand-up paddle (SUP) board company designing and building innovative boards for the performance paddler. Each Speedboard is specifically designed to promote paddling efficiency, enabling elite racers, avid paddlers and SUP enthusiasts to move through the water faster, with less effort.

The 2013 board line-up has been designed to bring the all out speed you expect from Speedboard USA designs and some additional ”tweeks” to make them perform better. All of the boards feature a slightly raised foredeck to create a sharper “spill angle” for waves, low wind signature and greater rigidity. Enhanced rail thickness at the shoulder and our “wishbone” deck shape further add to the stiff flex profile of these boards. Stiffer is faster.

Our 2013 lineup includes the R55 e Unlimited Marathon Machine, 3-different 14′s, and a 12’6″. All of these boards offer the ultimate glide and are suitable for anyone who desires performance, quality, and a made in the USA product!

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