Interview with Gina Bradley of Paddle Diva

By Sharon Feiereisen

If there’s one trend that has noticeably taken off in the last few years it’s undoubtedly Stand Up Paddle Board Surfing (SUP). Lucky for us Paddle Diva founder Gina Bradley tells us that SUP is easier than it looks. We chatted with the East Hampton-based workout maven to find out more about what to expect when doing this growingly popular sport, her favorite snacks, and more.

Best summer getaways?

Into the bays and waterways of Long Island on my SUP. I try to find a new place to discover every week!

Best trip you ever had for your health and fitness and what did you do?

SUP Surfing in Ricon, PR. SUP is a challenge but fuse surfing into it and you've got a recipe for staying in prime shape! It's not joke, you have to have everything working correctly – there is no wiggle room. I find I get in my best shape after a week of hitting the waves

Playlist go tos?

I’m an outside exercisers I listen to the sounds that surround me not music. I like the quiet that comes along with the times most people want music, even in the car!

Stand Up Paddle is a huge trend right now. To what do you attribute that?

The ease of learning is a big reason this sport is so popular, also lighter, less expensive gear has made it more attractive to all. I continue to believe that the key to the success of this sport is to encourage woman to try it and watch them become addicted!

What kind of strength is it important to have in order to be successful?

The most important strength to have for SUP is the willingness to learn! Your core strength will follow. Many clients come to me and say they have 'bad balance' which is rarely true, everyone has balance, SUP is like walking as long as you look ahead and where you are going you will stay on the board and glide gracefully along.

What should someone who is unfamiliar with SUP be prepared for when trying it for the first time?

I recommend watching the Paddle Diva videos on YouTube so you can be prepared and understand how easy the sport is. I like to have clients practice going from a kneel to a stand. This is how we get you up and paddling, so if you can do that, you are ready for your class!

What’s a typical workout week like for you?

I mix it up; I never do anything the same. I live to workout and workout to live! I love mountain biking, windsufing, trail running, power walking on the beach, TRX fitness classes, Yoga, and of course I SUP year round. One of my favorite local SUP things to do is long, one way down wind paddles!

Have you tried wearing VPL for your workouts?

Yes, I loved how the outfits felt, wet or dry they were amazing.

What are your go-to workout shoes? Accessories?

I paddle bare foot! So my go to shoe is often a flip-flop! The accessory I can't live with out is my 'neckerchief' it's a tube like neck gater in cotton. I wear it for all my workouts once the temps drop!

Favorite healthy eatery in the Hamptons?

I live in East Hampton year-round; my favorite healthy spot to get food is Provisions. You can find me there just about every day for lunch after a workout! Steamed Greens and Beans. It's my staple!
Favorite healthy snack?

Bannana and organic almonds.

Guilty pleasure?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream with Richardson's caramel sauce and pecans.

Favorite pre and post workout snack?

Water and raw nuts.

What a fitness myth that drives you crazy?

If you exercise you can eat anything you want. You body is a machine, YOUR machine and paying attention to what you put in is so key to overall health and wellness.

If we looked in your fridge, what would we always find?

Kale, ginger, organic Pineapple juice and parsley.

If we looked in your gym bag, what would we always find?

My reusable water bottle and a swimsuit… You never know when the ocean calls you to take a dunk!

How does maintaining a healthy lifestyle affect your everyday life in a positive way?

I feel great every day. I try to spread my infectious energy to everyone I meet. I love being polite and positive to every single person I meet throughout my day. I live under the premise we are all doing the best job we can at any given moment!