Ben Gareiss

Ambassador: Ben Gareiss

How did you come to know of KIALOA and how did you team up – what was the evolution of this relationship?

I started by using the product and fell in love with the quality. From there I connected with the company to represent the brand here in Michigan!

What does being a steward of the KIALOA brand mean to you?

I think it means to always try to be positive and willing to share the stoke with everyone you meet regardless of skill level or background.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live on the Great lakes in Northern Michigan & got introduced to watersports at a young age & have been addicted to water ever since! I have two sons now that have that same passion whether is fishing, paddling or snorkeling. I mainly paddle standup and compete in our regional WPA series as well as some National events.

2017 /2018 Events you participated/will participate in?

In 2017 I raced most of our regional races for our “Midwest SUP series” as well as Carolina cup & Gorge paddle challenge. In 2018 I will continue to participate in our regional series along with some national events TBD!

What community events, charity participation or other organizations are you a part of?

Right now I am involved with a local race organizer “RaceTC” helping with a few local races here. This year I have been involved (when time allows) with a new Canoe club that was started here in my home town. Outside of paddling I participate in a local event that raises a large amount of money for breast cancer research “bras for a cause”!

What are some of your favorite things?

My kids, my wife, fish tacos & my Kialoa paddle!

What's are some of your favorite things to do?

Standup paddle & surf.

What's your favorite food?

Fish tacos & breakfast burritos.

What music are you listening to these days – what is on your favorite playlist?

Stickfigures, Jia Wolf and Jack Johnson.

Favorite place to visit?My home.

How did you get started in Paddle sports?

I was introduced to paddling by my Dad.

What is your pre-race meal?

Avocado, banana & oats smoothie or a Breakfast burrito.

What do you like to eat/drink after paddling? Protein shake.

Proudest paddling moment?

When I won the overall WPA Midwest series 2016 & this year!

What was your scariest paddling experience?

I was separated from my board on a downwind run in winter last year when my leash came loose.

Tell us a little about how you train for paddling races?

I use a periodized program I use based on my events & love to cross train with running, biking and weights.

Where is your favorite place to paddle? Lake Michigan.

Any paddlers you look up to? Anyone in the top 100!

Were did you grow up and what was it like?

Michigan, cold in the winter & hot in the summer.

As a child did you have pets? Yes! A dog named Gus

What are some of the crazy fads you and your friends went through?

I was huge into rollerblading growing up!

What did you do for fun as a child?

Wakeboard, snowboard, skate, BMX & paddle.

Something you want out of life?

For my kids to grow up happy and feeling loved and supported.

What are some qualities that you value in a person? Positivity.

Proudest accomplishment? Becoming a father.

If you could re-experience one thing in your life, what would it be?

I would love to marry my wife again because it was one of the best days of my life.

What is something your really proud of and why?

Proud of my sons, they are so unique in their own way but both smart and good hearted kids.

What are some goals your still trying to accomplish?

Big results at national events and learning to foil.

Who are your heroes? My father.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words? Goofy, kind & goofy.

If you were an animal, what would you be?  A monkey.

Any nicknames you go by? Benny.

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