Cyril Burguiere

Ambassador: Cyril Burguiere

How did you come to know of KIALOA and how did you team up?

Living in Portland, OR, I was not too far from Kialoa. I got to know Meg and Dave Chun through Karen and John Wrenn after a race in Bend. I loved the energy!

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

It means being part of a family and a brand that represents more than just the race or the act of paddling. There is so much tradition and thought behind the product and the brand. I am honored to be a steward of KIALOA’s brand.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a middle-aged French/American guy that has managed to balance, and continues to try and balance, elite paddling, demanding corporate job and beautiful supportive family. We have moved around a bit with corporate energy-related jobs, but settled in Montana. I consider myself a mountain man, even though I crave the ocean all the time.

2017 Events

The big races I try to make each year are Carolina Cup (NC – tentative), Race the Lake of the Sky (CA), Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge (OR), Pacific Paddle Games (CA). Local races sprinkled in between in the Northwest, including Missoula, MT and Couer d’Alene, ID.

What organizations are you a part of?

I coach youth in cross country skiing.

Dream event to compete in? 

I dream of competing in Europe, since I grew up there. I haven’t figured out the logistics yet, but I work for a company based in Bilbao and one of my major clients, Iberdrola, sponsors the SUP race there. The races in my home country, France, seem really well organized as well.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Early on, I wanted to be Indiana Jones - I was fascinated by history and earth sciences. I also dreamed of being an NBA basketball player in my teenage years.

What are some of your favorite things to do?

Being active in the outdoors and pushing my limits. I love hard efforts and tough conditions where I cover a lot of ground – wind, chop and whitewater on the SUP; hard uphill efforts on the skis. Best of all, combing all the above with a bike into a multi-sport adventure.

What's your favorite food? Salmon.

What is your favorite restaurant when you visit KIALOA in Bend, OR?

Nothing beats the Chun’s place!

What music are you listening to these days?

My playlist if full of songs my daughters are into right now…I need to find myself again…

Favorite place to visit? Glacier National Park, MT.

How did you get started in Paddle sports? 

I was into kiteboarding and living in Portland, a block away from the Willamette River and Gorge Performance surf shop. I tried for the first time and did my first race all in the same weekend.

What is your pre-race meal?

Same as everyday, oatmeal and coffee.

What do you like to eat/drink after paddling?

Anything and everything. I need food ASAP.

Proudest paddling moment?

Race the Lake of the Sky, Tahoe 2014. I had a wonderful time. I raced really well against tough competition and also closed my largest wind farm sales (two very large orders) that same weekend.

What was your scariest paddling experience?

Paddling on an inflatable way too early in the season on the large St. Lawrence River in Montreal, Quebec amongst massive ice sheets floating around and closing in on me from all directions.

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

To be able to balance it all, I have to plan the year out (after several years planning, I now go a lot more by feel) and my only chance at success is preparation, so that I can ride through the inevitable conflicts and constraints that my job and family life present throughout the year. I paddle as much as possible – long efforts working my weaknesses, balance and technique, a couple interval sessions a week. In the winter I create a huge aerobic base for the paddling season with my training and racing in ski rando and Nordic skiing, then I have to put in major effort to get my strength and power back up in the spring for paddling season.

Where is your favorite place to paddle?

St. Mary Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana.

Any paddlers you look up to?

I have great admiration for a lot of paddlers and the top males and females in each discipline, but most of all being around paddlers grounds me and reminds me of what is important in life. I usually come back high on life from SUP events and races.

Were did you grow up and what was it like?

I grew up in Europe (Netherlands, France, Scotland) and Africa (Nigeria, Tunisia, Gabon), before moving to the United States (Montana) during my late-teenage years. I have always loved travel and it has given me such an open mind and large perspective.

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

I used to shave words and designs in my hair during those basketball years.

What were some things that you and your friends did as kids?

I was always making new friends and most our time revolved around sports – soccer, basketball. In Gabon, we spent a lot of time on a remote beach where my father built a tree house in the palm trees. Just getting out through the jungle and sands to that beach in the Land Rover was an adventure. 

Something you want out of life? Balance and achieve.

What are some qualities that you value in a person? Honesty and patience.

What inspires you to do ‘good’ in the world?

Those moments and positive reactions when I see ‘good’ play itself out.

What is something your really proud of and why?

Seeing my kids becoming little individuals partly shaped by their environment.

What are some goals your still trying to accomplish?

I have added winter sports to my mix and have some goals set there. In paddling, I still want to experience that race season where all my training comes together with least impact from my job. 

How would you describe yourself in 3 words? Determined, patient, kind.

Any nicknames you go by?

The kids I ski coach call me ‘cereal’ (but only kids can call me that, okay?)