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    December 17

  • 07:04 AM

Talma: Paddle surfing the next big thing

rhondathompson, rhondathompson@nationnews.com

Added 13 May 2012

briantalma

THE ACTION MAN is pushing Barbados in another action sport. Windsurfing might have made his career, but Brian Talma believes paddle surfing will be sports tourism’s “next big thing” after recently promoting both the sport and the country at a major surfing event in Austria. The former world-rated pro and Olympian made the comments in an interview with SUNSPORT one week after returning from Europe. “It was a great success and really huge for Barbados,” he said of the multi-sport surfing meet in Austria. “Paddle surfing is exploding in such a way that I would’ve never imagined, and it’s one of the easiest sports to get into. It’s similar to kite-surfing and it’s a hip sport because it’s not like kayaking. “In Barbados it’s taking off too and it will eventually surpass surfing, windsurfing and kite-surfing. And when it comes to sports tourism, it has a huge niche market,” he added. As part of his Beach Culture World Tour, Talma participated in a 60-kilometre paddle surfing team event as an acclaimed windsurfer trying to advance the sport’s cause. The week-long meet also included a paddle-surfing sprint event, with other competitions in windsurfing and kite-surfing. “For the whole weekend they had almost 100 000 people, so you can understand that’s a lot of numbers taking an interest in the sport,” reasoned the veteran action sports personality. “And next month I go to tour Turkey and Germany – all in an effort to promote Barbados through the sport because we’re just trying to relate culture to sports.” (JM)

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