Janneke Smits is the official SUP Ultra-Distance Queen. A winner 2 years running of the non-stop 220km edition of the SUP 11 Cities (paddling a Mistral Vortex) and recently she set a new world 24hr distance SUP record. In this years event, she will again contest the non-stop edition of the race, paddling our new Mistral Vortex SD1 race board. She will then back up from this and take on the 5 day stage of the event, paddling our Mistral Stealth 17’6″ board as a demonstration of this uniquely brilliant design, complete with rudder system.

Janneke is the owner of Jaba SUP and Supboardshop.  In 2010 she left the sport of Rafting at which she competed at the highest level. The urge to undertake and take a sport seriously again was still there and when she came into contact with Stand Up Paddling, she was convinced that that was the right combination.

In 2013 she founded Jaba SUP. In Gouda / Reeuwijk there was still nothing in the field of Stand Up Paddling while the possibilities to explore the area from the water are endless. In addition to the SUP school, she also started participating in competitions. Both at national and international level she participated in competitions where ultra long distance appeals to her most. These are competitions where you paddle more than 100 km continuously or paddle for more than 24 consecutive hours. The SUP 11 Cities is the best known ultra long distance competition in the Netherlands. When you paddle this non-stop you are between 24 and 32 hours on the road.

Janneke took over Supboardshop in April 2014, a webshop in the field of SUP materials providing an ideal opportunity for her to expand her business. In this way she can offer the equipment and provide people with the right advice, both on the water and when purchasing or renting materials. Since 2016, together with 3 other SUP-trainers, she trains people to become recognized SUP instructors under the flag of the Watersportverbond.

Besides her wish to introduce as many people as possible to the the sport in a fun way, she also has another (social) goal in mind, the reduction of litter. Because of the paddling, she is  very much on the water which has a relaxing effect on her, however, she sees a less pleasant side of society, namely pollution. The water is heavily polluted by litter.  Since April 2017 she has been allowed to clean the waterways of the Gemeente Gouda for 8 hours a week. From her SUP she can travel everywhere and place the rubbish on the front of her board using a waste stick. Schools take this issue seriously and that is why they combine SUP activity with the theme of litter. These are only small steps, but in the end we stimulate each other to reduce plastic consumption wherever possible.