Jordan-na Belle-Isle

 

Who is Jordy from the TAIGA TRIBE? 

I’m a Toronto-based, year-round Great Lakes paddleboarder! A certified instructor, freelance writer, and community builder, I love being on the water in all four seasons. Whether it is SUP surfing in the fall and winter, or touring and teaching in the spring and summer, SUP is my life.  

Originally from Montreal, I moved to Toronto in my late-twenties and this is where I discovered paddleboarding. I’ve been involved in the local scene ever since, most notably as a co-organizer for Lake Surfistas, a grassroots group of women who surf and SUP the Great Lakes.  

Being part of the Taiga Tribe in Ontario is amazing; it brings together the pride I have as a born and bred Montrealer with my love of the Great Lakes community.

When you don’t have both feet in the water, what do you do?

When I’m not on my SUP board, you’ll find me writing at home, organizing community events, walking my feisty rescue dog, or going to the movies, museum, or theatre with my husband Mark. I’m pretty sporty, so you might also catch me playing beach volleyball, cycling around the city, or surfskating in the local park.

What is your favourite spot (on the water, obviously) and why?

I’ve paddled in many different places, but Lake Ontario is pretty special. As the 14th largest lake in the world, it’s a pretty big “spot” but encompasses so many places that I love to paddle and surf. I love touring the Toronto Island Park and SUP surfing the beaches in Oshawa. The possibilities for paddleboarding on Lake Ontario are endless!

Your go-to TAIGA board(s) and why?

Right now, I’m loving my Kazuzu Inflatable and El Pepito 8’6! My quiver of Taiga boards covers everything I need for year-round fun on the Great Lakes, from touring, to teaching, to surfing. Plus, it all fits in my minivan (aka the Silver Surfer).

If you had to choose one ‘’dream spot’’ to go and enjoy your board, where would it be and why?

I’ve always dreamed of doing the Paris SUP Open. Imagine paddleboarding right in the heart of Paris, along the Seine, with hundreds of other SUP enthusiasts! It sounds dreamy. It’s part of the APP World Tour and is scheduled for early December this year. Anyone want to send me there (hint, hint)? 

If you had one piece of advice to give to a rookie who doesn't know the wonderful world of water sports yet, what would it be?

Learn how to swim confidently. Many people hesitate to try watersports because they lack confidence in the water and are afraid of falling in. Taking a couple of swimming lessons will help get you more comfortable in the water.