Jade Howson from LBHS wins gold in China


Last month, when Stu News reported that Laguna Beach’s Jade Howson qualified as the top Jr 18 and Under for the USA to compete in the 2018 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships, it was a cause for celebration. Now she and her family have even more to celebrate. Jade (along with her mother Kris) has just returned from the 2018 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships as a World Champion with a gold medal. 

It’s been a long haul for Jade, a 16-year-old junior at Laguna Beach High School, who has been paddleboarding since she was eight. 

As reported in SUP Magazine, “Jade Howson took a convincing win in the junior Technical races (this was the first time the ISA ran a junior division, a great addition to the event).” 

Jade Howson flag

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Jade proudly carries flag after her championship win

“After a week of action in Wanning, China for the 2018 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships, the 196 best paddlers in the world from 27 nations are headed back to their home countries. 

“The yearly team event, which features a SUP surfing competition and both SUP and paddleboard races in Sprint, Technical, Distance and Relay divisions, is unlike any other paddling competition in the world and features a veritable who-who of the world’s top talent.” 

Kris says, “Traveling to the other side of the Globe was a big trip. I didn’t know how all the changes and pressures would affect Jade. Seeing her dominate and win the gold medal in the first ever Jr Technical was very emotional. I know how hard Jade has worked over the past seven years and it clearly paid off. I was overwhelmed with joy and tears!”  

Jade Howson podium

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Jade wins gold

Robert, Jade’s dad, says, “I have always been a nervous dad. I want so much for my daughter to succeed as she has trained so hard to achieve her goals. Watching her in China, I was filled with such immeasurable pride! However, racing is never over until it is over. So much can happen even with a solid lead. You can have a physical problem, a mental error, or a mechanical failure of the board or paddle. Occasionally a lucky set wave can benefit the paddler from behind. All these things have happened to every seasoned racer. I was nervous for all those things. 

“Now it was Jade’s time on the biggest stage for pride and country! Gold! She won! I jumped up and down and yelled and screamed with my daughter Moorea. It could not get better than that for me! Jade was so far away. I wanted to hug her and Kris. I would have to wait. Days later came the Bronze in the sprints! Team USA killed it! The experience, win or lose, was a dream come true. How amazing it is for us to have a World Champion living under our roof!”  

Before the trip to China, Jade already had gathered many awards and honors.

Currently, she is ranked the 14th fastest woman in the world in the Paddle League Women’s World Rankings.

Now, Jade is the 2018 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships World Champion in the 18 and under Jr division and has the gold to prove it.