SUP Interviews »Tobias of Sail United
Hey Tobias. Please introduce yourself to my readers first.
Hi, I’m Tobias Michelsen, I’m 56 years old, a freelance cameraman and live with my wife and children in Lübeck
How did you come to Stand Up Paddling?
I used SUP early in the summer to relax on the water.
Let’s talk about your special commitment to people with physical and mental disabilities. How did that happen?
While studying in Tallahassee, I taught windsurfing, catamaran, dinghy and dick ship sailing to blind and visually impaired students 33 years ago, noting that blind people learn everything faster because they have more pronounced perceptions and thus develop a faster sense of movement.
What are the special challenges of the inclusive SUP?
The nice thing is that there are no special challenges. SUP can really almost anyone, because it does not matter if you stand on the SUP, sitting, kneeling or lying. It all depends on everyone being able to participate, have fun and participate in the positive, therapeutic effects.
How does that work? Can people without feeling in their legs paddle up?
Of course, they do it sitting down. For people with severe mobility problems or paraplegia, we have a beach wheelchair, with which we can drive directly into the water. But even with a prosthetic leg you can operate SUP at a high level, see the video with Kathy Rüsbüldt: https://www.facebook.com/sailunited/videos/666434373693331/
But you do not stop with people with disabilities. In 2016, you also organized a project together with refugees. How did that happen?
That too has always been a matter of the heart of mine, because even for integration purposes, water sports do wonders. Everybody knows that when you go out into the water together with a stranger, be it kiting, surfing or SUP, you combine it without words. Water sports promote team building, communication and taking responsibility
There is nothing that integrates better, faster and more sustainable, such as water sports. At the same time, we introduce our participants with a migration background to various job profiles in the water industry and in water sports tourism and also try to find and teach training places