French waterman and Black Project athlete Arthur Arutkin has earned plenty of accolades during his tenure as a professional standup paddle racer and windsurfer. He’s a three-time national SUP racing champion, he’s made podiums at the ISA World SUP Championships and he’s a former silver medalist in the French Windsurfing Championship. But the most prized title on his resume came at the final stop of the 2018 APP World Tour, where Arthur won his maiden SUP racing world title at the Paris SUP Open in front of his home crowd.
“Arthur has always been a serious talent on the APP World Tour, but in 2018 all the training and focus that he placed on his competitive season certainly paid off. Given his talent and commitment, this almost certainly won’t be his only Title.” Tristan Boxford, CEO of the APP World Tour.
For a better look into the life, training and approach of our team’s new world champ, we caught up with Arthur for a little chat about his season.
BP: You’ve been competing on the APP World Tour for years. What went differently this year that helped you earn your first world title?
AA: I focused more on my race training this year and it really paid off. I was also feeling super confident with my gear, which I think made a great difference. I really started thinking about (the world title) after the New York SUP Open. I was feeling great about racing and I knew I could do well this year.
What was it like to win your first APP World Title with all your family and friends watching?
It really felt amazing—my family and friends were so stoked. I couldn’t be happier to share it with them.
There were major political protests going on in Paris during the Paris SUP Open. What was that experience like and did it affect your mind state going into the race?
It was really heavy. I wasn’t sure we could run the event, but it ended up going and we did not see much of the protests.
The sprint race at the Paris SUP Open took place in an indoor pool this year. How did you like competing in those conditions?
It was really interesting. I think it could really promote the sport to have more show races like that, but the format could be improved a lot with a bigger pool.
You won your sprint race against Casper Steinfath by 0.06 seconds to claim the event and your first world title. How did it feel when you realized you won?
Casper is probably the best sprint racer I know, so I knew it was going to be super tight. When I realized that I’d won both the sprint and the title I was so relieved. It had been a long week!
Tell us about your Black Project equipment this year. How did it perform for you?
It felt amazing, I really love the Sonic fin. It gives me more maneuverability than other fins, especially downwinding and in surf like New York. I use it in most conditions but also have a Tiger fin if I need something for longer distances. For surfing I’m currently using the Zane Pro Model. It’s so easy to turn with and incredibly light as well!
What are your goals for next season?
I want to keep training and hopefully do as well in competitive SUP racing as I did this year. I’d also like to progress in windsurfing and of course, have fun every day I spend in the water!
More Paddle Related Articles & Content
Learn more about Arthur’s SUP racing fin of choice: The Sonic
Learn more about Arthur’s SUP surfing fin of choice: The Zane Pro Model
Catching up with U18 World Champion Jade Howson
Black Project Athlete Olivia Piana Wins Maiden ISA World Title in China
Words: Arthur Arutkin / Mike Misselwitz / Black Project
Photos courtesy of APP World Tour
Follow Arthur on Instagram at @arthurarutkin