James has an inspiring story. To those that know him, it is difficult to believe that he is only 20 years old. He is mature beyond his years. He is highly competitive but always sportsman like. He has worked hard to get where he is. He appreciates this and uses it as resource every day. He retains high standards of behavior and appearance. He is social and works very well with others. Despite his tender years he is an excellent coach. He is very observant, patient and motivational. He is incredibly passionate about SUP and is literally a walking encyclopedia on the sport – the competitors, the equipment, the races and the venues.
He already has quite a few impressive achievements in the sport and learnt many lessons in life, that gives him the ‘X factor’ as a person and paddler.
Through his family history, he is fluent in English, Spanish and little bit of Dutch. He is the only English national in the top 100 on the Eurotour. These factors give him great appeal across several European countries.
Physically and mentally, during the past 5 years he hs progressed from an overweighed 15-year-old to a professional, peak performance athlete and he competes and wins against athletes who have three times more experience. His success comes from his my passion and dedication for winning. Be like James!
James Van Drunen was born in 1999 in Spain. He was brought up by a Dutch father and an English mother. He is a top Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) athlete, whose goal is to become the world’s most successful SUP athlete. James’ determination and drive for success is fueled by his weight loss journey from stand-up paddle boarding.
After stepping on his first paddle board in 2013, weighing over 100kgs, James has gone from strength to strength and never looked back. Watching his little sister take him over, James’ competitive side shone through and from that moment his mind set on one thing: to improve and achieve more with paddling. After that day renting SUP boards from the local company in El Portet Beach became a daily activity for James. He paddled for 3 hours a day, to improve his stability and speed to beat his younger sister.
Because of training so often, becoming a member of the local gym, Motive8, changing his diet completely James lost over 20kgs within a year.
By late 2014, James entered his first local SUP race in Alicante. He competed in the under 16’s Junior Race, coming 1st place in the technical short distance and the long-distance race. The adrenaline was high, and he loved every minute of it, but it wasn’t enough. After a further challenge, James was a last-minute entry to the open race category, racing against the adults for the extra competition, and he won! And he knew that he wanted to compete in SUP races around the world.