“fun, family style races are popping up everywhere and it is a great way to test your skills, improve your fitness and meet new friends”
We recently ran the inaugural Newport SUP Expo and Scotland Island SUP race on Pittwater. This event had something for everyone and was very well received and will become an annual event.
Whether its a fun race, an epic downwinder or a grueling endurance race, there’s a style of Stand Up Paddling for everyone. Even if you’re new to the sport, Stand Up Paddling clubs all over Australia are keen to get you racing. Here’s a bit of info on the different styles you might like to branch out into.
We stock a wide range of racing and touring SUP’s so let us help you get into one of the most exciting parts of the sport. Racing and touring boards are more specialised than all-round Stand Up Paddleboards. We specialise in both. Read more about the different types of boards here or give us a call.
Fun, casual racing: The best kind of racing is not for sheep stations – paddling around a few bouys with your mates is a heap of fun. Any board works, from your 8 foot wave machine to a 14 foot downwinder board – as long as you can stand on it, you can race it. Longer boards work better of course, but all it takes is one fall and you’ll have your very own Bradbury moment! Every SUP club offers casual racing, usually on weekends or after work in a ‘twilight race’.
Check out the Scotland Island 2014 race.
Downwinders: 20 knot days aren’t just for windsurfers! All you need is two people with two cars, and you’ve got yourself a downwinder! Simply meet at the downwind location, leave a car there – and bring both of you and your gear to a point of your choice UPWIND of where you started. You could get blown all the way back to your car without paddling, but that’s just lazy! Put in a few strokes here and there to catch runners or little waves, and surf your merry way back downwind. Make sure you wear a leg rope, because your board might blow away faster than you can swim! Use common sense, and have a PFD if you think you may enter offshore/exposed waters. Once you’ve done a few downwinders to get your sea legs, go on longer missions, with more people, in MORE wind – to make up an EPIC downwinder.
Competitive Racing: Competitive racing isn’t for everyone, this is the land of 110% carbon and boards worth more than a small car. You don’t need the latest and greatest gear though – a long board with a pointy front bit will work just fine. All you will need is guns of steel, and a competitive streak. Most racing is done around a series of bouys, which means a fast start, straight line speed and fast turns all play a crucial part in winning. Hook up with your local SUP club for regular race meetings, or travel the Australian (or world) circuit and take on the high rollers! If you want to check out some crazy gear and rock hard abs.
Endurance Racing: Reckon you could paddle over 140 kilometres in one hit? It’s been done – and the record still stands to be broken! Endurance racing is normally from one point to another, and can involve anything from massive swells to 40 knots of wind. Racing over a long distance requires a different skill set to short course racing – stamina and pacing are the most critical components here – with one mistake costing valuable energy. Start training for an endurance race in flat water, by paddling back and forward (like 1km each way) for a long period of time. Don’t jump straight into the heavy stuff like Hawaii’s Battle of ther Paddle or the Molokai race, which only involves paddling the crazy stretch between TWO ISLANDS! Once again, it all starts at your local SUP Club. So, no matter what you’re into – where you’re from, or what gear you’ve got. You can try something new this weekend. Get in contact with your local club or shop, and start SUP racing!! Article courtesy of Seabreeze.com.au
Clubs that race around Sydney – Sydney Paddle Surfing Club Sydney SUP Downwind