How to Win at Paddle Board Racing
Paddle board racing has existed for almost as long as paddle boards, but in its initial conception, it seemed hardly a thrilling sport to most. At the time, the popular paddle boards were shorter. Contestants on their knees bent over their boards and paddled with their hands for the duration of the race. Much like the riders, it was a sport that didn’t exactly take off.
But that changed with stand-up paddle boards (SUP). Now paddle boarding has a completely different look, with longer boards and a full length paddle that allows riders to stand as they ride. Thus paddle board racing now has a whole new look and it’s becoming more and more popular across the country.
Maybe you’ve seen paddle board racing yourself on Santa Rosa Beach or elsewhere on 30A, and were inspired to enter a race yourself. Where do you go from there? How do you prepare yourself for your first paddle board race? Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of race day.
Find a Race That Fits You
Don’t just sign up for the first paddle board race you find. Think about what you want to get out of this, and where your skills lie. Do you prefer paddling a short distance over a short time, or do you have the endurance to get you through a longer race. Paddle board races can range from 1 mile sprints to 15 miles. There’s even a 100 mile race in California for intense paddle boarders! So the race you sign up for matters — make sure you choose the right one.
Start Training ASAP
Sometimes the goal isn’t to win your first paddle board race. Sometimes the goal is just to finish the race without falling off you’re board. But if you’re particularly ambitious and set on winning, you have to keep in mind that the others in the race will likely have more experience than you. That doesn’t make winning impossible, but it does mean you have to train. Train as early as you can as regularly as you can: at least half the days in the week should be spent training. Have a friend time you so you can work to improve your speed. It might be a little messy at first, but that only goes to show how necessary training as. Keep at it, and soon the whole thing will feel like second nature.
Learn to Ride Safely
It’s great to want to win your first paddle board race, but it’s more important to be safe while doing it. Make sure you have your leash attached, sunscreen, and enough bottled water to stay hydrated during the race. Make sure your board fits you properly, and when training, let friends and family know where you are. The more safely you can ride, the more smoothly you’ll be able to ride, thus increasing your chance of winning.
At The End of the Day, Sleep It Off
Paddle boarding can be more rigorous than it looks. Hours of paddling can take a toll on the body, and being sleep deprived can take a toll on your performance on the race day. So get in the habit of sleeping 8 hours every night, especially the night before the race.
Whether it’s a partner to train with or friends and family to cheer you on, it helps to have someone in your corner. When training makes you feel discouraged, your support system can motivate you to keep trying. They can be there to cheer for you on the day of the race, helping you with confidence and drive to win. It’s hard to win without a support system, and even if you could, would you want to?
Don’t have a paddle board of your own? No problem. The Rental Shop in 30A offers SUP paddle board rentals of a variety of sizes and styles. These boards are always new, never rough or faded, so not only will you win but you’ll look great doing it. Call us today at (850) 260-0001 for paddle board rentals.