SUP race is one of the best ways to enjoy summer and paddle boarding. Paddle boarding, to certain people, is a way to relax and free up one’s mind. But when it gets intense and competitive, you’d be surprised how fun and interesting it can be. SUP racing is a lot different than regular paddling and requires more skills if you want to have great performance. The popularity of stand up paddleboarding has grown rapidly in recent years, and that brings a lot of people into SUP racing.
What to do to improve your performance in a SUP race?
- Stay Hydrated
This is something a lot of paddlers would ignore. The fact is staying hydrated is essential to your success in the game. If you are dehydrated, you body won’t be in its best shape and you won’t be able to perform well. Not only is it necessary to stay hydrated on race day, you also need to make sure you drink enough water days before the race. it's something that has been proven to be effective and every pro paddler would do to make sure they can have the best performance.
- Stay with Someone and Finish Strong
Keeping your pace is important in the race. What you should do is find a strong competitor and try to keep up with him. The best choice is the one paddler that’s in the lead. And don’t let other paddlers pass you without much effort.
- Never Give Up
SUP races are intense and there might be unexpected situations in the game. What you should do is stay positive and focused. If you have the thought of quitting, think about all the training and practice you’ve done. Your thought and your mind can really have a great impact on your performance. As long as you stay positive, there are still chances for you to win. You’ll never know what’s going to happen next. All you need to do is give it your best and go through with it.
- Learn How to Do Buoy Turn
Learn how to do a buoy turn and not let others get past you when you are turning. When doing a buoy turn wrong, it’s easy to lose ground to your competitors. Use waves to help you get around the buoy and don’t hit the buoy straight on. Take a wider turn so you don’t have to stop completely and run into other people. Also, keep your center of gravity low during the turn.
- Learn to Paddle Straight
Paddling straight is a basic skill that you should know even if you are not going to participate in a SUP race. But it’s not easy for beginners and I’ve seen people who have been going paddle boarding for weeks and still having a hard time paddling straight. If you can’t paddle your board straight, you’ll get off course which unnecessarily adds distance and gives other competitors the chance to get past you.
- Refine Your Paddling Stroke
Having a wrong stroke will waste a lot of your energy. Learn how to do a stroke effectively on flat water before actually participating in a race.
- Get the Right Equipment
The equipment plays an important role in your performance in the race. For example, there are lot of different paddles with different shapes of blades at the bottom. Also, narrower boards are preferred in a SUP race, but you shouldn’t just get the narrowest board you can get without trying it first. If you can’t balance well on the board, then there’s no point using it in the race. Consider getting a wider board if you can’t balance well after using a narrow board for several times. The fin you use will also affect your performance. Bigger and deeper fins will make paddling in a straight line and balancing easier for you but at the same time make taking a turn more difficult. So do your research to find out what equipment is the best fit for your paddling style.
Just Have fun
For me, the most important thing to keep in mind when in a SUP race is to have fun. There’s nothing wrong with aiming for the medals but the spots available are limited. So just have fun and enjoy the joy that it brings.