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When you want to take your paddle boarding to the next level, consider SUP racing! This water sport can be competitive and invigorating for many individuals looking for more of a challenge than just paddling around a body of water. If you’re a first-time SUP racer, use the tips and tricks below to ensure you’re ready to blow the competition out of the water during your first race.
Have the Proper Equipment
The board you use for leisure paddle boarding in your free time should differ from the gear you use for SUP racing. In fact, using a board that is not the proper length or width could disqualify you from a race. Ensure you have the appropriate board and paddles before entering a race to ensure you can compete. Use a beginner’s guide to SUP racing to see if your equipment is suitable for this competitive sport.
Understand Your Limitations & Fitness Level
You might be ambitious, but diving headfirst into a race you know you don’t have the skills for could be discouraging, and it can cause injuries. Understand your limitations and fitness level to better determine which races suit your skill set. As you gain more experience in this water sport, you can begin moving up in difficulty and entering more challenging races.
Start Racing in Your Area
For your first SUP race, you don’t need to travel a long distance. There could be races in your area—you just need to look for them! You can find SUP groups on Facebook or other social media sites where you can connect with other like-minded individuals. Utilize these groups to find races near you to build your skills before finding more difficult races to travel for.
Fuel Your Body
To ensure you have enough energy for the race, you must fuel your body with nutritional food and water beforehand. On the day of your first race, make a healthy breakfast, such as eggs and avocado toast, to sustain your energy throughout the day. Choosing to skip a meal and drinking a sugary drink instead will set you up for failure because you’ll experience a crash in your energy levels midway through the race.
Recruit Your Friends
What makes your favorite activity or sport more fun and adventurous? Asking your friends to participate with you, of course! Having your friends in tow, whether competing or just watching, can benefit you because you have moral support. And who knows? Maybe your friend will find their new passion after their first SUP race.
First-time SUP racers should use our tips and tricks to ensure their first race goes smoothly. Remember, racing on a paddle board will feel and look much different than casual paddle boarding. Don’t forget to practice your skills before and between races to gain more experience!