A Closer Look at SUP Competitions: The Paddle Board Racing Scene

Paddle board racing is a fun way to get out on your SUP board and get to know other like-minded paddle boarders.

Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP) has rapidly emerged as a global sport, attracting enthusiasts from all walks of life. A major part of the stand up paddle board scene is racing, which brings together both the spirit of competition and the love for the water.

Understanding SUP Racing

inflatable stand up paddle board with adjustable paddle

Paddle board racing involves competitors standing on their boards and using a paddle to navigate through a set course (source). The challenge lies not only in speed but also in maintaining balance and the right techniques.

Choosing the Right Equipment

In racing, the choice of paddleboard is crucial. Glide SUP offers a variety of racing paddle boards such as the Godspeed MK II, designed specifically for speed and maneuverability. The shape, size, and construction of your board can significantly affect your performance during a race. There are some inflatable boards that are used to race but most people choose a rigid paddle board over an inflatable SUP board due to their lower profile.

Training for Racing Paddle Boards

inflatable paddle boards with kayak seat

Getting ready for a SUP race requires dedicated physical and technical training (source). Not only should you focus on building your strength and endurance, but you should also work on improving your balance, paddle stroke, and turning techniques.

Involving the Seniors

Paddle board racing is a sport for all ages, including seniors (source). The low-impact nature of paddle boarding makes it a great sport for older individuals looking to stay active and competitive.

Stand Up Paddle Board Racing Events

There are numerous SUP racing events held around the world, each providing a unique experience. From flat water races to downwinders, the variety of events caters to different skill levels and preferences.

Preparing for Your Adventure

Before setting off for a race, it's essential to plan and pack accordingly (source). Be sure to check the race rules, bring the necessary equipment, and prepare for the prevailing weather and water conditions.

Beyond the Race: SUP as a Stress Buster

Beyond the thrill of competition, SUP board racking offers numerous benefits, including stress relief (source). So even as you strive to outpace your competitors, remember to take a moment to appreciate the tranquility of being on the water.

The Global SUP Community

The SUP community extends far beyond local competitions, with beautiful paddle boarding locations around the world (source). As you explore the racing scene, you might find yourself paddling in idyllic spots from Idaho to Ohio and beyond (source, source).

Paddle board racing offers an exciting avenue to challenge yourself, meet fellow SUP enthusiasts, and enjoy the great outdoors. But as with any competitive sport, remember to play it safe.

Safety Precautions for SUP Competitions

Regardless of your skill level, safety should always be a priority in any paddle board competition (source). Always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) and, if the water temperature is low, consider wearing a wetsuit. Always check the weather forecast before heading out and never underestimate the power of the currents and winds.

Essential Safety Gear

There are essential safety items every paddle board racer should have, including a leash to keep your board close, a safety whistle to signal distress, and appropriate sunscreen to protect against harmful UV radiation.

Preparing for a SUP Competition

Participating in a stand up paddleboarding competition isn't simply about showing up and hoping for the best. There's a substantial amount of preparation involved to ensure you perform your best.

Training and Conditioning

Just like any other sport, paddle boarding requires a certain level of physical fitness. Incorporating a balanced fitness regimen consisting of strength training, cardio, and flexibility exercises will enhance your performance during competitions (source). Training your core muscles is particularly important, as these muscles are highly utilized during paddle boarding.


Your performance during a SUP competition is also influenced by what you fuel your body with. Eating a balanced diet leading up to the competition is essential, and so is staying well hydrated. On the day of the race, it's recommended to eat a light meal a couple of hours before the competition, providing your body with the energy it needs without feeling too full or sluggish.

Promoting a Sustainable SUP Community

stand up paddleboard

As we enjoy the sport of SUP racing, it is also our responsibility to protect the waters that provide us with this opportunity. Glide SUP promotes the importance of having an environmentally friendly SUP community (source). This includes using eco-friendly equipment, avoiding disturbing wildlife, and doing our part to keep the waterways clean.

SUP competitions not only bring excitement and challenge but also unite people in their love for the water. As you delve into the SUP racing scene, remember to embrace the spirit of the sport: camaraderie, a healthy competitive spirit, and respect for nature.

Whether you're a seasoned competitor or new to the world of paddle board racing, there's always something new to learn and experience in this dynamic and exhilarating sport. So, grab your paddle board, hit the water, and get ready to make some waves!