Want to step up your SUP racing to the next level? follow the tips below. | Photo: Dylan Silver / Race the Lake of the Sky
SAN DIEGO, California - Want to know the key to success when it comes to performing well during a stand up paddle race? Look no further because we've aggregated improvement tips from some of the best SUP racers on the planet. Stepping up your game and performing at a higher level takes more than just a lot of time on the water. Here are the top 5 tips on how you can improve your performance during a SUP race.
1. Have Fun
We all love stand up paddling because of the love for the sport and how much fun we have when doing it. So, no matter how hard we train or how badly we want to win, it's imperative to always remember to have fun. What's the point if you're not having fun?
"Have fun while doing it which helps you improve paddling." - 7x SUP World Champion, Kai Lenny
"Have fun and don’t take it too seriously." - Boardworks athlete Slater Trout
"Have fun and play on your board. The more you have fun and move around, the more your skills will improve." - Champion paddler, Candice Appleby
Yoga or surfing can be a great way to cross-train. | Photo (left) via: Debbie Bisaccia (right) Ricardo Torres.
Many of the world's top athletes, not just stand up paddlers, find cross-training to be extremely helpful in maintaining their peak physical shape. Whether it be mountain biking, swimming, yoga, or running, along with many other sports, mixing it up and cross-training is one tool that can help you to improve your performance on the water.
"I do out of water cross-training, stretching, and yoga to avoid injuries." - 2015 Pacific Paddle Games Technical Race Champion, Mo Freitas
"Cross training: running, weight lifting, biking, crossfit to help your base endurance." - SIC Maui athlete Lina Augaitis
"Surfing, winter sports, and going to the and gym working your muscles will help to push your level." - Current World #1 female SUP racer, Annabel Anderson
CLICK HERE to see more Stand Up Paddle Tips and Tricks
3. Have Proper Equipment
Equipment choice is a crucial element in improving your skills as a SUP racer. | Photo Courtesy: Race the Lake of the Sky
Equipment, equipment, equipment! "Not all gear is created equally" says SUP Think Tank athlete Annabel Anderson. "What works for me might not necessarily work for you." Getting the proper equipment that is right for you and getting it dialed in is pertinent in setting yourself up for improvement. Not sure what board will best suit you? Check out your local SUP retailer and chances are they will help you find the perfect setup that is suited towards your needs.
"Have a board that fits you, is stable enough, and right for the conditions." - Naish SUP athlete, Casper Steinfath
"Don’t skimp on the cost of a paddle - invest in the paddle first and make sure that it is cut to your dimensions. It will help you to paddle properly and powerfully." - Annabel Anderson
4. Master Your Paddle Stroke
Master your paddle stroke on flatwater first! | Photos Courtesy: Race the Lake of the Sky
Behind every accomplished paddler you will find that they have a refined paddle stroke. The technique that goes into your paddling can either make or break you when it comes time to put it all on the line in a SUP race. If you want to improve your performance in a SUP race, be sure to refine your paddle stroke in flatwater first in order to get the proper technique mastered.
"Take a lesson, which will help you with your stroke, surf, to identify your weakness." - Lina Augaitis
"Master your paddle stroke on flatwater before getting into moving water or the ocean. Utilizing a good paddle stroke with a smaller paddle blade and having a shaft that is more flexible is better in the beginning when learning." - Whitewater SUP master and Starboard athlete, Dan Gavere
5. Find A Group
Paddling with a group is a great way to get help from your peers! | Photo Courtesy: Race the Lake of the Sky
Find a paddling group that you can regularly paddle with. Paddling with a group is not only a great way to connect with those who share your same interests of stand up paddling, but it's also an excellent way to take notes and learn a few things from your fellow paddlers.
"Always go out with someone better than you to watch their stroke." - SUP pioneer, Chuck Patterson
"Paddle with experienced people." - Casper Steinfath
"Find group to train with and do interval workouts. Do it socially to keep it fun (paddle hard from buoy to buoy, dock to dock)." - Lina Augaitis
With practice and patience, taking these five tips into consideration will help you to improve your performance during a SUP race. To see more SUP race tips from the pros, click HERE.
Do you have any tips to add to this list? Let us know your suggestions in the comments below!
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