Spring Means SUP
Spring is officially here and it seems the subtle changes in temperature have stirred up just about everyone. The SUP racing community is certainly no exception as they prepare to unofficially kick off their season with one of the largest and most competitive paddle board races in the world on April 25th in Wrightsville Beach, NC.
There’s Something for Everyone
Despite the high-level of talent that will be present in this year’s Elite section of the Carolina Cup, the weekend as a whole will offer an immense amount of action and entertainment for all levels of paddle boarders. For starters, there will be expo’s, demo’s and clinics offered for several days leading up to the day of the races (Saturday the 25th) making this particular SUP race more like a SUP retreat. Check out the official race website for a full schedule of events.
As for the races themselves, you’ll find a distance that’s right for you no matter what your skill or endurance levels may be right now. The Recreational race, suitable for all levels including beginners, consists of a 3 mile loop around Harbor Island which is contained inside the inland waterways. The Open section is a 6.5 mile loop, also conducted entirely on the inland waterways, and is appropriate for intermediate paddlers. Lastly, there is the Elite “Graveyard” race which is an animal all its own. This 13.2 mile race requires not only exceptional endurance, but also a high-level of balance and paddling technique to navigate the beach start and finish. In other words, competitors in the Elite race will charge the waves head-on as they start their race and ride them swiftly to shore as they finish. See the image below for a bird’s eye view of the Elite race course.