It’s been over 3 years since the Stand Up Paddle Athletes Association was formed and I thought now would be a good time for a bit of a status update. SUP racing has changed a lot since SUPAA was first established. I’ve written this article to give an update on what we’ve accomplished, where we’re at now and where SUPAA is going. The Last 3 Years In 3 years we’ve certified 55 SUPAA race officials on 6 continents. The main mission of SUPAA is to improve the SUP athlete experience and our race official certification is the most direct way we [...]
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Don’t you hate it when you don’t have enough time to complete a quality training session? Good news! You may only need 1 minute of training to get the benefits of a 45 minute session. Sounds to good to be true huh? Researchers at McMaster University have found that 1 minute of very intense exercise produces similar health benefits as much longer, traditional endurance training sessions. We all enjoy spending time on the water to workout or simply relax and clear our mind. Unfortunately, kids, work and life in general can limit our ability to complete quality workouts as we prepare [...]
In an effort to continue to improve the experience of stand up paddle athletes I have created an interval SUP training audio workout. This was as much about serving you guys as it is about scratching my own itch. I love to get a good workout in on the water and I love listening to audio while I paddle. Let me be clear that listening to audio while paddling can present dangers to a paddler. I paddle with these wireless waterproof bluetooth headphones which allow outside sounds to come in. This way I can hear of any dangers or obstacles that I may [...]
Use this SUP downwind video tutorial to improve your downwind technique. Read the article I wrote for standupjournal.com below about the art and meditation of downwind paddling. If you would like to learn how to downwind paddle in-person then you can join me next summer in Hood River, Oregon at one of the Downwind SUP Camps. Learn more and reserve your spot today! From Stand Up Journal: Paddlers, windsurfers and kiters flock to Hood River from around the world, for among other things, the strong and consistent wind. I don’t think I could ever get bored of the challenge and thrill of [...]
The early years of SUP racing saw participation double in many events year over year. Of course, no sport will see this kind of growth indefinitely. SUP racing is reaching a saturation point, retention rates are declining and growth is slowing. We have to ask ourselves, “How do we continue to grow and improve SUP racing?” I don’t have all of the answers but I have a few suggestions outlined below. 1.) Average Joe is more important than elite pro. 2.) Standardization of some race distances and rules. 3.) Build SUP racing as a participation sport, not a spectator sport. 4.) Eliminate the 12’6 class. Relax, [...]
Cleveland Cavaliers completed an improbable comeback to become NBA champions last night. The Cavs were down 3-1 in a best of 7 series where no team in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit. Not only were the Cavs facing the daunting task of coming back, they had to do it against the defending champion, Golden State Warriors, a team that set the regular season NBA record for games won. Did the Cavs feel sorry for themselves and give up when they lost the third game of the series? No. Did they blame the refs, each other or [...]
What if exhaustion in a SUP race was not our physical inability to continue or push, but simply us giving up? SUP racing improvement may have little to do with physical abilities and everything to do with our perception of effort. There is strong evidence suggesting it is perception of effort, and not muscle activity, that causes athletes to lower their intensity or give up. The implications of these findings are profound for SUP racers and all endurance athletes. According to scientific research, it is not entirely through physical training, but through positive thinking, experience and changing our perceptions, that we [...]
Last weekend I watched the UFC 196 mixed martial arts (MMA) Championship and couldn’t stop thinking about the similarities between SUP racing and MMA. A choke-hold will not help in your next SUP race, nor am I proposing a literal ‘Battle of the Paddle’ (although it would be very entertaining!). However, there are a few important things stand up paddle racers can learn from mixed martial artists. So what does pounding someone’s face in have to do with SUP racing? You are only as good as your weakest link. The beauty of MMA is that it includes all styles of fighting. Athletes [...]
SUP can be a great tool to heal the mind and body. Any paddler will tell you this, and now if you live in the French oceanside town of Biarritz, a doctor might tell you too. The doctor’s of Biarritz have become the world’s first to prescribe stand up paddle and surfing lessons to treat everything from depression to heart disease. Twenty doctors are participating in a new project to encourage the French to reduce the pill-popping and take to the water instead. (Update: After this article was published a reader informed me that he and the physicians of Charleston County, South [...]
With surfing getting the nod for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, there has been a lot of talk about SUP and it’s path to becoming an Olympic sport. The Olympic process is long and full of politics, however, with surfing’s inclusion, SUP is one step closer to Olympic gold. These are exciting times for our fast growing sport and Friday’s news just made things even more interesting. SUP is included on the shortlist of the 22 events to be included in the 2017 World Beach Games in San Diego. The news comes as San Diego was chosen Friday as the host city [...]