Last May I found myself standing at the waterline with a Stand Up Paddleboard in hand and the feeling that I was going to pee myself. It was Memorial Day weekend 2015 and it was my first SUP race. The course was a triangular shaped ocean paddle with each lap measuring one mile. The kicker; after each one mile lap you had to surf the paddleboard onto the beach and complete a series of military obstacles before returning to the water for the next lap. Oh, and did I mention the wind was blowing offshore at 10 knots. This wasn’t the ideal setup for a first time racer but after about an hour I was finished and the hook was set. That race would be the first of five I completed in 2015.
So I’m sure at this point you’re saying to yourself: “SUP’s are lame and I would never want to ride one.” Trust me, that was my mindset at one time too. But when I competed in that first race my mentality changed completely. Not only did I meet a whole group of energetic, fun, welcoming people, SUP racing also challenged my physical endurance and mental toughness. Much like surfing, it’s a solo sport in which your mind can connect with nature and you can leave all your stress on the beach.