SUP around Statue of Liberty

SUP Racing.

Paddling behind Ellis Island. And in front of New York City. Photo by Anthony Vela

Racing had the same slow start. Just as recreational paddling did.

A month into paddling. I vowed never to compete again. After years of playing ice hockey and wakeboard competitions. The desire to compete was no longer pumping through my veins.

After some convincing by Ned Johnson of Paddleboard Orlando and a few friends.  I headed off to the East Coast of Florida for a “fun” race. An informal setting. A group of about 30 of us gathered around. And took part in a race, they called the Battle of the Paddle format. Something I had no idea about. It was a race that started on the beach. Out through the surf. Back to the beach for a lap on the sand. Then back out through the surf. Finally finishing on the beach.

Goofy Surfing at it's best.
Catching the first wave. Right foot Forward. Even though I surf regular. During my first SUP race

This race. Forged a place in my heart. And created a love for stand up paddleboard racing.

Racing now, is less about the competition. And more about the camaraderie of so many great friends. From far and near. Bringing me throughout North America and the Caribbean. When I am not on the road at events. I will head out onto my local waters. In the winter it is Jupiter Florida with my friends from Blueline Surf and Paddle. And during the Summer, in New England.

Celebrating the Community
After the race it is always a blast to be around great friends.