This past weekend I participated in my first paddleboard race. I’ve had my board for about 6 months now but never thought I would ever be entering a race. Especially a race that was 6 miles long!
I’ve been training for about 2 weeks. Meaning I’ve been going out and paddling for about 6-8 miles about 4 times a week. People really underestimate how tiring and exhausting paddleboarding is.
The race was at my local beach, Siesta Key, which made it so nice. I had no idea what to expect. First thing I see is a big RedBull tent and many other paddleboard companies with tents set up. It was so awesome seeing so many people walking their boards onto the beach getting ready to race.
Photographers were everywhere! Some from newspapers and magazines, such as Standup Paddleboard Magazine, and helicopters were flying all around too. Also, the crowd of people watching the race made me feel so important and so excited.
It all started so fast. It was a beach start meaning everyone lines up on the beach and runs into the water with their boards. It is crazy! So many people funneling into a single point at the first turn. If you don’t start well then you basically already lose.
The conditions were not so good either. Rolling waves and chop making people fall left and right. Thankfully, I only fell once but other people weren’t as lucky. The race was 4 laps, each lap being 1.5 miles and after every lap you had to run off your board back onto the beach and then run back into the water. It was so exhausting.
I’m so glad I did this race and can’t wait for the next one, which is on August 24th. I got 2nd place for the women in the 12’6 Eltie division. I can’t even describe how awesome the whole experience was!