The world’s best paddle boarders can stroke for hours without stop, with a 20-mile run being nothing more than a warm-up to them.
So needless to say, modern paddle boarding competitions either pack on a lot of miles, or cross difficult waters with high winds, tough currents, and other ways of challenging their endurance.
When you seek out Beach Haven paddle board rentals, you’re not going to be encountering routes like this!
Of course, competitions of this sort are a fairly recent phenomenon. After the sport faded to obscurity in the 1950s, it slowly began to creep to prominence again in the 1980s.
The revival of Hawaiian paddle board races began on the mainland in the 1980s, when Gibby Gibson and Buddy Bohn brought back the famed Catalina Classic.
The Catalina Classic is a 32-mile race that runs from Catalina Island to Manhattan Beach. In the 1990s, Dawson Jones, the top paddler at the time, took inspiration from the race and created the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddle board World Championships, a popular but difficult race across the Ka’iwi Channel.
Paddle boarding came back for good in 1996, thanks to the Outrigger Canoe Club in Honolulu and riders at the North Shore of Oahu.
Other major paddle boarding events include:
Santa Monica Pier Paddle board Race and Ocean Festival
A short race at just 6 miles, this race was started in 2010 to celebrate the Santa Monica Pier’s rich paddle boarding history. Today, it is one of the pier’s most popular events. Even people who usually only ride thanks to Beach Haven paddle board rentals know about it.
Hennessey’s International Paddle board Championship
Covering 12 miles, this popular race proves to be a great draw in Hennessey and has helped further popularize paddle boarding.
Maui International Paddle board Race
This 9-mile race has been run for 12 years and counting, and puts boarders through a harrowing, wind-heavy course running between Maliko Gulch and Kahului Harbor. The famed Maliko when difficult tradewinds are blowing can be one of the toughest runs in the sport.
Hamilton Island Cup, Australia
This Australian race covers 5 miles and is part of a larger four-day series of outrigger and paddling events. First run in 1984, by the race’s 25th anniversary the race was drawing over 2000 competitors.
“Full Moon” paddles from Cuba to Key West
This grueling run of over 100 miles is perhaps best known for Michael O’shaughnessy’s world record time of 19 hours, 19 minutes – truly not a feat for amateurs.
There are many other smaller races in the world, from Australia and New Zealand to the Hawaiian islands, California, Florida, the Caribbean, and even in New Jersey, where people who seek out Beach Haven paddle board rentals can practice, get their water legs, and prepare to race with the best.
If you’re each to try your hand at paddle board races, or even just want to look for some SUP rentals in Beach Haven so you can begin learning, just remember to have fun, be safe, and respect the water!