Paddleboard Racing/Performance/Community Paddling

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Racing – What’s it All About?

A competitive spirit, love of elite equipment, and going fast! Paddleboard racing has become a popular activity internationally.  At Downunder we hold two race events – our first is Our Stand Up For Veterans event  on Saturday July 8, 2017. Our second is Soundsurfer on Saturday June 17th 2017.  Our Stand Up For Veterans event is on Saturday September 17th. 

Competitive & Community Paddling

Wednesday nights from April we offer community paddle for anyone interested in improving their skills or training to race.

  • Paddle to improve your skills and form – enjoy being with other paddlers, and learning from them.  There are all levels of experience.
  • Video feedback is offered – find out what you’re doing right and what you could improve on!  Make your paddling experience as efficient and easy as possibly.  Private sessions are offered by the owner, Kim Hawkins, where you focus on the corrections and view video feedback at the end, to witness your improvement.  You will receive video by email and a checklist of what was reviewed.
  • Join other racers as they work on improving their time (nothing like having someone drafting off you to egg you on), paddle against others that are dedicated to doing their best, learn to race, or just enhance your skills.  You’ll build stamina, warm up for the season, become part of the Downunder family and this great community of paddlers

We usually have two groups – race and recreational/performance.  For the latter you just need paddling experience.  You can paddle with the pack(s) or on your own.  A video review of your existing skills is offered – nice to track things that could be more efficient, or skills we can introduce.  Led by Downunder Team Riders.

  • April – wetsuit/drysuit required – air and water combined needs to be 120 to paddle without protection.  Water temp is currently around 52 degrees.
  • Paddling own equipment $25/time. $80/series of 4.
  • Paddling our equipment $55/time. $180/series of 4.

Downunder race boards and elite paddles are available.

Other Races and LocationsPaddleguruis one of the best places to look for races, throughout the country.  Two races that Downunder is involved with are:

Stand Up For Veterans

Saturday July 17th, 2017 – at Downunder Westport

This initiative is spearheaded by Downunder.  We believe that the benefit of getting Veterans on the water is immeasurable, and by holding events, offering discounts, and raising funds, the water sports industry can make a significant difference in their lives.

Soundsurfer Watermans Challenge

Clean our water, Support our kids, Protect our future.

Saturday June 17th, Bridgeport Seaside Park

Downunder held this event for many years, bringing elite paddlers from all over the country to paddle.  Now the focus is more to get people involved in the sport – racing is cool, but families are cooler.  Soundsurfer has found a way to meet the needs of both at this amazing event.  The Soundsurfer Foundation is a recognized 501 (c) 3 charitable organization dedicated to protecting our future. They support charities whose goal is to protect our natural water resources (in particular Long Island Sound) and those charities focused on ensuring the well being of children.

Other Events Associated to Racing that Downunder Hosts

During the season we bring in elite paddlers, many world champions, to offer clinics and help our community have a competitive edge. Paddlers have included:

Dave Kalama, Annabel Anderson, Fernando Stalla, Anthony Vela, Candice Appleby, and Olympic Champions Terry Kent and Veronica Ribot Canales.

Clinics in 2017

  • Jim Terrell of Quickblade led a clinic and educated staff and paddlers on his paddle lineup.  He has promised to return again this summer – keep posted!  Free paddle demo’s followed by an on-water skills clinic.  Jim is fondly referred to as the Mad Scientist of paddling, for his innovative style.  He has worked closely with Professional SUP racers/paddlers as he designs paddles, getting their input.  Our favorite paddle is the V Drive with the oval and tapered shaft – which allows for a very quick cadence.  The blade has a double dihedryl on the powerface, displacing water fast and efficiently.

Race Equipment we Love

Great video of Travis Grant promoting Quickblade Trifecta. Another QB paddle that’s perhaps more race specific is the QB VDrive by Dave Kalama – which we can’t keep in stock. Read reviews on our facebook page.  New Smart Paddle (2017) by Jim Terrell at Quickblade.

In Depth: The QB Smart Paddle from Quickblade Paddles on Vimeo.

Race boards Downunder carries and have available for retail/rent/demo.

  • 404 Carbon 12’6″ x 27.5″
  • 404 Carbon 14′ x 25.5″
  • 404 14′ x 27″
  • Lahui Kai Race 12’6″ x 27.75″
  • Surftech Sport Touring Tekefx 11’6″ x 28″

Rent these boards by the hour $40, two hours $55.  Rental fees go towards the purchase of a board.

Plan Your Own Fun Event

Doesn’t have to be a big deal – challenge your family and friends, organizations, corporation – we’ll help you plan an event where you paddle against one another on a short course. Use just the SUPs or add in the kayaks for variety, turn it into relays, add some challenges to level the playing field – like yoga, boat/board swapping, rescues.

Call or email Kim to create your challenge at (203) 956-6217.