Downunder Tribe, Racing, 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. 

Your Don’t HAVE to Race – Join our Tribe for Fun Paddles

Wednesday nights from April we offer a community paddle for anyone that just wants to get out and have some fun.  We rotate between Downunder’s three locations – Westport, Rowayton and Darien.

  • Meet new people
  • Explore new paddling areas
  • Maybe try racing!
  • Dogs are welcome!

We rotate between the three locations, Darien, Rowayton and Westport – so be sure to call the store to find out where we’re going that week.  6-7:30pm.  BYO board, or rent one from us.

Want to improve your skills:

  • Skills Review Clinic – this is a private class with owner Kim Hawkins, where she evaluates your current skills, and provides video and verbal feedback.  Kim has trained with Dave Kalama, Brody Welte, Annabel Anderson, Candice Appleby, Fernando Stalla, Jim Terrell, and others.  She has accumulated a wealth of paddling knowledge which she uses to guide you in ways to improve your paddling experience, and make it as efficient and easy as possibly.  You will receive video by email and a checklist of what was reviewed.

April – wetsuit/drysuit required – air and water combined needs to be 120 to paddle without protection.  Downunder race boards and elite paddles are available.

Other Races and Locations

Paddleguruis 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 8th, 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 Jim Terrell, Terry Kent, 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.