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Blog Post

Off to the Races
This summer we have seen SUP races start to take root in the Midwest. We kicked it off with our Paddle for the Polar Bears/Naish race series, and now more events are starting to pop up all over.

One of the most interesting races was the Paddle and Portage which took place in Madison on July 17th. Nearly 10 SUP pioneers took to the water with over 300 kayaks and canoes. It was the first year that this long standing race has offered an SUP class. We got a lot of curious looks as we lined up at the start. While competitors took a seat and started paddling, we stood right up and took a commanding lead to the first buoy. All in all, the displacement hull sups kept up or beat the 2 person rec canoes. Our owner Gary Stone took first on a SurfTech Bark Competitor 12’6” and Paddle Board Specialists race team members Crisostomo Rosario and Scott Pauli took second and third on Starboard Pins. Our good friend James Mills wrote an article for SUP magazine that you can check out here.

Also on July 17th had a Paddle for the Polar Bears race in the afternoon. We are seeing new faces at every race. Even those who have taken their first voyage on a sup the day of the race are joining in to compete.

On July 24th There was a race in Lake Geneva, WI. There was a strong wind blowing across the lake that morning, and it made for some challenging conditions. The first leg had the wind at our backs and made for a great little down winder. But once we made the turnaround, the joy ride was over. We were paddling straight into winds of 15 to 20. There was a lot of chop and we experienced first hand how the displacement hulls were a big help in keeping a steady line. Crisostomo Rosario took 1st place after some serious jockeying to pass Gary Stone who took 2nd. Cris was paddling his Starboard Pin 12’6” and Scott Pauli who took 3rd was also on a pin. Gary Stone was on one of our new production model Hobie 12’6” race boards.

Sunday July 25th was another of our Paddle for the Polar Bears races. We had a great turnout. We doubled the size of the course this time, and it was a blast. There are still two more Paddle for the Polar Bears races left on Saturday August 7th and August 15th. We can’t wait to see who is the final qualifier for the Naish Championships in Tahoe later this year. If you would like to race, or simply want to come out and take your first lesson, you can preregister here.

Padlde Board Specialists owner, Gary Stone, had another unique racing opportunity as he was invited to race on team with Chuck Patterson and Riggs Napolean on the Kialoa Paddles team at Outdoor Retailer in Utah. Stay tuned to our blog for a full report from Outdoor Retailer.

For more info on our races or what race board is right for you give us a call at 1-877-473-1199 or visit paddleboardspecialists.com.