SUPracetraining.com is a place for paddle workouts, gear reviews, and stories.
My name is Ben and I spent years cruising around with my paddle backward. I want to become a stronger paddler and a faster paddleboard racer. I’ve been paddling for many years but racing is new to me. I will use this site to document my SUP workouts, race preparation, and race results.
I first became aware of paddle boarding during my honeymoon in Hawaii. It was 2008 and I remember sitting in my hotel room and seeing people out in the bay standing on water. As they got closer I realized what they were doing and thought I guess it’s a Hawaiian thing. Then a few weeks later I’m talking to my mom—who lived in Florida—and she asks me “have you heard of stand up paddle boarding? It’s huge here!”
I immediately decided I wanted to try it, so I went online and ordered two boards for my wife and I. They were huge and heavy plastic boards by Oxbow, and they must have weighed 50lbs each. We couldn;t wait to get out on the water, but we didn;t know where to go. We lived in the D.C. area and there weren’t that many places to paddle. First we snuck onto a private lake, but on the paddleboards we stood out and spent the entire session feeling paranoid that someone would ask us to leave. The only other option was the Potomac river. This was long before whitewater SUP was a thing (and I wasn’t about to try navigating the upper Potomac with zero whitewater experience), so we were left with the lower Potomac near Reagan National airport.
I’ll never forget the way people stared at us paddling down the river. People were pointing, and asking us what we were doing. We felt cool because we were doing something completely new to the area. Who knows, we may have been the first ones to ever SUP downtown D.C. We later moved to Annapolis to be closer to the water.
How I Discovered Racing
I was aware that there were paddleboard races in our area, but I never thought it was something I wanted to pursue. I always saw paddling as a peaceful activity—like church—a time to connect with nature, blah, blah, blah. Truth be told I was nervous. But finally in 2017, I decided to sign up for the Bay Bridge paddle. It was life changing. After the race, I felt I had discovered a completely new side to SUP. That race led me to create this website, and the rest is history.