I think drafting is one of the most interesting skills in stand up paddle racing. It can turn a boring flatwater race into a strategic battle. It can help a weaker paddler punch above their weight. It can cause a mentally stronger athlete to beat a physically dominant one. I’ve seen it give paddlers a bonus 5-10 minutes in some of the longer distance races. In short: It’s a legit tactic and I think it’s good for the sport.
A couple of years ago drafting was kinda controversial, however these days it’s pretty much an accepted part of racing. Some begrudgingly accept it, while others promote it as a legit weapon that you should have in your arsenal. Serious paddlers even practice it in their training sessions, because they know that being able to draft is often the difference between being in contention at the end of the race and being half a kilometre behind.
Well now the excellent resource that is RidingBumps.com has a great article about drafting. And if you’re about paddling, you should stop what you’re doing and read it right now. → READ MORE
Boss Man’s note: Paul Jackson is one of the fastest guys on the water and follows the SUP racing scene more closely than just about anyone else. He’s also got some pretty strong opinions. A lot of them. You may not always agree with what Jacko has to say, but at least he’s not afraid to say it. And that’s something I think we need more of in a sport that can be too politically correct for its own good sometimes.
Now after yet more controversy surrounding drafting recently, Jacko weighs into the debate with his take on the tactic. Click through to find out what he has to say… → READ MORE
I love drafting, not just doing it personally but also watching the draft-train strategy among the top guys as they jockey for position in the lead group. Drafting can turn a flat-water race from a boring procession into a engaging, tactical battle.
I don’t think there’s any question we should have drafting. It’s part of the sport and it’s here to stay. There’s no way we’re getting rid of it. Without drafting we might as well just run individual time trials at every SUP race. Can you imagine if the Tour de France didn’t allow drafting?! No.
But as much I love drafting there’s one thing that most of us will agree is pretty annoying: Draft Etiquette (or lack thereof). John from Distressed Mullet came up with a cool idea last week: Give out the “Remora Suckerfish Drafting Award” to the guy or girl who sits on the wash and puts in no time at the front even though they’re fit enough to do so. → READ MORE
Shock! Horror! Someone’s been disqualified for drafting…!
On Saturday Lake Tahoe hosted (yet another) Stand Up Paddle race, the 2012 Thunderbird Run. It was an awesome day for SUP racing, with the sun coming out and the snow-capped mountains around the Lake providing an epic backdrop.
But there was drama on the water, with the winner of the women’s race disqualified for drafting one of the men… → READ MORE
Check out what Quickblade’s Jim Terrell thinks about “drafting” in stand up paddle racing. It’s a hot topic in our sport right now… so click through, watch the video interview, and then tell us: Do you agree or disagree with the Mad Scientist?! → READ MORE