There’s no question about it: the Pacific Paddle Games presented by Salt Life is the biggest event in all of SUP. For one special weekend in October, all of the world’s fastest paddlers flock to the quintessential shores of Doheny State Beach in Southern California, for a chance at glory on the sport’s biggest stage.
Of course, not everyone’s goal at #PPG2018 is to be showered with champagne while hoisting the big trophy. Some folks simply want to get out there and experience the adrenaline rush of racing their fellow paddlers, whether it be for first place or at the back of the pack. And we want to give that opportunity to every paddler out there, no matter their age, ability or even equipment.
So, if you are a casual paddler looking to try something new, here are three ways to get on the water at #PPG2018.
Race What You Brought
For those that have never raced before, showing up on the beach at #PPG2018 can be a little intimidating. Sleek carbon fiber raceboards lay in the warm sand as athletes — both amateur and pro — stretch out and prepare for their next big race.
While those fancy raceboards are a staple in the quiver of diehard paddlers, those boards can be expensive and we understand not all paddlers have the same equipment. But just because somebody may not own a SUP raceboard, that doesn’t mean they aren’t still curious about SUP racing.
That’s why we created the 12' Under Recreational class in the Open division. It’s a class that anybody can enter, no matter what board is under their arm. All you have is an old touring board? No problem! Have an inflatable SUP in your trunk? Come on down! Brought an old log that you think you can standup paddle on? Have at it!
The point is, we want to give everyone the opportunity to experience the thrill of competing in standup paddling’s biggest race. Whether it’s the distance or technical race, if you want to see what SUP racing is all about, the door is wide open.
Alright, perhaps you aren’t quite ready to go SUP racing. But you do want to try out one of those sweet-looking raceboards you keep seeing everywhere. Well, you’re in luck.
Welcome to the #PPG2018 Demo Zone.
This area will give paddlers an opportunity to test out the newest boards from some of the industry’s leading brands. Best of all? There are no strings attached. You don’t have to sign up for an annoying email list or make a minimum purchase, instead, you get to try out as many cutting-edge SUP boards as you please and it’s all free.
With an event as prestigious at #PPG2018, you might expect that kids have to stay on the shore and cheer on their favorite paddlers. But while that is the case during most sports’ marquee event, the Pacific Paddle Games presented by Salt Life encourages the kids to compete in the same arena as the star paddlers they look up to.
For kids with experience paddling, #PPG2018 will feature both distance and technical races for young paddlers including the pro junior and open youth classes. But for those kids that don’t have experience paddling yet, we think PPG is the perfect event to get them hooked on the sport.
That’s why we are offering the Beginner Youth Super Grom Race. This race is tailored for young groms looking to get their feet wet, but aren’t quite ready to compete on the same course as the bigger kids. To keep them comfortable and having fun, we made the super grom course into a 400-yard loop that keeps them close to shore and out of the main surf zone. And best of all, if you sign up right now it’s only 25 dollars.
We’ll see you on the beach, October 6-7!