Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hennessey/Hobie Paddleboard Race

Yesterday (Saturday) - went down to Dana Point (Doheny Beach State Park) to paddle in the Hobie Race.

I paddled the 6 miler - not sure where I came in (probably better than half - I never said I was fast) - and had tons of fun!

I had a lot of time to think while paddling and got to put the conditions up against the boards and builds of the paddlers and figured some things out.

1. I've always heard that for downwinders, you want a light board. Well I believe it now. My board is not light - 2 pound EPS with a really great epoxy glass job (very durable). Lighter people were flying downwind on the leg out (downwind). If the race you are paddling in is a downwinder, use a hollow board or a full carbon, lightly (just enough) glassed board.

2. For pushing a board upwind or crosswind, a board with heft will cut through the chop/swell much better than a hollow/lightly glassed board. I passed everyone that got ahead of me during the outbound leg - smarter paddling (not veering too far off the mark lines, paddling in cadence with the swell (not fighting it) and keeping a slimmer profile into the wind) helps too, but a board not chattering with every piece of swell/chop that hits it saves your momentum and keeps you from getting beat up (anymore than you already are).

3. When paddling anywhere near shore in Southern California, use a weed friendly fin. If you do not, you will not go fast (dragging seaweed does not make you fast).

4. Unlimited boards go fast.

5. I'd like to go fast.

Fun race!

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