A decade ago, paddle boarding events were mostly limited to the islands of Hawai’i. Now, major cities across the United States have their own series of SUP events and races that every paddler should take full advantage of! Here’s a small list of our favorite events paddle boarders can look forward to, train for and attend this summer.

The Carolina Cup 

If you’re a paddleboard racer or have already attended a few events, then you have probably heard of the Carolina SUP Cup. It is officially the most widely attended paddleboard race in the world. It takes place in Wrighstville Beach, North Carolina.

What is fun about this even is that it kicks off the paddle-boarding season as it takes place in April (from 19th to 24th). This cup boats 5 races, each at different levels. If you’re not interested in racing, being a spectator alone is worthwhile. Paddleboard brands from all over send their representatives to the race as well as a demo fleet of boards that you can try. Other activities to look forward to are the dozens of race clinics by world-famous paddle boarders.

Olukai Ho‘olaule‘a 

Olukai SUP Race

The greatest paddleboard racers around attend this legendary 8-mile downwind race. However, if you have not attained ‘pro’ status yet, you can try the fun 3-mile paddle.

This family friendly event features plenty of activities like live music, hula, and traditional Hawaiian games. And, other than the fact that this is fun-filled, what we like about it especially is that they dedicate a day to demos for free.

Register for this race before April 17th and receive a premium goods bag! The event itself takes place from April 29th to May 1st. For accommodation options, Olukai has partnered up with TripZero, a company that offsets the carbon footprint of your hotel stay through forestry and methane reduction projects!

Cinco de Mayo Pro

Cinco de Mayo Pro

We selected this WPA-sanctioned event as one of our favorites because it combines surf and SUP. In fact, one of the few SUP surfing contests we know of takes place over at the Cinco de Mayo Pro. You can also watch pro Guy Takeyama noseride!

What also caught our attention is their really unique SUP sprint race at night under the night-lights.

The event takes place between May 5th to 8th. All of the paddle boarding events take place on North Padre Island near Corpus Christi, Texas. They offer registered participants free BBQ for all competitors for two days. If you’re looking for a play to stay, contact them for a special rate offered at the Holiday Inn Beach Hotel on North Padre Island.

Race the Lake of the Sky

Race the lake of the sky

Probably one of the best features about this event is its location. The Lake of the Sky, also known as Lake Tahoe, is known for its beauty. It is called the lake of the sky because it is located amongst the mountains of Sierra Nevada and it is North America’s largest alpine lake. This flat-water race takes place from June 24th to 26th, 2016.

Some highlights to look forward at this event are a paddle boarding clinic with racing legend Danny Ching and a Paddle Yoga teacher training through Lazy Dog Paddle Yoga. Accommodation discounts for several inns and hotels are offered through the event’s website

Cayuga SUP Cup

Cayuga SUP Cup

This fun race takes place on July 30, 2016 on Cayuga Lake. It is one of eleven lakes that are long and narrow, hence the name Finger Lakes, in upstate New York. This region is famous for their wines. With a little planning, you could squeeze in a visit to a local vineyard.

This year, the Cayuga SUP cup is a WPA-sanctioned race. The closest town to the race is Ithaca, NY. There are plenty of accommodations around but the fun part is to camp at the park with the rest of the paddle boarders. At night, event organizers have planned activities like outdoor paddle boarding films and bonfires. Get there a day early and attend April Zilg’s race clinic July 29.

We hope you fully take advantage of this paddle boarding season and attend one of these awesome events!

Author: Lia

Lia is a WPA certified paddle board instructor and a Paddle Into Fitness certified SUP yoga instructor. Her husband and her founded Tuga SUP out of Toronto, Canada. They spend their winters in Venezuela, where the weather is perfect for being out on the water.