WHAT IS SUPCROSS?
Simply put, it is Stand Up Paddleboard racing on a closed course... Stand-up Paddleboard (SUP) racing is typically done on a long course, most commonly occurring on rivers or along the shoreline of lakes and ocean waters. SUPcross uses the same closed course race track that is use in watercross (aka jet ski racing).
SUPcross offers the most dynamic setting found on flat water…period! It bridges the extensive gap between standard “straight-line” SUP races, and the more extreme elements of whitewater SUP racing; by eliminating any unforeseen hazards, and establishing a safe, contained environment within a closed course race track, this allows paddlers (of all abilities) the “SUP-racing ride of their life”!
SUPcross will push these athletes to their limits as they take sharp left and right turns, testing their agility and stamina. The closed course features a buoy-marked track that is designed to keep the competition tight and fans close to the action. Speed, technique and determination will all come into play throughout each race, with as many as 20 paddlers negotiating a series of pivot turns and straightaways in this qualifying style of racing that include heats, semi-finals and finals. The vision for having single-lap heats, is to keep the pace as high as it could get in any sports arena. With a short-enough distance to keep the pace at peak level, yet just long enough to allow for contested lead-changes and sudden shifts in momentum, “SUPcross” possesses those pivotal moments that will live on in the history of sports forever!
What happens during a SUPcross competition?
During “SUPcross” competitions, racers are assembled into heats of up to 20 competitors at once. They begin the race in an even line, typically starting on the water, yet at some venues there can be a “beach start” where racers charge the water with their board in hand before jumping on it.
There will always be a thrilling sprint to the first buoy turn, in hopes of having a clear path to the rest of the buoys throughout the closed-course! Positioning will be highly contested on straightaways and as racers jockey for position going in to tight pivot turns. Some contact may occur between boards and paddles, however never between the paddlers themselves. As the saying goes…” Rubbing is Racing”!
Paddlers will pursue the top places to auto-qualify for the finals, whereas other paddlers that finish in the top half of the pack, will get another opportunity to still qualify for the finals by racing additional heats. “SUPcross” will ultimately demand athletes to possess a diverse array of aggressive board stances, technical paddle strokes, and fuse athleticism with a focused tenacity to achieve victory! It is…without a doubt, the future of flat-water SUP racing!
What are the different color bouys for?
Huge colorful buoys are used to indicate turns in the racecourse. The Pro Watercross Tour also uses long hot-dog inflatables to mark the merge lane from the split course.