Which race distance for first race?

5 months 1 day ago #35959 by robin.mousley

ADL2020 wrote: Robin,
Thank you for the info!  Just curious...surfskiing is a lot more popular in South Africa than the US, correct?  


Well, South Africa certainly used to be considered one of the "big" surfski nations, along with Australia.  I guess it still is, although attendance at races is not what it used to be (partly because of competition from other sports like trail running, cycling and mountain biking).  At our most successful local series, we probably get around 90-100 paddlers (Seadog on a Friday night).

It is true too that here in Cape Town there is plenty of racing in summer - Tuesday night series in Hout Bay, Wednesday night Downwind Dash in Milnerton, Thursday (I think) in Strand and then bigger races on the weekend.  Plus when the southeaster blows, there might be anything from 50-100 people doing the Miller's Run on a weekend day, 20-30 on a weekday, with a smaller number doing downwinds in other parts of Cape Town.  So yep, it's big here.

Here's the heatmap, pretty cool: www.strava.com/heatmap#10.22/18.42440/-34.03498/hot/water

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
Attachments:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 months 1 day ago #35960 by mrcharly
Not sure I can agree with the 'start fast, finish slow' philosophy. IME, being able to hammer it over the closing stages is very important.
Sustained, my race-pace (on deep water) is probably 11-12kph. 
Over the last 500m of a race, I'll be caning it at 14-16kph - and I get out-sprinted by people.
The last time I won a race, it was by 15s;  400m from the  finish line I was sitting on the wash, in 3rd place.
If you can't hammer it over the closing stages, you will get passed by a lot of people.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 months 12 hours ago #35963 by waverider
Big difference between open water and flatwater racing, especially when it comes to wash riding. Flatwater paddlers tend to be following same lines and there are no other waves other than the wash.

Wash riding tends to be more the go as you move up the ranking and you are paddling with folks of similar capability. Other faster paddlers leave you behind before you can get on their wash, or you are still having to be flat out over extending yourself just to stay on their wash and still subsequently exhausting yourself. Conversely you dont want to be wash riding slower paddlers or you can end up selling yourself short

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 months 7 hours ago #35964 by ADL2020
@waverider,
Hmmmmm, interesting.  So, if I'm dropped by the faster groups/not even able to catch them (which I anticipate happening, especially at the beginning) but other groups are too slow do I just go by myself and not follow the wash on anyone?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 months 7 hours ago #35965 by robin.mousley

ADL2020 wrote: @waverider,
Hmmmmm, interesting.  So, if I'm dropped by the faster groups/not even able to catch them (which I anticipate happening, especially at the beginning) but other groups are too slow do I just go by myself and not follow the wash on anyone?


"That depends"!

If you're feeling strong, you may want to carry on by yourself - you then have the satisfaction of knowing you did it by yourself - or you can paddle a little slower and wait for the next group to catch up, if you're feeling tired.

A couple of years back, Hank McGregor found himself out in front of the ICF World Marathon Champs, having dropped all the other competitors and he famously slowed down and let the chase pack catch up to him.  He worked with them until the last lap and then dropped them again to take the championship.

I'm not a great end-sprinter so I tend to try to stay ahead of the following group if I can.  I'm always afraid (with some reason, since it happens) that if I drop back onto the pack, they'll out-sprint me at the finish!

It's worth noting that in a long race, it's considered polite to take your turn in pulling the group.  In canoeing, if you don't take your turn, you may well be spoken to harshly, but that doesn't happen so much in surfski paddling, especially mid-pack.  There's a whole bunch of tactics related to wash-riding and diamonds, etc.  Personally if I'm feeling strong, I might take the pull for a while, but if I'm scratching to stay on the slip, then stuff it, I'll stay there as long as I can, and not bother to try to take the pull.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 months 6 hours ago #35967 by ADL2020
It's worth noting that in a long race, it's considered polite to take your turn in pulling the group. 

Interesting!  This makes sense.  How do you know when it's your turn to pull?  
Also, is 10k considered a long race?
Thanks!!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 months 6 hours ago #35968 by robin.mousley

ADL2020 wrote: It's worth noting that in a long race, it's considered polite to take your turn in pulling the group. 

Interesting!  This makes sense.  How do you know when it's your turn to pull?  
Also, is 10k considered a long race?
Thanks!!


There's no hard and fast rule.  For me it's when and if I start to feel guilty!  Or when the other guys start complaining.
And yep, this kind of thing would definitely come into play in a 10km race.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 months 6 hours ago #35969 by mrcharly
When do you take the pull?

If you are lucky enough to get in a 'smart' group, then:
1) They have possibly practiced rotations (taking turns at the front) with club mates.
2) They will know that if the group works together, they have a better chance of catching the group ahead (or staying ahead of the group behind).

I've only had this happen spontaneously once in a race. I was pulling a group, we were the second group. As soon as I started to flag a bit from my pace, someone else moved to the front - and then the rotation kicked in. For the next 4km, we switched every couple of minutes. In a group of 4, that meant that the lead paddler of the diamond could pile it on. No words exchanged, we just did it automatically. 

So the answer to your question depends on whether you are with a smart bunch or not. A smart bunch with change frequently. If you are with a dumb group, then it can be difficult - people will just stupidly jostle for the front rather than switch around. 

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 months 1 hour ago #35971 by MCImes
Agreed with rob and charly. its somewhat uncommon for a nice rotation to happen. Typically it happens more organically. If someone is on your butt for too long, just slow down for a moment intentionally to give them the hint (assuming you're not chasing the podium or a personal best). Or put in an interval and try to drop them if you're in the mood.  

I agree its much more likely to be a coordinated effort if its a group that knows each other. If you're behind for a while, im sure no one would mind if you just asked 'want me to pull for a while?'

The worst is when someone rides your wave all race, wont pull, then sprints past you at the finish with their extra energy. That makes me quite mad. The couple times that has happened, I make sure to note who it is and do everything in my power to stay well ahead or away from folks like that in the future. Just dont be that person and you're all good. 

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

4 months 4 weeks ago #35973 by Epicpaddler
All good advice. I'm getting ready to start training for my third season of racing. I will race any race I can find within a 3 hour drive, unless it's a big race like the Carolina Cup. Most local races around here are longer than 10K. Anything shorter is usually a flat out sprint. I like 10-15K races because I don't have to paddle flat out the whole time. Surfski racing is not super popular in my area. I've only seen one other surfski in the area I train. Like others have said, just get out and do it. I surprised myself last year coming off a torn rotator cuff and winning a few fall races. It's so much fun, but most importantly its cool to hang around like minded individuals. I'm hoping to haul my ski 1000+ miles down to Florida for a race in April. Maybe I'll see you there. Lucky you don't have to wait until the water isn't frozen solid to paddle:)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

4 months 4 weeks ago #35980 by ADL2020
EpicPaddler, are you planning on doing the Florida Cup?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

4 months 4 weeks ago #35981 by ADL2020
@mcnye1, I'm going to paddle the crisp park course this Sunday---excited to see how it goes!  

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

4 months 3 weeks ago #35987 by Epicpaddler
Yes, If all goes well I'll drive the 1000+ miles to race in the Florida Cup. I'm a school teacher and if we use more snow days they could take away our spring bring, which means I couldn't go.

I paddled for the first time in 2020 today. It was 36 degrees and blowing about 10-15 knots. Windier than I expected, but felt good to get out on the water. Don't know if I can count that as "training" because I don't know how long the water will stay unfrozen. Lucky you don't have to deal with that.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

4 months 3 weeks ago #35988 by ADL2020
EpicPaddler,
Man, I can't imagine paddling in those conditions!  Sounds like no fun....I'm so glad I moved down to FL.  I grew up in PA.
Cool!  I'm a teacher too...6th grade Reading.  It's a great stress reliever after work.  

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Latest Forum Topics

Possum's Avatar

Carbonology Boost (8 Posts)

13 hours 31 minutes ago

Soft spot repair worth it? (2 Posts)

16 hours 59 minutes ago

new V9 (16 Posts)

1 day 12 hours ago
Protected by R Antispam