7 Key Strategies to Get Fast! SUP Fast – Speedboard USA


Speedboard USA

Global Partner

Get Fast! SUP Fast – Speedboard USA

Getting fast/faster on your SUP starts with the paddler – smart training that allows for proper technique, endurance, power and skills are all keys. The engine is the most important aspect to getting fast. Combine a finely tuned engine with the right board/paddle, and you have a recipe for success – whether it is competing at a high level, knocking off an ambitious adventure or just finding the right fitness groove. SUP speed requires work, smarts, and the ability to excel in the desired conditions.

Training – an all-around approach

Getting faster through the water means a commitment to smart training. Start with your goals and then design a program to meet those goals. We are strong proponents of an all-around approach that combines endurance training with technique and ocean skills. Here are some suggestions for a training program (and assumes that you already have a solid SUP fitness base):

On the water tools: safety gear, hydration/energy, heart rate monitor, watch, GPS (either a watch or a Speedpuck), Go Pro – for analysis

–  Always warm up and cool down. Start with 20 minutes of easy paddling. Find a protected area and just cruise. Get the muscles loosened up and focus on technique. Slow everything down. Set a solid catch, engage the body through the power phase, and then get a clean release. Practice switching hands smoothly and move your stance around. After the warm up, stretch out. SUP works the whole body so loosen up the feet, legs, torso, shoulders, neck, arms, hands etc. At the end of your workout cool down in the same fashion.

–  Interval days (2 days per week and add some short ones on your medium distance days). Have a solid paddling fitness base before pushing the intervals too hard!  Warm up and then get into sets of intervals at various distances and/or times. Time can be a great tool. Longer intervals can be in the 10-20 min variety (65 -75% intensity), medium 3-5 minute (75-85%), and speed work in the 30 seconds to 1.5-minute range (85-95%). Keep paddling easily between intervals. Do not over stress yourself! Done right intervals will build your endurance, power and speed. Done wrong (overdoing it) you will stress your body out and risk injury. A key can be to focus on cadence. Do some intervals with less power but a faster cadence. Keep the technique solid and then combine a faster cadence with more power. Change your grip around. Especially upwind, try getting lower and place the top hand below the T-Grip/handle. Get the engine running and let the faster/shorter cadence propel the board. Also, try dropping a foot into a hybrid stance during some intervals and alternate which foot gets dropped. This helps strengthen the core and will aid on downwind runs or in many situations where having fore/aft balance (in addition to lateral) helps. You may find isolating muscle groups beneficial during intervals as well. Focus on that torso rotation!

–  Have a distance day (1 per week). Distance paddles are fun! They allow for exploration and a break from interval grinding. Make sure you have enough energy/water with you and crank out some miles. If you are fit then 6-14+ miles may be the target distances. Make a plan with the weather, tides/currents (you ocean-goers), and anticipated conditions in mind. Find a groove that keeps the board moving and does not over tax you. Distance paddles can be point to point or you can set a long triangle that will allow for paddling upwind, downwind, and crosswind. Move your feet around, change your grip, use your weight to edge the board, and try more of a c-stroke (nose draw) to keep the board tracking if necessary. In addition to the physical benefits, distance paddles are also money in the bank when it comes to mental preparation.

–  Medium Distance/Skill Days/ Fun Days (2-3 per week). Medium distance days are a great opportunity to mix it all up.  Take what the weather is giving you, especially if you aspire to paddle in bigger conditions and/or in and out of surf. Have a target of 2.5 – 5 miles on these days but add in a mixture of legs. If you have a beach with a small/medium break then go out, paddle a set distance/time and then turn around and ride back into the beach. Repeat. If a beach is not available but there is wind and chop then go upwind, downwind, and crosswind. Practice pivot turns, moving around on the board, and bracing. Mix it all up and play with the board/conditions. If you have the location, conditions, and gear then go SUP surfing or for an epic downwinder!

–  Cross train (1-3 days per week). SUP works the whole body and it is a good idea to mix in some other activities like running, biking, hiking, skiing – you name it. You can combine some these activities on days that you paddle or on days that you want a break from the board. Pilates, yoga, crossfit, and weight training are good ideas too. They make the body/joints strong and limber and help with injury prevention.

–  Be smart! If you go hard then get enough sleep, eat right, and listen to your body. Rest when needed and do not overdo it. Taper close to race time and always try and keep your training fresh. Paddling should be fun. Keep a good perspective and acknowledge that increasing your skills, power, and endurance is a process! Most of us have arrived at SUP from other activities and it takes time to master all that is competitive/performance SUP. Except for a select few, we will never master all the facets of the sport and that is rewarding because we always have plenty to work on.

In addition, almost all of us have other jobs/responsibilities during the week so find a good balance between life and paddling (or paddling and life…or maybe life is paddling…). Have fun out there and let us know how you are doing!


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About Speedboard USA

Speedboard USA is a stand-up paddle (SUP) board company designing and building innovative boards for the performance paddler. Each Speedboard is specifically designed to promote paddling efficiency, enabling elite racers, avid paddlers and SUP enthusiasts to move through the water faster, with less effort.

The 2013 board line-up has been designed to bring the all out speed you expect from Speedboard USA designs and some additional ”tweeks” to make them perform better. All of the boards feature a slightly raised foredeck to create a sharper “spill angle” for waves, low wind signature and greater rigidity. Enhanced rail thickness at the shoulder and our “wishbone” deck shape further add to the stiff flex profile of these boards. Stiffer is faster.

Our 2013 lineup includes the R55 e Unlimited Marathon Machine, 3-different 14′s, and a 12’6″. All of these boards offer the ultimate glide and are suitable for anyone who desires performance, quality, and a made in the USA product!

If you are interested in more information then please contact us:



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