North Avenue Beach SUP Race Series

On Tuesday evening, I participated in my second NAB (North Avenue Beach) race series event!  As I've mentioned in my other posts, I'm not so sure I want to become an SUP racer, but the stroke tips from Kirsten Lefeldt have been very helpful.  I met Kirsten through my instagram blog and she graciously invited me to this event and to paddle with a few people at the Lincoln Park Boat Club - which resulted in me signing up for late summer registration at LPBC. 

The stroke techniques are valuable to learn even if you never enter a race.  I think back on the windy paddles through Lake Powell and down the Colorado River and these tips would have really helped me get through those difficult SUP trips.  Kirsten introduced pivot turns to us last night and I actually really, really enjoy doing them - on calm water!  When we started the race and the water was a little rougher, I tried it once and then went back to my standard turn as to not risk falling off my paddle board.  You have to take a surfer's stance to perform a pivot turn and I've never been surfing, but after last night, I think I might need to try - did I say how much enjoyed trying out pivot turns!   

I brought my inflatable paddle board to the race series the first night and although I was just fine with the inflatable, a hard board moves a little faster.  This time, I rented an SUP board from Chicago SUP (at a discounted rate for the event) and it was a little different experience.  I may still try with my inflatable again, but the rental is a great option.

I'll be blogging each week about what we learn at the race series, but I also encourage anyone in the Chicago area to join us!  It's only $5 to enter and you can bring your own paddle board or rent one from Chicago SUP.  I'm motivated to attend not only because I'm learning new skills, but the evening paddles are absolutely gorgeous - the skyline in the background of the sunset just can't be beat!