Paddle Racing Options
If you’re at all interested in kayak/surfski racing, please don’t be shy or intimidated. There are some excellent races across Michigan in the summer and they are all extremely welcoming of beginners. . Several years ago we founded the Great Lakes Surfski Race Series and worked hard to grow the race circuit. Unfortunately a couple of our anchor races dissolved and it has been hard to rebuild the momentum to manage a series.
That said, Michigan has some of the best surfski racing conditions in the world and we’re optimistic that as the sport grows we’ll build the necessary momentum to have an active race community.
If you are at all interested in racing, please support the races below and if their numbers grow, race directors will be more motivated to add more.
This is an awesome race festival, now going into its 4th year. Kids Races, SUP Races, and starting in 2018 a paddle/bike race as well. Add an after party at Hop-A-Lot brewing and it’s hard to ask for a better Saturday in June
The absolute best downwind paddle race in the Midwest. Consistent and manageable conditions and at 14 miles it is a real challenge, yet very doable. If you want to find out what surfski racing is about, you must do this race. Check out my 2018 race recap
The only thing better than this race may be the after party. This is a super fun summer paddle festival with several different race options and all day music and beach party
Ride the Wave Regatta is a long standing paddle race along the beautiful white sand shoreline on the south end of Lake Michigan. With both short and long distance options this race has a little bit for everyone
The races listed below aren’t in Michigan, but they are all bucket list worthy races that are attracting paddlers from all over the country
A full week of spring fun with clinics, a large expo, and plenty of race options. The Carolina Cup boasts the largest SUP race in the world and hosted 900+ paddlers last year
Much more than a race, this is a week long festival of downwind fun! More than any other event in the country, the Gorge Downwind Champs has put surfski on the map in the US. There is a reason it sells out quickly. To learn more check out our coverage via several podcasts and blogs
An excellent end of season bucket list race to keep you motivated to train through the summer. The Chattajack 31 has grown considerably over the years.