Race Rules


Paddleboard Race Rules and Safety

Required Safety Equipment

All SUPS are required to wear a leash and a pfd.

All outriggers and surf skis are required to wear a pfd.

Prone boards are exempt from a leash and a pfd.

Race Rules

a) A competitor must be standing while paddling once a race has started (prone paddlers excluded) until crossing over the finish line. A competitor is allowed to sit, lay or kneel to rest without making forward progress. If a competitor takes more than five strokes while sitting, laying or kneeling once a race has started the competitor may be disqualified (DNF). The exception with this would be for safety reasons where a competitor needs to avoid or may be put into a potentially dangerous situation that would put them or others at risk of  injury and or property damage.

b) A competitor shall only use the paddle, waves and wind to propel the board forward during a race. No outside assistance drafting a vessel not in the race, form of a sail, clothing designed to catch wind, or any other speed device not considered the norm to SUP or paddleboard racing is allowed. Boat wakes are considered natural conditions unless a competitor is deemed as getting an unfair advantage over other competitors as with drafting (see drafting rule).

c) The safety of all participants and competitions is the number one priority of the event committee and Seven Seas Industries. Participants shall attend all competitor meetings and race postings to keep themselves informed with the typical conditions for the race and also the day of conditions to be expected. Race Directors will warn competitors of any dangers that could occur and where all safety personal will be located on the course during the pre-race competitors meeting. Competitors shall be mindful of the hand signals to be used if someone is injured, danger (paddle in the air, waiving or erect) or in need of help but not injured (hand in the air). All competitors should be mindful with any persons that may be in danger during the course of the race and should assist or help get safety staff attention. The United States Coast Guard recommends wearing lifejackets while operating personal watercraft (PWC) such as a Stand Up Paddle board.

d) A racer may only draft off another competitor in the same board class, gender and number of competitors per board. In other words, if you are racing on a SUP 12’6” board and a female competitor you may only draft off another female competitor on a SUP 12’6” board. A racer may NOT draft off any other board class, vessel or opposite gender. A competitor is allowed time to pass another competitor without a rules infraction however a competitor must make a effort to pass or move out away from the draft of the other craft to not incur a penalty or disqualification. The maximum time allowed without making progress to pass another craft is one minute. Penalty will be one minute added for each infraction or disqualification for a rules breech of drafting as determined by the race committee.

e) Drafting distance: a competitor is declared drafting when they are inside 3 meters (10 feet) behind another racer and 2 meters (6.5 feet) on the side of another competitor without making an effort to pass. A competitor does have 500 meter (546 yards) from the start of the race to let competitors to get sorted out. After 500 meters it is up to the racers and the race committee to police drafting. Please see rule 9a to help eliminate drafting out of class.


a) It is the competitor’s responsibility to act in a sportsman like fashion, avoid a collision at all times and obey the listed rules on the event web site and announced by the race director. If there is contact or unsportsmanlike conduct during the time of a race that effects the outcome for any racer and they feel they have been penalized or interfered with that has caused the racer to lose position and or time, the competitor that was deemed penalized must file a written protest within 15 minutes of the last person to finish the race in question. In doing so the competitor must inform the other party(s) that they may have fouled them during the course of the race and also bring in any witness’s to attest to their claim and or protest to the race committee. All protest decisions are final upon the committee’s review and the protest committee may rule in favor or overrule the protest.

b) Violations of the rules and or unsportsmanlike conduct by a competitor that is listed on the event web site or that is posted by the race director but not limited to: purposely obstructing or interfering with another competitor, causing damage or bodily harm to another competitor, use of profane language toward any persons or competitor while at a race, not rounding a mark, competing on the proper course, over the start line early, avoiding a collision and adhering to the drafting rules. A witness(s) are mandatory to back one’s violation claim for all parties affected.