The race in stand up paddle is open to everyone, however it is necessary to have good physical conditions and suitable equipment.
To get an idea of the performance of our Alpha 12’6×28, here is a video of tests carried out in real conditions in the port of Le Conquet in Brittany:
⇩ We tell you all about the paddle race just below ⇩
In order to maximize your chances of passing the finish line in the lead, you need to make sure you choose a suitable and efficient material. Each part (rocker, tail, pad…) is important because it impacts your performance on the water.
Before buying your paddle, you have to choose between several models and two different construction, fiber or PVC (i.e. hard or inflatable). The advantage of the fiber is undeniably the shape of the Board that will be more hydrodynamic because it allows finer vanishing line. Even so, with equal weight, the inflatable paddles performs well in the game of races. On flat water, there are no performance differences. On the other hand, in highly formed seas, hard boards will be more efficient. The second strong point of the inflatable stand up paddle is of course the reduced footprint during transport. The Board, paddle the pump and all accessories fit into the backpack which takes up only a little space in the trunk.
The construction of Alpha inflatable stand up paddle is much more sophisticated than standard inflatable boards. Firstly, the two layers of high-end PVC (the same as that of semi-rigid boats) are assembled thanks to FUSION technology. To compensate for the traditional use of glue, we weld the layers by thermowelding in order to gain weight and rigidity. Then, the rails are composed of three layers of PVC superimposed to guarantee the impact resistance and considerably increase the overall rigidity of the SUP. Finally, the paddle frame is made up of a very high-end dropstich. It is a set of nylon filament that connects the upper and lower layers between them, it also contributes to the rigidity of the Board. The more filaments there are, the more rigid the Board is.
We especially worked on the nose of the Alpha to allow it to split the water and not to be slowed down in case of swell. The rocker (longitudinal curvature of the underside of the board) avoids that the nose hits the choppy and thus maintains a very good glide by lightly flying over the choppy.
The front inflation valve facilitates folding while emptying the air from the board.
The net on the front of your board allows you to slip a flask or any other useful accessory in rides or races.
The surface where you are on the Board is in Eva-pad, a adherent foam surface cut from solid. It covers two-thirds of the paddle to allow you to be forward enought during the downwind but also to be at the maximum back to rotate when passing the buoys.
This is the back of the Board, where you attach your leash to a D-ring. The more wide is the tail, the more stable will be the board, however this greatly increases the drag and slows you down. That’s why the alpha 12 ‘ 6X28 has a narrow tail, it allows you to achieve a better speed with very good sliding sensations.
The alpha is also available in green!
The alpha paddle comes with a series of high-end accessories. The fin you attach under the Board is a US fin that slips into the rail and secured with a screw. It is a long and profiled fin to increase your stability and help you keep your trajectory.
The bag in which your paddle and accessories are stored is specially designed for the alpha range. It is a reinforced bag that allows you to store all your equipment. You can carry it by hand, on the back or use the casters to use it as a suitcase.
After studying the choice of stand up paddle, it is important to focus your attention on your paddle. Indeed, it is your “engine”, it then is preferable to use a 100% carbon model (presented in video here), in order to combine rigidity and lightness.
As we mentioned in our article How to choose your SUP, stand up paddling makes work a large part of the muscles from the trapezius of the neck to the bottom of the calves. In addition to his good muscular capacity, the practitioner must not neglect his cardiac performance. Indeed, SUP races are endurance events during which the heart is put to the test.