So, as promised we are going to be talking to some racers about what it was like to do their very first race. The first person we’re going to talk to is Sam Roper, who did her very first race last week on a stand up paddleboard in the Lone Rock Return Race!

Amy: So Sam, how long have you been paddleboarding for, and what inspired you to take part in your first race??

Sam: I’ve been paddling for 7 years recreationally, and decided to race because I wanted to get out on the water more. I didn’t paddle as much as I would have liked last year, and now have my own paddleboard – it’s a 12’6 touring board but works for racing too. I chose to do a Tuesday Night Race because I knew sort of how it worked as I used to be a guide for Deep Cove Kayak.

Sam in the registration line up

A: How did you feel before the race, and did you know what to expect from the race?

S: I was slightly intimidated knowing I might be the only one whose first race it was, but seeing people I knew helped to ease my anxieties. I had NO idea what to expect in terms of how doing the race would feel – it was only my second time on the water this year, so athletically-wise I didn’t really feel prepared! Once I got going and was paddling though I felt much better.

Start line of the Tuesday Night Race

A: What was it like on the start line??

S: Well by that point, the jitters had gone because I knew that I was committed – I just had to do it! I was also at the back so I could see what was going on ahead of me. The start itself was pretty choppy with all the paddlers around, but the board was stable, and I knew I could handle some waves so i just ‘gave ‘er’!!

A: And how did the race itself feel?

S: It felt looooooooong, but it also felt good. I definitely pushed myself, it was probably the first time I have all-out paddled – every other time I’ve taken it pretty easy! When I got to the finish line I could really feel my arms, but i wasn’t completely exhausted. I definitely got a high afterwards!

Sam on the start line

A: And would you do another race??

S: I would definitely do another race, yes. I have signed up for Board the Fjord+ in May so I had better get some practice in the meantime! I would like to work on my technique before I do another so I am paddling more efficiently, and I need a shorter paddle than the one I was using for that race.

Sam during the race

A: Finally, have you got any advice for anyone considering doing a race for the first time?

S: DO IT!! I was on the fence for a while about taking part, but everyone has to have a first race if they want to race, so you may as well do it and enjoy it!

Our next Tuesday Night Race is April 24th, and it’s the Beachview Criterium Race which involves one, two or three laps around buoys near to Grey Rocks. Call us at 604.929.2268 ext 1 if you have any questions about doing YOUR first race, and we’ll see you there!