By Robert Norman
Greetings again readers! I’m Robert Norman, SUP paddler from Florida and today we will be delving into my equipment for the Guinness World Record attempt on Feb 10th-Feb 11th at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota. The current number to beat to be put into the men’s record is 99.4 miles or 160 kilometers. My current training is suggesting a number closer to 120 miles or 193 kilometers. First I want to go over my equipment. Without these specific items I am currently using, this attempt would be nearing the limits of impossible for me.
My board of choice for this event is my 17’6 x 23 (217L) Starboard Sprint Unlimited. This board was commercially produced in 2014 and there are less than 10 of them floating around globally. It’s a very niche board, the fact that it is an unlimited that can only be utilized in flatwater settings makes it something not many people seek to own. Without this board my attempt on this record would be postponed one or even two years to adequately prepare myself physically on a less efficient flatwater board.
My next tool is my paddle, I will be doing the event with a Quickblade Trifecta 76sq inch, and the paddle length is 75 inches to my 67 inch height. This is the smallest blade size in this model that Quickblade currently produces. The Trifecta has a soft catch and a powerful bite during the power phase. The more forgiving flex in the blade makes it ideal for longer distance racing (in my opinion) and the small blade size will be instrumental in conserving energy during the entire event. I normally have a length closer to 70 inches but in this case I need the extra few inches to save my body from bending so often.
Currently I’m on pace for over 60,000 paddle strokes, so any energy saved per stroke is crucial. Because of the board, and its efficient glide per stroke naturally, I am able to compromise on how efficient my paddle could be for a shorter, higher energy race and still maintain a pace for the world record.
I will be using a Larry Allison single fin unlimited keel fin (blue fin.) A very small surface area fin is used because the length of the board allows it to track in a straight line much more efficiently, so you only need the smallest of assistance to keep the board where you want to go while maximizing your projection forward.
Other miscellaneous gear include my NK SpeedCoach 2 GPS which will be used to record the exact distance travelled, and my clothing, that is designed to provide slight compression support around certain joints as well as keep me adequately protected from the sun.