FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Organisation

How is GBSUP run?

GBSUP is run by volunteers as a not for profit organisation. At present we are not affiliated with a Governing Body. The current management committee consists of Mark Price, and Phil Mather

How can you get involved?

We are always looking for volunteers to support with the one the day running of events.  We are also looking for members of the competition Committee and the Social Committee.  If you are interested please get in touch.

Do I have to be a member of an organisation to race?

You will need your own third party liability insurance in case you cause injury or damage to a third party and you will need a waterways licence for races on inland waters. This can be obtained from British Canoeing by day or annual membership.

Where are the minutes of each Committee?

Minutes from the meetings of the Competition Committee who deal with the technical, appeals and logistical issues of the racing are available here.

Novice or first time racer

How fit do I need to be to race?

If you have any medical conditions that are affected by exercise or exercising outdoors you must let us know and you may need to seek medical advice before competing.

If you are just getting into racing and/or do not feel you are fit enough for the main race categories we will have sorter surfboard shape challenges up to 5 km that are aimed at complete beginners in good weather conditions.

If you have been training a little on technique and fitness then you are more than likely able to finish one of our main race categories either; N1SCO, 12’6″ or 14′ provided you have one of these boards.  Just go easy on yourself and be realistic about where you will place.

What equipment will I need to race?

Mandatory equipment requirements to race are: Board, Paddle and Leash.  You will also need to be wearing clothes and a wetsuit may be worn in cold weather but this may cause you to overheat.   Water is also a good idea for races lasting longer than one hour or in hot weather.  Races 10km and above for new racer will usually take you longer than an hour.

Do only the top racers win prizes?

At every GBSUP race we will have awards for the best placed first time”Rookie” male and female racer.  To qualify for this you must have not raced at a UKSUP or GBSUP race before but you can have raced in any non UKSUP or GBSUP race.

We also award medals for 1st -3rd places based on board and age classes where we can form a podium of at least three people.

Race Specific

What are your board classes and age groups?

Board Classes

  • Surf Shape (shorter races with podiums but no series points)
  • N1SCO
  • 12’6
  • 14’0
  • Unlimited (for boards longer than 14’0 or with other differences)

The following Age Classes apply to all events:

  • < 17 referred to as “Juniors”
  • 18 – 39 referred to as “Seniors”
  • 40 – 49 referred to as “Masters”
  • 50 – 59 referred to as “Veterans”
  • 60+ referred to as “Grand Kahuna”

Can I change board class during the season?

You can change board class as many time as you wish during the season but if you want to gain a National Ranking you must finish three races in one class.

How many races do I need to enter to get a national ranking?

You need to complete 3 races in any one board class to qualify for a national rank in 2018

Where are the full Rules and Procedures?

The full rules are published here, they are approved and updated as and when (usually each year) required by the Competition Committee. A notice will usually be sent via Social Media but you should probably check back at the start of each season for any changes.

Race Clases

Surf Shape / All Round / Leisure Class

This class is ideal for first time racers or paddlers not interested in going fast that want to come and enjoy racing and be part of the National Series.

The board type is less than 12’6″ with a rounded nose and tail.  Piercing hulls (nose shapes) are not permitted to race within this class.  Some touring boards are very similar to race shapes but wider and they must race appropriate class for their board length.

These races are typically 3km to 5km which is approximately half the distance of the main races.

There may be podiums and prizes for this class but no series points.

N1SCO (One Design Class)

Here everyone is on a board with exactly the same specification.  Designed by Naish this type of racing attracts beginners as well as experienced racers.

The Naish One is inflatable and wider than most race boards which makes it slower that your typical race board but more stable.  The board is 12’6″ long by 30″ wide and 6″ deep.

12'6" and 14' Race Classes

This is where racing gets exciting and colorful as long as the board length fits into two board lengths either 12 foot 6 inches or 14 foot.

The boards can either be made of a hard material or inflatable and widths can range from 32 inches down to 21 inches.

There are lots of different manufacturers like Starboard, Naish, Red Paddle Co, SIC, Oxbow, Fanatic, Jimmy Lewis and Loco to name but a few.

The basic principle is that the longer, narrower and lighter the board the more it will glide and the faster it will go, however rider weight and loss of stability start to limit gains the narrower you go.

Other Classes

If you have a board which doesn’t fit into our categories above for some reason we would still like to include you where possible, drop us an email if you want to check or are unsure.

Typically we only form podiums for classes that have at least three competitors (occasionally we can add a podium by merging classes, for instance combining male and female) and award prizes only to established classes that maintain a regular attendance.

That said we want to get as many people paddling as possible, so if you only have an Unlimited Board (longer than 14 feet), a tandem or a board with active steering then we can almost certainly let you join us on the water, record your time and possibly form you your own unique class.

Our primary concerns are safety and practicality, hence mega-boards typically have their own separate races due to their reduced speed, much larger turning circle and well… they tend to involve a lot more chaos and hilarity.

Complaints Process

Who do I speak to if I have a problem or complaint?

Please contact a GBSUP race official or race Director if you have a problem or issue. Our race Directors are Amanda Kelsey, Phil Mather and Mark Price.

Evidence of rule infringements must be presented to a Race Director within 30 minute of the finish of a race with evidence in one of three forms; witness, photo, or video.  This evidence will be reviewed and if upheld the appropriate sanction will be administered.

If I make a complaint how will it affect me?

Our view is that rule infringements are a natural part of a competitive sport.  In the heat and excitement of racing we can all make mistakes.  Rules are there to ensure that everyone competes in a safe and respectful environment.

If a rule is broken it must be dealt with and there must be no backlash on the person that reports the rule break.  You will be fully supported by the GBSUP Competition Committee who’s job it is to make sure that complaints to not go beyond the ruling and any penalty given to either party.

If I make a mistake and break the rules what will happen?

Our view is that rule infringements are a natural part of a competitive sport.  In the heat and excitement of racing we can all make mistakes.  Rules are there to ensure that everyone competes in a safe and respectful environment.

If a rule is broken it must be dealt with and there must be no backlash on the person that breaks the rules.  The complaint will be dealt with by the Competition Committee and the appropriate sanction will be administered with no further implications.

You will be fully supported by the GBSUP Competition Committee who’s job it is to make sure that complaints to not go beyond the ruling and any penalty given to either party.