Dana Point’s iconic beach hosts top event in standup and prone paddling
The Pacific Paddle Games presented by Salt Life will return for its fourth year at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, California, October 6-7, 2018. The weekend is massive celebration of standup and prone paddling and will feature Technical and Distance races (in both Pro and Open divisions), including Pro Junior and Youth categories, Prone divisions, a free Demo Zone, Clinics, a $60,000 prize purse (the largest in the sport), and much more. There’s something for every level of paddler at the Pacific Paddle Games, whether it’s a first-timer getting on the water, a family of paddlers competing in their different age groups or the best racers in the world going toe-to-toe. Everyone is welcome at the PPGs!
There are two divisions for races: Open (age group) and Pro (Elite). Our Open divisions are for athletes who compete at a non-professional level. Only Pro paddlers are eligible to compete for the $60,000 prize purse.
See the full weekend schedule for the 2018 Pacific Paddle Games here!
Pacific Paddle Games Race courses
The first paddler will start with their boards on the start line. On the start command the first relay member will paddle towards buoy #1, making a left turn to buoy #2, making another left turn and head towards shore. Competitors will dismount their board and run through the finish area to the start line and tag the second paddler. Relay teams have the option of having the second paddler’s board in their hand, or in the water with a handler. If the board is in the water, after being tagged the competitor will run to their board and jump on. Paddlers 2-4 will follow the same course. The fourth paddler will finish through the finish area. Each team member will complete one lap of the course.
All Super Groms will start at the water’s edge next to their boards. On the start command they will jump on their board and paddle towards buoy #1, making a left turn to buoy #2, making another left turn and head towards shore. After reaching shore, Super Groms will jump off their board and run through the finish with their paddle. This course is designed for beginning youth paddlers, taking place on the far north side of the beach. There are no breaking waves on the Super Grom Course.
With a water start, paddlers will make there way south to turning buoy #1 which will be 1.4 miles from the start. After rounding buoy #1 with a left shoulder turn, competitors will head to buoy #2, make a left turn on Buoy #2 and buoy #3, then head south to the southern most turning buoy (#1). On the second lap competitors will make a right shoulder turn at buoy #4 and proceed to the finish line. The Distance course features a buoy (#2) where the crowd will be able to see the racer’s position after the first of two laps. Competitors must complete the course in under 3 hours.
The 2018 Youth Technical Course will include 6 turns, with a mix of right and lefts. All turning buoys will be outside the surf-line. Competitors will start on the beach, make their through the surf making a left turn on buoy #1. Turn #2 will be a right turn around the large yellow, U-shaped PPG buoy. Followed by a left turn on buoy #3, right turn at buoy #4, and a left turn on buoy #5. After buoy #5 competitors will make a right turn on buoy #7, head towards shore, finishing on the beach.
The 2018 Open Technical Course features 6 turns per lap with a mix of right and left turns. All turning buoys will be outside the surf-line. Competitors will start on the beach, make their through the surf making a left turn on buoy #1. Turn #2 will be a right turn around the large yellow, U-shaped PPG buoy. Followed by a left turn on buoy #3, right turn at buoy #4, and a left turn on buoy #5. On the first lap competitors will then make a left turn at buoy #6 which is the small U-shaped PPG buoy. Following the same course for lap two, after buoy #5 competitors will make a right turn on buoy #7, head towards shore, finishing on the beach.
For the second year the Pacific Paddle games is giving the top Open competitors the chance to race on the Pro Course. Those that qualify will be able to test their surf skills against the top Open competitors from around the world!
The Pro Technical course was designed to challenge competitors’ speed, surf skills, and ability to change direction. In all heats, except the finals paddlers will complete two laps of the “bow tie” shaped course which has a mix of right & left hand turns, and features two buoys inside the surf line. These two buoys in the surf-line will be place just off the beach in water deep enough to execute a turn, not directly in the impact zone.