Technique with Travis – Racing strategy 101

This week in Technique with Travis, we’re going to have a brief chat about SUP racing strategy, and what to do to get the very best out of your training when it’s time to compete.

Travis of course is no stranger to competition himself, having numerous big titles on his name, and coming in third last weekend at the prestigious OluKai Ho’olaule’a on Maui:

The OluKai is a perfect distance for elite level athletes, but it isn’t too long for the intermediate either. This is why it is a perfect race for accomplished watermen and not just the best of the best. You do need to bring your A-game though, and being a seasoned open ocean downwind racer is going to determine how well you do. With Molokai being the bigger race by now, OluKai is usually a Hawaiian-only affair with the very best locals snagging up some valuable points. Having local knowledge and a solid racing strategy should pay off here.

With a one-day delay because of bad weather and less wind than expected, the race eventually took place on Sunday. With little wind to carry the paddlers, the advantage on the first 6 miles of the course was in strength rather than downwind skills. But to make it through the last part through massive swell required a lot of heart and a stroke of luck for the finishing athletes.

Full results below the article.

Race Strategy Technique

Also in this how-to series:

Technique with Travis – Choosing your SUP fins
Technique with Travis – Recessed decks and what does it do? (scroll down)
Technique with Travis – How to do fast beach starts

Main Takeaways


Practice falling off your board and getting back on quickly to prepare for unexpected situations.


Learn to control the internal processes like breathing and develop a focus on efficiency and speed.


Plan ahead and visualize your race before an event. We recommend joining to learn how to properly prepare for a race.


1Connor Baxter1:12:50HawaiiOpen
2James Casey1:14:45AustraliaOpen
3Travis Grant1:15:35AustraliaOpen
4Ty Judson1:15:50AustraliaOpen
5Matt Nottage1:18:41AustraliaOpen
6Josh Riccio1:21:00USAOpen
7Nathan Cross1:23:46AustraliaOpen
8Ryan Funk1:24:00USAOpen
9Noah Garfield1:26:44HawaiiOpen
10John Hadley1:34:28USAOpen
11Robert Stehlik1:36:22HawaiiOpen
12John Walsh1:37:58Hawaii40+
13Livio Menelau1:39:53BrazilOpen
14Bojan Bernard1:40:10Hawaii50+
15Hans Wannemacher1:43:10New ZealandOpen
16Jordan Hetrick1:43:59USA40+
17Kyle Ellison1:44:30HawaiiOpen
18Ben Chalmers1:44:51Australia40+
19Alex Mawae1:44:54HawaiiJunior
20Adam Schell1:45:15CanadaOpen
21Brian Fishbook1:45:50Canada40+
22Zane Saenz1:46:59USAJunior
23Ron St. John1:47:51USA50+
24Masao Fukayama1:52:39Japan40+
25Kelso Offenbaker1:55:00New Zealand40+
26Brandon McCormick1:56:46USA40+
27Geoff James1:58:1250+
28Zoltan Bazso1:58:1540+
29Samuel Shnider1:58:4740+
30Searay Beltran2:07:1550+
31Kadu De Siqueira2:11:05Open
32Anderson Gallagher2:17:06Junior
33Jacob Bick2:17:3850+
34James Williams2:23:3760+
35Karl Wannemacher2:25:2260+
36Joe Woodman2:25:4650+
37Fred Andersen2:26:2560+
38Nathan Smith2:35:52Open


1Sonni Honscheid1:27:36GermanyOpen
2Penelope Strickland1:33:18New ZealandOpen
3Annie Reickert1:33:48HawaiiJunior
4Yuka Sato1:35:46JapanOpen
5Jade Howson1:36:39USAJunior
6Laura Quetglas1:44:23SpainOpen
7Shanna Upton1:51:31Hawaii40+
8Natali Fon1:59:11USA50+
9Elizabeth Campos2:08:02USA40+
10Wendy Tillett2:13:00Canada50+
11Erika Lane2:13:14USA40+
12Nadia Murrell2:14:27New ZealandOpen
13Sharlene Griffen2:33:43New Zealand40+
14Janine Walther2:36:53GermanyOpen