Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Rand Perkins- 63 years old and can still kick your butt by a lot

Most people who SUP know about legendary Canadian Olympic Canoeist Larry Cain, who at 53 is now a professional-level SUP racer (and great blogger). But every SUP paddler should also know about an another amazing character- North Carolinian Rand Perkins, who is a stunningly-fast elite SUP racer at 63. There is a great article on Mr. Perkins, and how he got so good, on supconnect.com.

63 year old Rand Perkins at 2015 Florida State Paddleboard Championships.
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I've been in two races with Rand Perkins and both times he kicked my butt by a lot. The first time was in January 2015 at the CGT kayaks winter race #1 on the Imperial River. He averaged 9.38 kph compared with my 8.8 kph. (Over the past year of training and tweaking my equipment I've gotten a little closer to Rand Perkins' speed in the Imperial River, but I'm not there yet.) Not long after Rand crashed our CGT race he kicked my butt again at the 2015 Florida State Paddleboard Championships. There he averaged compared 9.0 kph compared with my 8.73 kph. He would have been even further ahead but he started late and had a slow turn at the halfway point. It's unusual to be passed by a SUP racer once you have a good lead on them, but if the guy behind you is Rand Perkins, there's no safe distance you can be ahead. He will get you. And when you try to catch his wake as he passes, good luck keeping up.

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