Ocean Racing (Surfski) - ACA

ICF Sports

Ocean Racing (Surfski)

Ocean Racing (Surfski)

Surfski paddling is a type of canoe ocean racing represented as an International Canoe Federation (ICF) discipline. A surfski is the fastest boat over long distances in the ocean, aside from an Olympic level canoe sprint boat. Initially, surfskis resembled surfboards, but modern boats are often made of a mixture fiberglass and carbon fiber. As boating races got longer, surfskis have also gotten longer, now measuring approximately 5 to 6 ½ meters (15 to 20 feet) long.

Surfski paddling originated within the sport of surf lifesaving, which uses rescue boards for lifesaving and racing purposes. Ocean racing is the most recent discipline to be recognized by the ICF, with the sport’s inaugural world championships held in 2013. Surfski paddling is dominated by South Africa and Australian athletes, likely because of their long, competitive history with surf lifesaving and ocean racing. Athletes from other ICF disciplines, such as canoe/kayak sprint and slalom, sometimes also compete in canoe ocean racing.

ICF sanctioned surfski races can be run in one or several stages, in one or several days, with the final result based on final racing time. Competitions are contested in single and double surfskis. Most races are 10-30 km (6-19 miles) long, with some ultra-distance races of about 60 km (about 37 miles) and staged races up to 244 km (about 151 miles) over a four-day period. At ICF world cup events, the suggested distance is between 10 km and 35 km; at ICF world championship events, the suggested distance is between 20 km to 35 km. Local and national championship races have no course length limit.