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Endurance and Long-Distance Paddle Boarding Challenges

Posted by Lydia Burdett

Keen to upgrade your adventure?

Looking for a big new challenge to work towards?

We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite long-distance and endurance SUP races, events and challenges for you to consider.

As well as where and when they are, we’ve included distances, some background, plus the all-important registration dates. (As these challenges are becoming increasingly popular, some fill up so quickly that the opening day of registration is a big deal in itself!)

We’ve also included some board recommendations, which are just a guide. Red Paddle Co paddle boards are proven performers in these events – and your choice of board will depend on how comfortable you are on it: the quickest option for an experienced racer would invariably be an Elite, yet a Sport+ or Voyager of the same length could actually prove faster around a course in tougher conditions or for a less confident / competent paddler. So for each event we’ve suggested boards that suit the challenge and have performed well there before.

The Gla Gla Race

This frigid French phenomenon attracts over 700 participants to the French Alps every January. As part of the esteemed Alpine Lakes Tour it’s a superbly run event with an incredible atmosphere. But as the name (akin to our ‘brrr’) suggests, it’s not hot!

Where? Lake Annecy, Talloires, France

When? 20.01.24 (2025 tba)

Distance: 14.5km (or 6.5km / 3.5km)

Which board? For some security on a potentially choppy, seriously cold Alpine lake, the 13'2" Voyager is a popular option. The main iSUP fleet was won by a 14'0" Elite in 2024.

Registration: tba for 2025.

Head of the Dart

A true British classic, HoTD was pioneered by a few of South Devon’s original paddleboarders – including Red founder, John Hibbard – who took on the big local rowing race. Now it’s the country’s biggest SUP event, attracting over 250 leisure and race paddlers.

Where? River Dart, South Devon, England

When? 20.04.24

Distance: 14km

Which board? Sports are ideal for the Leisure fleet. The 12'6" Race class was won outright by a 12'6" Elite against the hardboards in 2019.

Registration: sold out in under 2 hours! Wait list closes 05.04.24

Race to the Castle

New for 2024, the Race to the Castle down the River Trent from Nottingham’s Suspension Bridge to Newark Castle is already looking popular. Portages, a bit of flow, maybe some wind, ending in a draft-free sprint finish to crown the kings and queens of the river.

Where? River Trent, Nottinghamshire, England

When? 27.04.24

Distance: 40km

Which board? It’s inflatables only, so 14'0" Elite and 12'6" Elite are potentially race-winning designs. Or there’s a tandem class too, so maybe even a 15'0" Voyager?

Registration: closes 20.04.24

Paddle Skedaddle

A point-to-point from Sutton, down the River Ant to Barton Broad, under Ludham Bridge and onto the Rivers Bure and Thurne to finish just beyond Potter Heigham. This flat-water course through the Norfolk Broads offers a great first taste of endurance racing.

Where? Norfolk Broads, Norfolk, England

When? 11.05.24

Distance: 26.5km

Which board? 12'6" Elite and 14'0" Elite are both trophy-winning designs for the inflatable board categories.

Registration: open 01.11.23

Trent100 Challenge

Billed as the UK’s longest team endurance challenge, the Trent100 promises two days of paddling, music and food you’ll never forget. It’s not a race, although there is a 20-hour cut-off to finish the course – 57km on day 1, 43km on day 2 – down the mighty River Trent.

Where? River Trent, Staffordshire to Nottingham, England

When? 18-21.07.24

Distance: 100km

Which board? Voyagers, 12'6" Sport+ and 14'0" Sport+ would all suit the flowing water conditions – it’s a team event, so mix and match wisely to achieve the same pace.

Registration: opened 04.08.23

The Great Glen Challenge

Downwind racing across Scotland, virtually coast to coast up the Caledonian Canal from Fort William to Inverness, via Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and the awesome Loch Ness. Two-day ‘Challenge’ or non-stop ‘Ultra’ options – both require shore support and serious grit!

Where? Caledonian Canal, Fort William to Inverness, Scotland

When? 20-21.09.24

Distance: 92km

Which board? The new 14'0" Sport+ is great for the Glen – superlight for portaging, fast yet wide enough for comfort on the lochs. The 2023 iSUP class was won by a 12'0" Voyager.

Registration: open

SUP 11-City Tour

The big one – billed as ‘the ultimate challenge’ this 5-day race around the canals and lakes of Northern Friesland is an incredible event, like nothing else in SUP. And in case 220km in five back-to-back stages is too easy, there’s a non-stop 24-hour+ curtain-raiser too!

Where? Friesland, Netherlands

When? 7-15.09.24

Distance: 220km

Which board? 14'0" Elite. Over 220km, you want the longest, fastest, lightest, most efficient yet comfortable shape possible. Red paddle boards have finished most years – often impressively well.

Registration: opened 15.10.2023


An American institution, the Chattajack is a 31-mile race down the Tennessee River, downstream from Chattanooga to Hales Bar Marina. No portages, drafting allowed within class, it’s a full-on 50k race with an 8.5-hour cut-off and intermediary checkpoints.

Where? Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA

When? 24.10.24

Distance: 50km

Which board? 12'6" Elite and 14'0" Elite – raceboards are mandatory as recreational shapes aren’t allowed, but particularly our shorter Red could be a real contender in the 12'6" fleet.

Registration: opens 01.05.24


SUP The Creek

The last race of the British season offers 12km, 6km & 1km options, so it’s an ideal first challenge that even relatively new paddlers can take on. Alongside the Kingsbridge distance races, the weekend includes feisty technical racing down at Salcombe too.

Where? Kingsbridge Estuary, South Devon, England

When? 26-27.10.24

Distance: 12km (or 6km / 1km)

Which board? Sports and Voyagers perform well here – from 11'0" Sport and 12'6" Sport+ on the short courses, to 14'0" Sport+ for the full distance.

Registration: opens 22.04.24