The World Paddle Association has announced kids race divisions, which will officially launch at the 2014 WPA Championships. The kids divisions will also be included in the regional and national points series beginning in 2015.
World Paddle Association
True to its mission of providing the best growth for the paddling community, the WPA will include four age divisions for kids eight and under, 9-11, 12-14 and 15-17. In the best interest of the board manufactures and the 17-and-under paddlers, all age divisions will compete on 12'6 and under SUP boards. Keeping the 12'6 and under board size for all age groups allows any one paddler in their defined age group to paddle the size of board based on their size and strength.
'The youth segment is growing very rapidly across the country and the WPA feels obligated to provide the structure for the future of our sport,' Byron Kurt, President and Co-founder of the World Paddle Association, said. 'As in any market, you need the youth movement to provide sustainability to grow the sport and the future is participating now.'
SUP races have seen increased participation and tremendous success in events where there has been more focus on youth programs, kids racing, and teaching formats. With the addition of more kids programs, more families (and participants) come to events, which brings more exposure to sponsors and helps the sport to grow.
The WPA will officially launch the Kids age divisions at the upcoming WPA Championships in St. Petersburg, FL on October 24-26, 2014. Along with awarding the national champions at the WPA Championships, kids will receive a national ranking which will allow them to gain physical education credit in High School with any after school SUP program that meets the minimum hours per week.
Beginning in 2015, the WPA will include all of the Kids age divisions in the WPA rankings system, managed by our race management solution partner PaddleGuru. For more information go to World Paddle Association and Paddle Guru.