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The paddler pathway

Want to plan your paddling pathway? Check out the info here.

—  "Learn" tab > Pathway


1 March - 31 March 2021


Welcome back to the NZ Virtual Paddling Championships!
After the success of last year’s event, we’ve opened the challenge to all types of paddle craft. Surfskis, kayaks, outrigger canoes (waka ama) and SUP can all now compete, both within their divisions and against each other to crown the virtual paddling champion.
The challenge is open to anybody from around the world. Last year, our men’s champion completed his winning paddle in California. We had a bunch of other competitors from Australia, North America and Europe as well as a strong contingent of Kiwis.
You have until 31 March and can log as many times as you like. Pick your course and get out there!



Once you've completed your event, please take the time to fill out the information below (if you're racing in a team boat there's space for that at the end).

The Rules

  • All paddlers will race 12km, except for U16 and SUP paddlers who race 3km

  • Enter after you have completed your race by filling in our online form, noting your time and uploading a .gpx file of your paddle, and/or a photo of your gps track showing your time and distance. You can attempt the challenge and record your time as many times as you like, but only your best result counts

  • You must start and finish at (approximately) the same point – this is to minimise the effect of wind, current etc 

  • Do not pause your watch/phone’s GPS recording during your attempt – the challenge is to complete your distance in a single effort.

  • You can paddle alone or in a group and wash-riding is permitted.

  • If your location is subject to any Covid-19 restrictions, you must follow any applicable social distancing rules.

  • You can paddle any type of craft on any body of water. There are divisions for all types of paddle craft, including:

    • Surfski (single and double)

    • Kayak (K1, K2 and K4)

    • Outrigger/ Va’a/ Waka Ama (single, double and 6-man)

    • SUP (3km distance)

  • The challenge is open to anyone in the world.

  • Kiwi surfski paddlers are eligible for points for the Darcy Price NZ Surfski Series.

  • To enter and be counted on our leaderboard, you must certify that you have followed all of the following safety precautions, including:

    • Any Covid-19 restrictions in force in the place where you are paddling

    • Wearing a lifejacket/pfd, leash and  at all times

    • Carrying a phone or other means of communication

    • Telling somebody where you are going and what time you plan to return

    • Checking the forecast and not paddling in conditions that you aren’t comfortable in

    • If you’re under 18, you must be supervised by an adult

Be safe, have fun, good luck!


Coming 02/04/21

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So, Wait . . .
WHAT  actually IS PADDLER?

PADDLER is a community. We aim to inspire and inform paddlers of all disciplines and all levels, from beginner to expert, and provide resources and opportunities to help paddlers master skills and enjoy time on the water.

The site soft launched last year to host the 2020 NZ Virtual Surfski Championships, and we've slowly been updating it with handy videos, resources and helpful info, and now we're back with another virtual challenge.

Keep checking back periodically for more cool stuff.


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