We had a great question yesterday in one of our Facebook groups:

Do I have to race to take a clinic?

The shirt answer is NO. 

The long answer: Clinics are for everyone. Pick a clinic that matches your level. If you are a beginner, make sure you’re not signed up for an advanced class. If you are advanced, don’t go to a first-time paddler clinic. Clinics help people be safer, more efficient, and as a result happier. It’s a simple formula.

We HIGLY recommend taking clinics. Taking a technique clinic is the only thing you can do to immediately make you faster. A new board, a workout, a new paddle will not have nearly as much effect as an hour or more with a top instructor.

Also, clinics are a great way to get your kids involved. Find a race with a kids clinic and watch how much fun it can be when the whole family can get on the water.

There’s nothing wrong with not racing. Not everyone wants to race. But technique and instruction transcends racing. It helps in all paddling venues. Even if you just want to paddle a few times per year, in the back bays, river or lakes on the weekends, it’s a good idea to take a clinic.

So the next time you look at an event announcement and wonder if you should go, GO. It’s a place to meet other paddle people, other water people and an opportunity to get better at this wonderful stand up paddle board sport.