It is the culling of the herd right now. That has nothing to do with the growth of the sport.
Articles written for the general public by newspapers and local magazines are poorly researched and fact checked and pick stock photos that don't show how to safely paddle SUPs.
Paddleboard Safety is an ongoing process. Is a leash the silver bullet? Unfortunately, it's not that simple.
Anything that starts with "How hard could it be?" is a bad idea when it comes to setting a race course. You should know what you're sending paddlers into.
The so called "Sweepers" go full Ralphie on the lineup, slicing and dicing their way into bull goose looney status atop the peak, a mile out.
We read this tragic story from the stuff.co.nz website about the death of paddleboarder Amie Russell whose leash got stuck under the keel of a boat, she was held under, couldn't release her leash from her ankle and drowned.
Multiply this by first second and third and you get 10,083 pre-made trophies.
Plan your races so you don't just show up, but where you treat it as a meetup with people on the same crafts.
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Unlimited division will survive in Hawaii and big ocean swells, but for the mainland and future downwind races, elite category, are their days numbered?