The first annual Palmetto Paddle is set to step up on July 9th and fill the void left by the Charleston Patriot Challenge. This will actually be the second race in the area, as C-Town also has the popular SUP race-The Chucktown Showdown arriving in September.
Unlike the Showdown however, The Palmetto Paddle appears to be targeting more of a variety of paddlers including double bladed, OC and SUP alike.
The race is being hosted by the Charleston Paddle club. which actively promotes fellowship, fitness and racing as the best way to experience the unique waterways surrounding the historic city.
There will be a three and eight-mile option, with the former to head up the Ashley River and the latter traversing through the harbor.
Don't let the harbor fool you into believing it will be flat, it can get dicey at times. Downwinds may be unlikely, but with heavy boat traffic, winds and a path near the battery (The Refractory) you'll want to bring a good balance game. Racing aside, Charleston is an absolutely beautiful city, steeped in history. You'll find plenty of culinary treasures and attractions.
Additionally, the area is surrounded with an array of paddling opportunities---ranging from tight tidal marshes to inner harbor attractions such as Fort Sumter and Patriot Point, blackwater swamps and top-tier downwinds off the coast. And, with Elite Ocean Sports, Epic Kayaks and several outfitters headquartered there, visiting surfskiers definitely have options for partnering with locals in the know.
Eric Mims-Epic Kayaks out on one of the sandbars