July 22, 2013
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

Larry Cain Joins The Debate: YES To Board Restrictions, NO To Technique Restrictions

Larry Cain SUPThis whole debate around SUP race board restrictions keeps going. And so it should: We haven’t reached a conclusion yet but I think most of us can agree we certainly need to. A lot of the debate has been played out on these pages, with Jim Terrell’s famous “4 Metre Stock Class” post and plenty of pot-stirring thoughts from Steve West as well.

Well now one of the smartest and most respected guys in the world of Stand Up Paddling, Larry Cain, has jumped into the fray with an excellent guest post over on the Mullet.

Larry, a former Olympic Gold Medallist (who I’m unofficially nicknaming “The Professor of SUP”) writes in response to Steve West’s latest article, which brought up the possibility of technique restrictions, in addition to board restrictions, as a way of keeping SUP racing pure. Larry’s response is pretty clear: He’s all for board specs, but is totally against restrictions on stand up paddling technique.

>>> MORE: 
Steve West’s latest piece, which set off Larry’s response
Jim Terrell’s original “4 Metre Stock Class” announcement

Larry Cain knows what he’s talking about. His is one of the few blogs that I always read, it’s full of insights that are both well thought-out and well delivered. Just like Jim Terrell, Larry has a background in C1 and C2 Olympic Sprint Canoeing, claiming Gold at the ’84 Olympics. So he’s got just a bit of paddling experience…

Plus these days Larry works as a school teacher (thus the “Professor of SUP” tag) which you can clearly see in the way he writes. Larry’s a switched on guy and someone you should listen to whenever he has something to say about paddling.

And now the Professor has jumped into the “Board Restrictions” debate, joining Jim Terrell, Steve West and half of the internet in discussing where our sport is heading. You can head over to Distressed Mullet to get the whole article, but the basic gist of it is this:

Larry totally agrees that we should have restrictions on board design (at least in the “stock class” …whatever that may be) and delivers a very good rebuttal to those that don’t like the idea of board specs. However the Professor totally disagrees that we should have restrictions on paddling technique (which Steve West hinted at a few days ago).

Although the basis of the article is a response to Westy’s suggestion of technique restrictions, I think the best part is how well Larry makes an argument for introducing board restrictions in the stock class. So go check out the full article and see what you think.