The Painkiller Cup is the Premier BVI Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) Race and arguably Best in Caribbean

Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) racing has swiftly emerged as a dynamic water sport, captivating enthusiasts around the globe. Combining elements of skill, endurance, and camaraderie, SUP racing offers a unique and exhilarating experience for participants and spectators alike.

The Annual Painkiller Cup SUP Race is The Premier British Virgin Islands Paddleboard Race Event. Sponsored by HIHO, Hendo’s and the Moorings The Painkiller Cup is arguably the best stand-up paddleboard (SUP) event in the Caribbean.

The annual Painkiller Cup, takes place on Saturday, January 20, 2024. This event, set against the stunning backdrop of the British Virgin Islands, promises a thrilling day of competition, camaraderie, and Caribbean charm.

The Basics of SUP Racing:

SUP racing involves participants standing upright on a paddleboard, using a single paddle to propel themselves across a body of water. What sets it apart is the competitive element, where paddlers navigate a predetermined course, often ranging from short sprints to long-distance races.


The heart of SUP racing lies in its minimalistic yet specialized equipment. Racers typically use lightweight, streamlined paddleboards designed for speed and stability. Paddles vary in materials and designs, tailored to optimize performance. Choosing the right equipment becomes crucial as it directly impacts a racer’s speed and maneuverability on the water.

Race Formats:

SUP racing offers diverse formats catering to different skill levels and preferences. Sprint races, characterized by short, intense bursts of paddling, test quick reflexes and explosive power. Long-distance races, on the other hand, challenge paddlers’ endurance and strategic planning.

Technique Matters:

Success in SUP racing hinges on mastering the art of efficient paddling and balance. Proper stance, paddle placement, and effective stroke techniques are essential components. The ability to read the water, navigate through waves, and adapt to varying conditions become crucial skills for racers aiming for the podium.

Community and Camaraderie:

While SUP racing is undoubtedly competitive, it fosters a sense of community among participants. Races often bring together paddlers of different skill levels, creating an environment where seasoned athletes share insights with newcomers. The camaraderie extends beyond the water, creating a tight-knit community of individuals passionate about the sport.

International Competitions:

SUP racing has evolved into a global phenomenon, with international competitions drawing elite athletes from around the world. Events such as the APP World Tour and the ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship showcase top-tier talent, pushing the boundaries of what is achievable in the realm of SUP racing.

Challenges and Rewards:

Like any sport, SUP racing presents its challenges. Unpredictable weather conditions, water currents, and the mental aspect of competition all contribute to the complexity of the sport. However, the rewards – the thrill of gliding across the water, the satisfaction of personal improvement, and the sense of accomplishment after completing a race – make these challenges worthwhile.

The Painkiller Cup: the BVI’s Premier SUP Event Two Exciting Races, One Breathtaking Finish

Racers can choose between two exciting events that cater to different skill levels:

1. 14-Mile Downwind Team Race:

– Format: 3-person teams, including at least one female paddler.

– Start Time: 10:00 am off Trellis Bay.

– Course: Paddle down the challenging North Shore of Tortola, crossing to Jost Van Dyke, and finishing at the picturesque White Bay.

– Challenge: Conditions can be demanding with open ocean swells and unpredictable winds. Paddlers rotate every 25 minutes.

2. 2.5 Mini-Painkiller Cup Solo Race:

– Start: Off Sandy Cay.

– Distance: A more manageable 2.5 miles down to White Bay.

– Course: Small waves in the beginning, smoothing out along the coast of Jost Van Dyke. Suitable for paddlers of almost any level.

Both races culminate at the breathtaking White Bay on Jost Van Dyke, providing a perfect setting to relax, enjoy lunch, and unwind at Hendo’s Hideout.

Rewards and Recognition

Participants in the 14-mile downwind team race stand a chance to win a share of the $4,000 prize money, along with individual trophies. Mini-Painkiller Cup participants will receive trophies and other exciting prizes.

Stand Up Paddle Board racing transcends being a mere water sport; it’s a fusion of athleticism, strategy, and a deep connection with nature. As the popularity of SUP racing continues to surge, it promises to remain a thrilling pursuit that appeals to both seasoned athletes and those seeking a new and exciting aquatic adventure.

The Annual Painkiller Cup SUP Race is The Premier British Virgin Islands Paddleboard Race Event and arguably the best stand-up paddleboard (SUP) event in the Caribbean. The event sponsors are HIHO, Hendo’s Hideout and the Moorings. Teams paddle off from Trellis Bay and individuals from Sand Cay and all paddle in at the breathtaking White Bay on Jost Van Dyke, providing a perfect setting to celebrate and unwind at Hendo’s.

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