• Cape Ann SUP (map)
  • 2 Southern Ave
  • Essex, MA, 01929
  • United States

This North Shore intermediate-advanced paddleboard training group is designed for paddlers who are looking to improve their fitness levels, advance their paddle techniques and join a team of people who want to do the same.

About the Program:

This is a 6 week training program that meets 1-2 times a week and is lead by expert Cape Ann paddler, Johnny O'Hara. The program is set up very much like a marathon training. We will build up to a Blackburn Challenge "dry-run" and then taper back down before race day. The group will meet at Cape Ann SUP once a week and each paddler will receive a supplemental workout sheet for the days in between group paddles. 

The group will meet at the Cape Ann SUP Barn on:

Thursday, June 18th
Thursday, June 25th
Thursday, July 2nd
Thursday, July 9th
Sunday, July 12th - "Dry Run" date
Thursday, July 16th
Thursday, July 23rd

At the end of the program paddlers will have the option to take on the Blackburn Challenge on July 25th. Paddlers are not required to participate in the Blackburn Challenge after the training program.


  • Weekly Group Paddles
  • Paddle Technique Refinement
  • Race Strategy (drafting, passing, stroke uses, etc.)
  • Cross Training Workout recommendations
  • Race Preparation (nutrition/hydration recommendations, what to bring, etc.)
  • Group Motivation & Support
  • Cape Ann SUP Performance T-shirt

Pricing: $175.00

Any paddlers who do not have their own equipment can rent from Cape Ann SUP for a discounted additional fee. However, displacement-hull rental boards are limited. If you need a rental, feel free to call us and reserve a board! 

NOTE: The cost to enter the Blackburn Challenge is NOT included. You will need to register for the event separately. Feel free to register here.

If you are interested in signing up, please call us at 978-233-1SUP (1787), email us at contact@capeannsup.com or swing by The Barn. We hope you'll join us! Download the Blackburn Training Group PDF Here.

Not sure if you want to commit? We will be having a FREE Paddle Technique Workshop on Friday, June 12th at  6:00 PM. Come down to Cape Ann SUP's Essex Marina location to meet Johnny and learn something new. 

About Johnny O'Hara: Johnny O has been a lifelong waterman since growing up in our very own "Glostah Mass." Where, as a kid, he began rowing lobster boat dinghies, grand banks dories and later racing 12-man seine boats.

Johnny started competitive paddle racing in 2008 w/Boston Outrigger where he finished The Blackburn Challenge twice as part of the team. He transitioned into SUP racing in 2011 and has competed in over 50 races worldwide at such prestigious events as: Battle of The Paddle, Carolina Cup, WPA World Championships and was a member of the Irish National Team at the “ISA World Paddleboard Championships” in Peru in 2013. In addition, he has participated in many stroke & race clinics held by  such accomplished paddlers as: Dave Kalama, Danny Ching, Rob Rojas and Dan Gavere. He will share this knowledge, and his own experiences, to help you become a better over all paddler and accomplish your goal of finishing the Blackburn Challenge 2015.  He is also sponsored by  multiple paddle specific brands such as: Boga Paddleboards & Kialoa Paddles.  His knowledge and experience navigating both the competitive world of paddleboarding and the coastal waters of Cape Ann make him the perfect guide, coach and training partner.

Cape Ann SUP and Johnny hope to create an intermediate/advanced paddleboard community here on Cape Ann. We hope that you can join us.