This North Shore intermediate-advanced Race & Fitness Training Class is designed for paddlers who are interested in preparing for the Summer Series and those who want to get fit for summer and join a team of people who want to do the same.

About the Program:

These are two 6-week training program that meets on Thursday evenings and is lead by expert Cape Ann paddler, Johnny O'Hara.

The group will meet at the locations below on (unless otherwise announced on the Cape Ann SUP Facebook Page):

Session 1: May 18th - June 22nd 

  • May 18th - Chebacco Lake Boat Launch
  • May 25th - Chebacco Lake Boat Launch
  • June 1st - Essex Marina
  • June 8th - Chebacco Lake Boat Launch
  • June 15th - Essex Marina 
  • June 22nd - Pavilion Beach in Gloucester

Session 2: June 29th - August 3rd

  • June 29th - Chebacco Lake Boat Launch
  • July 6th - Chebacco Lake Boat Launch
  • July 13th - Pavilion Beach Gloucester
  • July 20th - Pavilion Beach Gloucester
  • July 27th - Pavilion Beach Gloucester
  • August 3rd - Pavilion Beach Gloucester
Blackburn challenge paddleboard group


  • Weekly Group Paddles
  • Paddle Technique Refinement & Drills
  • Paddle-specific Stretching
  • Race Strategy (drafting, passing, stroke uses, etc.)
  • Cross Training Workout recommendations
  • Race Preparation (nutrition/hydration recommendations, what to bring, etc.)
  • Group Motivation & Support

One Class: $30
3-Class Pack: $80
6-Class Pack: $165

You can buy 3- or 6-class packs or individual drop-in classes to use on whatever classes fit your schedule.

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, so reserve early!

Paddlers are not required to participate in any of the local races but the goal of the program is to log some water-time, learn paddling techniques and get ready for the New England SUP Summah Series and other summer races.  The Essex River Race is on May 20th and North Shore SUP CUP is June 10th so we're starting the training early!

If you are interested in signing up, please call us at 978-233-1SUP (1787), email us at, swing by the Board Barn or SIGN UP ONLINE.

We hope you'll join us! 

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. 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 bymultiple paddle specific brands such as: Boga Paddleboards.  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 this June.

paddleboard Boston
Cape Ann Paddler Johnny O'Hara