Bart de Zwart: Paddling through Vanuatu (and going back in time)

Another loud explosion. We looked at each other with a mix of excitement and fear, and we wondered what was waiting for us at the top…

We were hiking the ridge of Mount Yasur on the island of Tanna, one of 83 outposts in the South Pacific that form the nation of Vanuatu. Yasur is one of the world’s few active volcanoes considered “safe” to view up close; we were still two hoars from the top but already the mountain was making thunderous, frightening sounds.

As we walked, I reflected on how we had gotten to that point…   → READ MORE

Titouan Puyo and Yuka Sato have claimed the Air France Paddle Festival in Tahiti

Congratulations Titou and Yuka. Full report to follow…

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Congrats Yuka and Titou for winning a very long, very hot race in Tahiti today! Massive effort from both of you 💪🌴💦 Special mention to 15-year-old @keoni_sulpice who was just 11 seconds behind "Silk" after more than two hours of tough paddling, as well as @oliviapiana who finished runner-up despite having to borrow a board at the very last minute 🙌 Actually… anyone that even finished the 24k grind deserves a medal – that looked draining! 😅🙈 Thanks a lot to @seychellesup for joining me on the @paddleleague live stream commentary, hope you all had as much fun watching at home as we did in the booth! 😁 Such a pleasure to work with the amazing crew from TNTV (plus The League's in-house producer @trev_sup) to showcase this epic event. See you next year, Tahiti! 🇵🇫🙏 @airfrance @tahitinuitelevision

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Here are the winners from the South American Beach Games in Argentina

The South American Beach Games (“Juegos Sudamericanos de Playa”) are happening this week in Rosario, Argentina and for the first time the event includes stand up paddling–both racing and surfing.

Friday saw the sprints while Saturday was the marathon race, and as expected Team Brazil was clearly the dominant force.   → READ MORE

This one image sums up the decline of the PPGs

A few days ago we learnt the Pacific Paddle Games was canceled. The official word is “postponed til 2020,” but nothing is confirmed for next year either. I’m guessing it’s gone for good.   → READ MORE

This is the NEW ‘Race Index’ and it aims to promote stand up paddling as a sport for everyone

The beauty of stand up paddling is that it’s a sport for everyone.

Very few sports let anyone stand on the same start line as the world’s best athletes and race the same course using the same equipment. SUP is pretty damn awesome in that respect. We’re like the Boston Marathon of the ocean.

But our sport is often not marketed that way…   → READ MORE

End of an era? Pacific Paddle Games cancelled (“postponed”) following sale of SUP the Mag

After weeks of speculation, it’s official: The traditional season-ending showdown, the Pacific Paddle Games, has been cancelled.

The official status is “postponed til 2020,” not cancelled, but it’s definitely not happening this year and the future is fairly uncertain following the sale of event organiser SUP the Mag to a new parent company two months ago.

Is this the end of an era?   → READ MORE

The “old” Race Index is broken

I built the SUP Racer World Rankings six years ago.

I had the idea even before I had this blog, scribbling down notes as far back as 2010. I started working on the current system in 2013, and a year later – on the eve of the infamous Battle of the Paddle @ Salt Creek – I launched the World Rankings for the paddling world to enjoy.

It’s definitely been a labour of love: The system took over a year to build and I’ve spent another 2,500 hours maintaining it, while the master spreadsheet now contains a mind-boggling 2.6 million cells of data (my eyes hurt just thinking about it).    → READ MORE