Here’s Why I’ve Been Chatting to the World’s Best Paddlers This Week About Their ‘Season 2017’ Race Schedules

Pacific Paddle Games
One of the many things I love about our sport is that it’s constantly evolving – every year we see new athletes and events revitalising the world of stand up paddleboarding with fresh energy and excitement – but while it’s great to have so much activity around the world, it can be hard to keep track of the biggest races and best athletes.

That’s why I created the SUP Racer World Rankings and Race Index¹ a few years ago, because in a sport as fragmented as ours, I wanted a way to measure both the world’s best paddlers and most competitive events. And even though it’s just one part of a much larger ecosystem, I’m pretty happy with the impact the World Rankings have had over the past few years.

But just like the rest of the sport, the rankings system is constantly evolving. Last year I introduced star ratings, and in ‘Season 2017’ I’m taking things a step further.   → READ MORE

Surfing USA Announces Inaugural National Championship to Select Team for 2017 Worlds and Beyond

Team USA wins the ISA World Championship of Stand Up PaddleboardingSurfing USA has taken a big step forward by announcing the inaugural USA Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championships, which will act as the team trials for the Stars & Stripes as they march towards the ISA Worlds in Denmark later this year.

Set for the weekend of June 16th-18th in Oceanside, California, the Championship represents the start of a new era for the 2015 world team champions, with the selection for the national squad previously being a loosely organised affair that was often met with criticism from some athletes who felt they never had a shot at proving themselves worthy.   → READ MORE

Florida’s Robert Norman Paddles 112 Miles in 24 Hours, Breaks World Record

paddleboarding-world-recordIn brief: Florida’s Robert Norman has broken the official world record for longest distance paddled on a SUP within 24 hours, completing 108 miles in an all day, all night effort that eclipsed the current standing of 106 miles set by Seychelle Hattingh just over 12 months ago.

Just like Seychelle’s effort, the performance was monitored by the Guinness World Records company, which helps make it “official” (Robert’s record is still waiting final approval but seems to have passed the criteria).   → READ MORE

‘Most Under-Rated Paddler’ Josh Riccio Joins French Brand F-One for Season 2017

Josh RiccioJosh Riccio, one of the most under-rated paddlers on the planet, has joined the F-One team for season 2017, as the French-based brand seeks to become more active in the racing scene to compliment its established presence in the SUP surfing world.

Based on Maui, Josh is one of the most talented guys on the water and mixes it with the best in all conditions.

Still ranked top 30 in the world despite a light schedule last year, he excels in the open ocean and has won the stock Maui2Molokai race several times.   → READ MORE

WATCH: An In-Depth Look at the New Quickblade ‘Smart Paddle’ Training Tool

Quickblade-Smart-Paddle-videoIndustry leader Quickblade Paddles has partnered with sports tracking device maker Motionize to produce the QB Smart Paddle, a new training tool that represents the next step in Quickblade’s long-standing commitment to innovation in the world of stand up paddle boarding.

This new paddle, which sees a Montionize device embedded inside an adjustable QB race shaft, tracks metrics such as distance per stroke and number of strokes per side. Some of the kayak-based training gadgets already offer something similar, but what makes the QB Smart Paddle apart unique is that it also measures the angle of your paddle shaft and blade on every stroke, which should give you a greater insight into how efficiently you’re paddling.   → READ MORE

SIC Snags Kody Kerbox and Seychelle Hattingh to Bolster Its Global Race Team

Kody Kerbox paddle boardingSupremely talented young gun Kody Kerbox and endurance champion Seychelle Hattingh have joined SIC for season 2017, with the Hawaiian and Floridian bolstering the team after a string of departures last month.

After several years of competing alongside the world’s best, including some big results at events including the Gorge Paddle Challenge, Kody had more or less retired from the elite side of the sport last year to focus on his studies. But this new deal with SIC will see him get back on the race circuit, at least to some extent.   → READ MORE

WATCH: Another Downwind Gem from Jeremy Riggs and the Maui Crew

maui-paddleboarding-video-downwindJust a few days after posting footage of that awesome Kihei downwinder, Jeremy Riggs and friends were back at it again earlier this wek, cruising along Maui’s south shore from Kealia to Makena on some jealousy-inducing bumps.

The course from Kealia to Makena (which is basically a ‘Kihei Run’) isn’t as famous as Maui’s legendary Maliko Run on the north shore, but as you can see from the footage above it can be just as much fun.    → READ MORE

James Casey and Kelly Margetts Join ‘Sunova’ as a New Race Team Is Born

Sunova
Sunova has officially signed top international athletes James Casey and Kelly Margetts alongside designer Marcus Tardrew, with the Aussie trio helping establish a new race team and completing the long list of new year’s athlete team changes in the process.

With roots in Australia but now based in Thailand, Sunova’s entry comes as the racing scene witnesses a major shakeup, with some of the top teams dropping off while several new boutique brands quickly rise through the ranks.   → READ MORE