The Battle of the Paddle. The BOP. The Super Bowl of SUP. It’s the biggest stand up paddle race on the planet. The Battle of the Paddle is the only race in the world where all of the world’s best paddlers show up to throw down.

From 2008 – 2014, the Battle of the Paddle California was “the” race of the year, right up until it was canceled in early 2015. Since then, the Pacific Paddle Games has taken the torch and carried forward.

Scroll down through our Battle of the Paddle archives to relive some of the best moments from this legendary race…

Paddlecast #26: Fernando Stalla talks Tahiti, travel and teaching his daughter spearfishing

Fernando Stalla is a master of the ocean who has competed at the highest level in SUP racing and surfing for years, and who is now enjoying his isolation days spearfishing and living the Tahitian life with his wife and daughter.

It was great to catch up with an old friend and talk about travel, children and the desire to have more fun on the water. We also reminisced about the Battle of the Paddle, Payette River Games and mythical “Beach Flags World Tour” — plus spicy margaritas in Sayulita 😉   → READ MORE

Paddlecast #25 – “Storytime with SUP Racer” part 1: How, when and *why* SUP Racer began…

Welcome back to Paddlecast. I was really excited to release a two-part episode with Annabel Anderson yesterday and today. We had a great chat last week — I talked with Annabel for more than two hours about what she’s been up to over the past couple of years and her thoughts on the sport in general. But I messed up the recording and the audio got jumbled 🙈

I’m going to see if we can get back on the phone with Annabel this week (she’s a fascinating person). But until then, I decided to fill in today’s episode with a little “Storytime with SUP Racer”…   → READ MORE

WATCH: “That” wave from the BOP Salt Creek (five years ago today)

It’s exactly five years to the day since the Battle of the Paddle took over Salt Creek and gave us one of the most memorable races in the sport’s history.

After I posted that flashback photo this morning, I dug through the archives and found the video of the same wave. Oh the carnage.   → READ MORE

FLASHBACK: The crazy “Battle of the Paddle” at Salt Creek was exactly five years ago today

Giving new meaning to the term “Flashback Friday,” today marks the fifth anniversary of perhaps the most famous (or infamous) race in the history of SUP.

The Battle of the Paddle at Salt Creek was one for the ages. Not only was it the final edition of the event that single-handedly kickstarted the sport but it was also held in some of the craziest conditions we’ve ever seen.

There was carnage, there was chaos and there was no shortage of drama as perfectly-clean, six-foot swell rolled through Salt Creek in Southern California on the weekend of October 4th and 5th, 2015. Virtually every single top athlete in the sport was there and a good chunk of them are in this photo.    → 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

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

Throwback Thursday: That Destruction Derby Race at Salt Creek a Couple Years Ago

stand up paddleboarding salt creekHow could we ever forget? The 2014 Battle of the Paddle at Salt Creek was one for the history books.

Not only did it produce some of the craziest destruction derby SUP racing footage we’ve ever seen, it was also turned out to be the last ever BOP. A fitting farewell for the event that almost single-handedly gave rise to the sport of stand up paddleboard racing.   → READ MORE

Battle Of The Paddle: Thank You For The Memories, Sparky

Battle of the Paddle SparkyWith the sudden, but not totally unsurprising announcement yesterday that Rainbow Sandals has cancelled the Battle of the Paddle (at least the 2015 edition, and most likely indefinitely), the SUP racing world is currently in a state of shock/mourning/confusion. But as the dust settles and the speculation begins, we shouldn’t lose sight of one thing. Our gratitude.

No matter what happens next, we should all be grateful to the Rainbow Sandals crew for what they’ve given us. The Battle of the Paddle has been an amazing ride and has given us timeless memories, memories that will never fade.   → READ MORE

Rainbow Sandals Just Cancelled The Battle Of The Paddle: Now What?

Battle of the Paddle has been cancelled
Just minutes ago, Rainbow Sandals head honcho Jay “Sparky” Longley sent the following email to the paddling community, announcing the cancellation of the 2015 Battle of the Paddle and putting the entire future of the iconic race in limbo.

Sparky and his Rainbows Sandals team created the BOP in 2008 and have largely funded it every year since. Literally overnight, the Battle became the biggest race in the sport and has only grown in stature since. The BOP is the one race a year that every elite paddler shows up at. It’s the Super Bowl of SUP.

The Battle of the Paddle has been the anchor that gives the entire SUP racing season a foundation, however suddenly that anchor has been lifted up and the sport cast adrift. Suddenly, there’s a very big hole in the racing calendar.   → READ MORE

2015 Battle Of The Paddle Brazil Dates Confirmed

Battle of the Paddle Brazil (45)Dates for the 2015 Battle of the Paddle Brazil have been confirmed: We’re heading back to the land of acai and skimpy bikinis on the weekend of November 21 & 22.

Once again we’ll be in the beautiful southern city of Florianopolis, where the traditional Elite Race and Distance Race combo will cap off a five day SUP festival.   → READ MORE

The Majors: The World’s Five Biggest SUP Races (Plus: Predicting The Top 25 “Most Significant” Races Of 2015)

Major Stand Up Paddle Races
I asked the question last week: “What do we call the biggest races in stand up paddling?” The Majors? The Grand Slams? The Classics?

In a sport as fragmented and disorganised as SUP racing, I think it would be great to recognise and celebrate the big, standalone events that support and develop both the community and industry. To help promote them with a collective theme that highlights their significant contribution to the sport.

I say we call them the Majors, and these are the races that I think qualify. The five biggest races in the world this year are…   → READ MORE

Throwback: To When Nobody Knew What A Race Board Should Look Like (And Chuck Was The Terminator…)

Battle of the Paddle 2008In the world according to Instagram, Thursday is a day of reflection. It’s when we go memory-lane tripping and look back on some of our fondest times.

Throwback Thursday is basically just an excuse to post cool pics and vids from ages ago (plus fill a hole on a slow news day…). And what could be cooler than Chuck Patterson sporting a pair of Terminator-style sunnies as he races his way to a $10,000 prize in the first ever Battle of the Paddle?! Throwin’ it way back to 2008…   → READ MORE

The Top 14 Most Competitive Races Of 2014

Battle of the Paddle Salt Creek
There were a lot of SUP races this year. We had over 400 listings on the Rogue Race Calendar. We sent 137 race results to the Results by Riviera archive. You couldn’t go a week without your Facebook feed being flooded with photos of SUP races here, there and everywhere.

Some of those races were fun, local events. Some were grand, international spectacles. Most fell somewhere in between. And that’s just fine. Most races don’t need to be grand to be successful, they just need to be well organised, encourage a few extra people to give the sport a try and offer everyone a fun day on the water.

But some races push the boundaries a little more than the average. Some races attract, either through deliberate marketing or incidental brilliance, a disproportionately large amount of attention and elite talent. Quite simply: Some races are a lot more competitive than others. Click through to see the full list and read my overly-thorough analysis…   → READ MORE

Battle Of The Paddle Brazil: Mo Freitas, Candice Appleby Make It A Clean Sweep (While Fernando Stalla Steals The Beach Flags)

Battle of the Paddle Brazil (62)
Done. That was a fun weekend. Congratulations to Candice Appleby and Mo Freitas for making it a clean sweep of the event, with fighting efforts from Bicho Jimenez, Fernando Stalla and Laura Quetglas.

Click through for results, pics, video and to relive the live blog play-by-play. Oh and congratulations to Stalla for very narrowly edging me out in the epic main event: The Beach Flags Showdown.   → READ MORE

Battle Of The Paddle 2015: New Dates Set For Salt Creek

2014 Battle of the Paddle - Starboard - 71It’s only been a month since the 2014 Battle of the Paddle rocked Salt Creek, however I say it’s never too early to start getting excited about next year’s BOP.

After chatting with the organisers I can confirm the 2015 Rainbow Sandals Battle of the Paddle will be held at Salt Creek, California on the weekend of …   → READ MORE

WATCH: Return To Salt Creek With Quickblade’s Battle Of The Paddle Highlights Reel

Battle of the Paddle video quickbladeIt’s been one month to the day since the Battle of the Paddle – one month since the chaos, carnage and celebrations at Salt Creek. So it’s quite fitting that today sees the release of one of the best Battle of the Paddle highlight reels.

We’ve seen plenty of BOP edits but this is definitely one of the best. Created by Fin Film Company’s Chris Aguilar, the first half of the clip above gives a nice look behind the scenes while the second half is all action.   → READ MORE

Battle Of The Brands: How Quickblade And Lahui Kai Won The 2014 Battle Of The Paddle

Stand up paddling race boardsThe Battle of the Brands. The BOB. It’s the one race a year where virtually all the major brands come together to duke it out for glory, bragging rights and market share.

Our sport (and our industry) is a bit like the Wild West right now: We’re growing so fast that new board and paddle manufacturers are popping up every week. But who’s staking the strongest claim?

I decided to run the numbers and see which boards and paddles the elite guys and girls are choosing today. While throwing a bunch of adrenaline-fueled paddlers into macking surf at Salt Creek isn’t exactly a scientific study of what brand makes the best gear, it does give us an indication of the current landscape. And either way, it’s kinda fun to dig into the stats…   → READ MORE