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 – 2013 the Battle of the Paddle California was held at the iconic Doheny State Park in Dana Point. Since 2014 the event has moved around the corner to the now infamous Salt Creek Beach (also in Dana Point), which saw some crazy chaos and carnage as waves flooded the inaugural event.
The 2015 Battle of the Paddle is set for the weekend of October 10th & 11th, also at Salt Creek.
In the meantime you can get the latest Battle of the Paddle news below…
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
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
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
It’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
The 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
At the risk of tipping past Peak Battle, here’s one more clip from that epic weekend at Salt Creek.
This is the shortest Battle of the Paddle video you’ll ever watch, however despite being just 46 in length it contains some damn fine footage. → READ MORE
While there have been endless Battle of the Paddle highlight reels in the past week, a new clip out today is one of the slickest yet. Created by Chainsaw Productions for the SIC crew, the video shows Team SIC training at Salt Creek on the eve of the Battle before getting down to business in the Elite Race.
Takes a little while to get going but there’s some awesome race footage near the end. I love the impromptu game of SUP limbo at the 3:34 mark… → READ MORE
It’s been a wild nine days for Lina Augaitis, with victories in California and Hawaii punctuating what has been a big year for the Canadian in general.
Lina quit her job twelve months ago to pursue the dream of being a professional athlete and she hasn’t held back. Barely a race went by this year that she wasn’t a part of: From Florida to Nicaragua to California to Oregon to Europe to Hawaii, the SIC team rider was racking up the frequent flyer miles and stocking up her trophy cabinet.
Several standout performances at the inland races helped build on Lina’s reputation of being one of the fastest women in flat water. Only problem is… the biggest race of the year isn’t held in flat water. The biggest race of the year is the Battle of the Paddle. And this year the BOP was the complete opposite of flat. → READ MORE
Here’s a very interesting post-Battle interview with Connor Baxter, which includes a lengthy discussion about *that* incident with his arch-rival Kai Lenny. The young Maui superstar lays it out very open and honest, taking us through exactly what happened and giving us his blunt assessment.
You should watch the whole clip but basically: Connor admits he was wrong, accepts responsibility for his actions, even apologises for setting a bad standard for the young spectators on the beach. However Connor also doesn’t hold back in accusing Kai of being a dirty racer, even using the word cheating to describe what happened. → READ MORE
As Starboard Battle Week officially draws to a close, it’s time for one last reflection on that crazy day of racing at Salt Creek.
On Saturday I was working with the very talented young photographer Andrew Welker (if you ever need someone to shoot your event in style, give Andrew a call) who got some great images of the two Men’s Elite Race Qualifying Heats, the Women’s Final and the Men’s Final.
However there have been thousands of photos and hundreds of videos floating around Facebook over the past few days. It’s been a non-stop barrage. So I wanted to wait until the flood stopped raging before posting these awesome shots. → READ MORE
As we all recover from our Battle of the Paddle hangover, the flood of video edits sweeps its way across Facebook and YouTube. Seems you can’t go five minutes without a new clip popping up, however there’s one in particular that stands out. It’s a very simple collection of highlights showing what we all wanna see: Crashes, carnage and chaos.
This is what has always defined the BOP. In years gone by, Doheny gave us plenty of timeless images showing destruction and despair. But at Salt Creek on the weekend the dial was turned up to eleven… → READ MORE
Check out an awesome highlights reel from the weekend, courtesy of Matty Schweitzer and the Starboard crew. This clip shows just how crazy/awesome/ridiculous the 2014 Battle of the Paddle really was.
I would have posted this earlier but I’ve been watching it on loop the past half hour. Yeah, there could have been more footage from the Women’s Elite Race, but apart from that it’s a slick little production. There are too many highlights to mention so just watch above and enjoy… → READ MORE
Check out this cool little drone clip of the action on Saturday.
Anything looks good from a drone, however when you’ve got the world’s best paddlers in the world’s biggest race with some of the world’s best conditions for racing in the waves… it looks really good.
Click through to watch… → READ MORE
We’ve just wrapped up the 2014 Battle of the Paddle here at Salt Creek, California. What a weekend… Action. Drama. Heroics. But most all: Carnage.
Yesterday’s Elite Race saw some of the most exciting stand up paddle racing ever, with a solid south swell rolling into the BOP’s new home of Salt Creek and creating some very memorable moments. Today’s Distance Race was a little mellower, however the performances were just as strong.
Click through for the full results plus the archive of our LIVE BLOG, which includes play-by-play from the racing and plenty of shots of the carnage… → READ MORE
In case you were wondering what we’re in for at the Battle of the Paddle tomorrow, here’s a good preview of Salt Creek’s current surf conditions… Many of the world’s best were down there this morning, putting in some last-minute, hail-mary training at the new home of the BOP and trying to figure out how to fit 12 and a half feet of carbon down a steep wave face.
These sequences are courtesy of SUP World Magazine and feature the Aussie duo of Jake Jensen and Paul Jackson. Click through to see the full slideshow… → READ MORE
With a solid swell bearing down on Salt Creek as we speak, Battle of the Paddle organisers have made the call: Legropes and PFDs are MANDATORY for every event this year. Yes, even for the Elite Race…
Most people were probably going to wear leggies (or ‘leashes’ for you non-Aussies) anyway, rather than risk losing their board, plus the PFDs (personal flotation devices) were already a rule for the distance race. However last night the BOP crew made it an event-wide standard. And if you saw the waves at Salt Creek this morning you’ll understand why… → READ MORE
As Battle of the Paddle excitement reaches fever pitch it’s hard to go on the internet without being bombarded with BOP news/pics/videos/updates. But one little piece that slipped through unnoticed was the fact organisers have dropped the drug testing element this year.
The reason is quite simple: Money. It’s super expensive to run a professional, WADA-backed testing session. → READ MORE
As we count down the final few hours til the 2014 Battle of the Paddle at Salt Creek, Facebook is going into overdrive. It’s hard to scroll through your news feed without seeing at least eight dozen pics/videos/comments/previews of excited (and quite often nervous) paddlers, fans and brands.
But one thing that stood out as I scrolled through this morning was a simple, black-and-white, kinda-ominous looking Vimeo preview titled “Race Day.” This is Quickblade Paddles’ official pre-BOP psych up clip. → READ MORE
Mate Against Mate, State Against State: Country-by-country predictions for the biggest race of the year
Seeing how the Battle of the Paddle is going to be so tough to predict this year, I figured we should have some fun and look at the top contenders in each of the major countries and regions, rather than just the overall front runners. I’ll still be releasing my predictions for the Top 10 on Friday morning, however with conditions looking epic (for the spectators at least) it’s going to be VERY tough to get it right.
So I guess this is my way of throwing out as many names as possible and hopefully catching every contender in the net… → READ MORE