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…
How 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
Since last week’s announcement that the Battle of the Paddle has been cancelled, at least for 2015 and perhaps indefinitely, the stand up paddling world has been asking one question: What’s going to fill the massive hole left by the Super Bowl of SUP?
The answer is sitting right in front of us… → READ MORE
With 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
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
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
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
It’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
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