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

A Very Slick Battle Of The Paddle Edit (Including The New Sport Of ‘SUP Limbo’)

Battle of the Paddle SIC video stand up paddlingWhile 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

Lina Augaitis’ Rollercoaster Ride: Nine Days, Four Races, Two Memorable Victories

Lina Augaitis stand up paddlerIt’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

Video Interview: Connor Baxter Responds To The Battle Of The Paddle/Kai Lenny ‘Handlegate’ Incident

Connor Baxter Kai Lenny Battle of the PaddleHere’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

87 Beautiful Images From The Battle Of The Paddle

2014 Battle of the Paddle - Starboard - 54
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

Battle Of The Paddle: Crashes, Carnage And Chaos At Salt Creek

Battle of the Paddle Salt Creek carnage videoAs 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

WATCH: 7 Awesome Minutes Of ‘Battle Of The Paddle’ Footage That Will Keep You Entertained All Day

Battle of the paddle video starboardCheck 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

A Drone’s Eye View Of The Battle Of The Paddle Carnage

Battle of the Paddle drone videoCheck 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

2014 Battle Of The Paddle RESULTS: Candice And Kai Take The Elite Race, Lina And Danny Salute In The Distance

Battle of the Paddle Salt Creek 17
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

19 Photos That Show Us How Awesome It’s Going To Be At Salt Creek Tomorrow

Battle of the Paddle Salt Creek wavesIn 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

There Will Be Blood: Leggies And PFDs Mandatory At The BOP (Yes, Even For The Elite Race)

Salt Creek stand up paddle raceWith 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

No Drug Testing At The Battle Of The Paddle This Year

battle of the paddle stand up paddling drug testingAs 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

The Battle Of The Paddle In Black And White

Battle of the Paddle video Quickblade PaddlesAs 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

Battle Of The Paddle: Civil War

Battle of the Paddle SUP race chaosMate 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

Battle Of The Paddle Cheat Sheet: When, Where and What’s Happening In SoCal This Week?

Battle of the Paddle updatesThe countdown to the biggest race of the year is in full swing. Less than four days ’til Show Time. Four days til we find out who takes the glory and bragging rights for the next 12 months. Four days til we find out if 12’6 race boards can physically handle the waves at Salt Creek. Four days til the stand up paddling world stops for 48 hours…

There’s nothing quite like the Battle of the Paddle. And now, thanks to Starboard, is the home of the BOP. All this week we’ll be previewing the big dance, leading up to our 48-hour LIVE BLOG on race weekend, which will include real-time, play-by-play commentary of the racing.   → READ MORE

Help Name This Crazy, Giant, Oversized New Inflatable From Starboard (And Win Some Cool Stuff)

Starboard big inflatable stand up paddle boardStarboard Battle Week isn’t all about serious racing and painful carnage. It’s also about having fun. And right now nothing says fun like a giant, oversized, ridiculously-large inflatable stand up paddleboard.

This beast is Starboard’s new inflatable SUP board. It’s 18 and a half feet long. It’s 60 inches wide. It comfortably fits 8 paddlers at once. It even has proper fins for surfing. It’s bloody awesome. Only problem: It doesn’t have a name yet… And that’s where you come in.   → READ MORE

Battle Of The Paddle: No Live Webcast Again This Year (So Here’s How You Can Follow The Action Instead)

Battle of the Paddle buoy turn 4“Is the Battle of the Paddle gonna be streamed live this year?” “Will the BOP have a webcast?” “Where can we watch the race?” “Where’s the webcast?” “Webcast?” “Webcast?!?”

Every year I get this type of question from hundreds of fans around the world. The Battle of the Paddle is the biggest race on earth and SUP die-hards across the globe wanna see it go down as it happens. However in recent years they’ve been frustratingly cut out.    → READ MORE

Oh The Humanity… 56 Photos That Show The Greatest Battle Of The Paddle CARNAGE Sequence Of All Time

Battle of the Paddle carnage photosFive days until the Battle of the Paddle, which means just five days until we get to see if Salt Creek lives up to the hype: Will we get the waves we’ve been hearing about for months? Will there be all-time carnage? Chaos? Flying paddles? Broken boards? We, the spectators, can only hope…

Though Salt Creek will have to really turn it on if it’s going to beat Doheny’s storied history of chaos and carnage. Each year we need to look no further than the infamous “Hammer Buoy” – the first inside turn on the Elite Race course – for an endless highlights reel of dings and destruction. And last year’s BOP gave us perhaps the most insane Hammer Buoy carnage sequence of all time…   → READ MORE