Battle Of The Paddle: Four Awesome ‘Hammer Buoy’ Carnage Shots

Battle of the Paddle hammer buoyAs our coverage of the 2013 Battle of the Paddle presented by Starboard winds down, it’s time to look back at some of the great images from the weekend. Whenever you say “great images and “Battle of the Paddle” in the same sentence, one thing jumps straight to mind: The Hammer Buoy.

That infamous buoy turn where so much drama happens, where so many boards have been broken, where so many races have been won & lost and where almost all the action shots from the BOP originate. Here are four of the best from 2013…   → READ MORE

Battle Of The Paddle Video Highlights

Battle of the Paddle videosOur coverage of the 2013 Battle of the Paddle presented by Starboard is coming to a close, but it’s not going to end without a bang. Over the next 24 hours we’ll post up a whole bunch of videos, photos and insights from the BOP so that you can relive the action whenever you like.

And that starts now with some great highlight reels from the weekend…   → READ MORE

Relive The Battle Of The Paddle With Our Live Coverage Archive

Battle of the Paddle 2013If you visited at any time in the past 30 days you would have found it very hard to miss our big “Starboard presents the Battle of the Paddle” promo, which culminated in our live coverage of the event all weekend. Thanks to the crew at Starboard SUP we were able to bring non-stop, play-by-play updates, commentary and pics from right on the beach at Dana Point all weekend long.

The site had over 40,000 hits in 48 hours from 136 different countries as fans of stand up paddling around the world followed the biggest race in the world. Well now, just in case you’ve got a spare hour or two on your hands, you can relive our entire live coverage of the 2013 Battle of the Paddle.   → READ MORE

Post-Battle Hangover…

Battle of the PaddleThe 6th Annual Rainbow Sandals Battle of the Paddle has come and gone. We won’t soon forget the heroics of Kai Lenny, Annabel Anderson, Travis Grant and a host of others who stepped it up this year, but for now let’s take a step back and let it all sink in. will be back later in the week with the best photos & videos of the BOP, as well as insights and reflections on what was a pretty epic weekend, though for now let’s take a breather for a day or two…   → READ MORE

Starboard Presents The 2013 Battle Of The Paddle LIVE COVERAGE

Battle Of The Paddle LIVE Webcast
It’s on! After a whole month of hype and anticipation, we’ve finally reached Battle day. In a few hours the world’s finest SUP racers will line up on Doheny State Beach to duke it out for $27k in prize money and some priceless bragging rights.

And, thanks to Starboard, you can follow the whole thing LIVE here on…   → READ MORE

Who’s Going To Win?

Battle of the Paddle predictions
The countdown is almost complete: 24 hours until the Battle of the Paddle Elite Race lights up Dana Point, California and we get to see who has bragging rights for the next 12 months.

Yes, it’s just a race and there are more important things than winning. But it’s still a race, which means somebody’s gotta win… Who will that be? Click through for some semi-bold predictions and find out who made the cut into the Fantastic Four, the Ten Contenders and the Fighting Fifteen…   → READ MORE

Battle Of The Paddle: Five Big Names That *Won’t* Be Racing This Weekend…

Battle of the PaddleThere are less than 48 hours until Battle… 48 hours until the world’s best line up at Doheny for the sixth annual Rainbow Sandals Battle of the Paddle California.

However… not ALL of the world’s best paddlers will be on the start line this year. As happens every year, a few of the top names are out for one reason or another. This year that little group just so happens to include three past Elite Race champions…

This isn’t necessarily major news on its own, as we said, this happens every year. However with the recent Battle of the Paddle drug testing announcement, we thought it prudent to put this out ahead of time and make it clear why each of these athletes are pulling out, lest there be any sneaky whispers on the beach come race time. So take a deep breath: Here are the paddlers you won’t be watching compete in the Elite Race on Saturday afternoon.   → READ MORE

Candice Appleby: “Why I’m Not Racing The Battle Of The Paddle This Year”

Candice Appleby Battle of the PaddleBoss Man’s note: Candice Appleby is a four-time winner of the toughest event in SUP racing: The Battle of the Paddle Elite Race. She has one of the most recognisable names in our sport and is always in contention at Dana Point (Candice has competed in every single BOP and her worst ever result is second…).

So needless to say a lot of fans were going to be watching Candice closely this weekend to see if she could regain her BOP crown. However, for reasons Candice explains below, that won’t be happening: The four-time champ has withdrawn from the 2013 Battle of the Paddle due to injury. Here’s the full story in Candice’s own words…   → READ MORE

Battle Ground: Close Look At The BOP Elite Race Course

The Battle of the Paddle Elite Race course mapThree days and counting til the Battle of the Paddle…Three days until the world’s best converge on Doheny State Beach, Dana Point for the biggest SUP race of the year. While there will be 500 – 1,000 individual competitors racing across several different events on Saturday and Sunday, all eyes will be on Saturday afternoon’s main event, the Elite Race.

In terms of prestige and level of competition, this is the big one. The Elite Race is the single toughest race of the year to win, with paddlers from all around the world converging in Southern California to battle it out around the (in)famous M-shaped course. But if you’ve never seen the Battle of the Paddle in person you might be confused when paddlers throw up terms like “Hammer Buoy” and “The Chicane”… so let’s take a closer look at the BOP Elite Race course and see what’s in store this weekend.   → READ MORE

Oh Is There A SUP Race This Weekend…? Four Days And Counting ‘Til The BOP

Battle of the Paddle
Four days and counting… Holy crap. How did that sneak up? Feels like it was only yesterday that we announced Tiki Racing Month, relived the carnage of the infamous Hammer Buoy, took a trip down memory lane, had some fun with numbers, announced a massive new addition to this year’s event and… well, you get the point. We’ve been giving you daily BOP updates all month long in anticipation of the year’s biggest race, but now, suddenly, the race is about to be ON!

At 9am on Saturday morning, on the fabled shores of Doheny State Beach (its name already etched into SUP racing folklore) the 2013 Battle of the Paddle – the sixth edition of the California BOP – will hit the water for two days of insanely competitive and, hopefully, extremely FUN Stand Up Paddling action.

Four days to go… So it’s a good time to reveal exactly what we’ll be giving you with this whole “LIVE COVERAGE OF THE BOP” that we’ve been trumpeting all month.   → READ MORE

Battle Of The Paddle Drug Testing: It’s Just The Beginning

Battle of the Paddle drug testingThere’s a great post over on (which you should totally be following by the way) that gives some perspective on the recent Battle of the Paddle drug testing announcement.

The jist of the article is this: What the Battle of the Paddle is doing is great and will definitely elevate the sport, however it’s only the beginning. In-competition testing should be backed up with random, out-of-competition follow-up testing, though on the other hand that’s an extremely expensive process that stand up paddling probably isn’t ready for. It’s a great read and offers some solid education for paddlers, most of whom would have very little idea about how the USADA/WADA anti-doping process actually works.   → READ MORE

The Road To The Final: Battle Of The Paddle Elite Race Heat Draws

Battle of the Paddle Elite RaceWe’re just five days away from the biggest race of the year, the 2013 Battle of the Paddle at Dana Point, California. On Saturday 28th September the best of the best will line up on the shores of Doheny State Beach for the main event: The Elite Race.

This is the one race of the year that attracts the best talent and the most attention. The bragging rights that go along with an Elite Race title are unmatched. And that’s because it’s such a super hard race to win… Not only do you have to beat the world’s best in the Elite Race Final, but you have to qualify just to even get to the start line.

For the past two years the BOP has been using qualifying heats to manage the size of the Elite Race field. Everyone from Danny Ching to your weekend warrior lines up in the morning heats, but only the top 70 odd paddlers will make it through to the prestigious final in the afternoon. It’s always interesting to watch the Elite Race heats and see who’s in form, who’s playing it safe and who’s firming as a dark horse bet.   → READ MORE

It’s Coming… Eight Days Til Battle (Here’s The Full BOP Schedule)

Battle of the PaddleEight days and counting til the big one: The 2013 Battle of the Paddle California. We’ve already looked at the carnage and the chaos of the buoy turns, taken a trip down memory lane and announced some big changes for to the format for this year. But now let’s take a look at the event itself with the official Battle of the Paddle schedule.

Not exactly the most exciting post you’ve ever read on, but fairly important all the same. So here’s everything you need to know about next weekend…   → READ MORE

Battle Of The Paddle Raises Prize Money, Slightly, To Set New Bar As “Most Lucrative SUP Race”

Battle of the Paddle Prize MoneyBattle of the Paddle organisers have upped the prize money for this year’s race ever so slightly, with line honours bonuses for both men and women in the Distance Race pushing the total prize purse of the world’s most lucrative SUP race to a new level.

The final prize purse at the 2013 Battle of the Paddle will stand at $26,950, after an extra $1,750 was added to the Distance Race. Traditionally it’s been set at $25k, which has been a benchmark many other events have strived to match (but which none have exceeded) over the past five years.   → READ MORE

Battle Of The Paddle: Three Big Changes For 2013 (Including Separate Women’s Final…)

Battle of the Paddle12 days and counting til the Battle of the Paddle…

The pros have started arriving in town and the warm-up races have begun. Last minute training and board testing is taking place, while everyone’s starting to get a little excited (and slightly nervous) about the biggest race of the year.

So what can we expect to see on September 28th & 29th? Well as far as the race format goes, it’ll still largely be the same old BOP that we know and love, though with a few new twists… Apart from the big news about drug testing at the Battle of the Paddle, there are a few other tweaks this year, including some big news about the women’s Elite Race…   → READ MORE

There Are 13 Days Til The Battle Of The Paddle, So Let’s Salute The Unlucky Ones

Battle of the Paddle There are only 13 days and counting til the biggest SUP race of the year, the Battle of the Paddle.

Some say 13 is an unlucky number, so today we look back and pay our respects to a few of the particularly unlucky paddlers who, by no fault of their own, got taken down hard in the Battle.

Click through to witness the carnage…   → READ MORE

Battle Of The Paddle 2009, The Year Australia Dominated Dana Point (Full Results + Video)

2009 Battle of the PaddleWe continue our countdown to the BOP by looking back at the history of this iconic event. We’ve already taken a trip down memory lane with Chuck “The Terminator” Patterson’s win @ the 2008 Battle of the Paddle and now we skip forward twelve months to 2009, when the famous “M-shape” Elite Race course was introduced for the first time and a couple of Aussies took the locals by storm.

In a year when SUP race board designs were only just starting to be refined, Andrew Logreco led for much of the Elite Race on a custom creation that looked more surfboard/longboard than any kind of modern racing shape. But despite the enigmatic Oahu boy’s heroics early on, in the end it was Jamie Mitchell who took the win and the $10,000 winner’s cheque, while a 14-year-old Slater Trout made a name for himself by claiming second (ahead of a certain someone making their SUP racing debut: Danny Ching).

Click through for race footage plus full results from the second ever BOP Elite Race…   → READ MORE

Battle Of The Paddle Favourite Travis Grant Goes Down With Knee Injury Two Weeks Out

Battle of the Paddle Travis GrantMost serious race fans will agree that one of the few top picks ahead of this year’s Battle of the Paddle is Travis Grant. The Aussie has been on an absolute tear the past nine months, winning several international-level races in Australia and Europe before posting some big results in Hawaii, which culminated in his epic Molokai-2-Oahu victory six weeks ago. Travis is also a former BOP Elite Race champion (Hawaii 2011) and a permanent fixture on the podium.

So with the 2013 California Battle of the Paddle just two weeks away, Travis was considered by many (us included) to be one of the hot favourites for the Elite Race title along with the likes of Connor Baxter and Danny Ching. But unfortunately Travis’ BOP campaign could be over before it’s even begun, after he dislocated his knee while surfing in Hawaii yesterday.   → READ MORE

It’s Official: Battle of the Paddle Will Have Anti-Doping Drug Tests This Year

Battle of the Paddle performance enhancing drugsIt was the single most Instagram’d shot of the 2012 event: The announcement twelve months ago that BOP 2013 would introduce anti-doping tests. We haven’t heard much about it since then but today it all became official, with organisers providing details of how the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) will be overseeing the testing for performance enhancing drugs at this year’s race.

The decision, a first for the Battle, has received a very positive response (no pun intended) from the paddling community, as having USADA on the beach will greatly increase the professionalism of the world’s biggest SUP race as well as the sport of Stand Up Paddling in general.   → READ MORE