The 29th Annual Paddlefest was held from Friday to Sunday and mixed SUP racing, SUP surfing and some oldschool kayak surfing as well. Not sure how that all fits but it did look like it was a super fun weekend, and the event featured many of the sport’s most recognisable faces. → READ MORE
The Queen of the BOP, Candice Appleby, announced her departure from long-time sponsor Surftech yesterday. This morning the reason why became clear, with the revelation she was joining the Infinity team in search of a SUP surfing world title.
Candice, winner of a record 6x Battle of the Paddle Elite Races (3x California, 2x Hawaii, 1x Brazil), has one of the most recognisable names in the sport and will be a huge addition to the Infinity squad, where she’ll join her boyfriend Anthony Vela as well as superstar Slater Trout and Infinity boss man Dave Boehne. → READ MORE
Results are in from today’s massive Hanohano Huki Ocean Challenge race down in Mission Bay, San Diego. The Hanohano race, now in its 19th year, is one of the real gems on the racing calendar and always draws a big crowd. This event seems much more about having fun and getting out on the water than any kind of serious elite competition. It’s one of those great community races that give our sport such a great foundation.
The Hanohano always attracts a stellar crowd, however this year may have been a new record as 440 paddlers hit the Short Course (including over 300 on Stand Up Paddle boards). → READ MORE
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
The Stand Up World Series @ Huntington delivered some very entertaining moments over the weekend. Despite the roller-coaster nature of the whole World Series enterprise, this event seemed to deliver on all fronts.
One of the areas the World Series has always done a solid job is getting slick videos up on YouTube just hours after the event. So check out these video highlights from Huntington Beach, which feature some great carnage in the punchy HB shorebreak. → READ MORE
Results and recap from the racing half of the Huntington Beach Pro, which finished just moments ago. The event saw a very solid group of young stars hit Southern California for a serious warm-up ahead of the Battle of the Paddle.
This event was the penultimate stop of the always dramatic (quite often for the wrong reasons) Stand Up World Series and, with the BOP just two weeks away, was a great chance to see who’s in form heading into the biggest race of the year.
It was cool to see some powerful and determined performances from some very dedicated athletes, however the weekend belonged to Connor Baxter and Candice Appleby. → READ MORE
After a few rounds of racing (and countless buoy turn carnage pics), coming out on top were Zane Schweitzer and Fiona Wylde. Zaniac edged out Mo Freitas, Bicho Jimenez and Fernando Stalla, while Fiona Wylde was too good for Shae Foudy, Candice Appleby and Halie Harrison. → READ MORE
We’ve just wrapped up the second and final day of the 2014 Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge, with Connor Baxter and Annabel Anderson dominating an all-star field in what will surely be remembered as one of 2014’s best events.
After their respective victories in Saturday’s Course Race, the Starboard duo made it a clean sweep by claiming today’s unique “Double Downwind” event. With the winds lighter than usual for the Gorge (but much better than we’d feared last night), the elite field battled their way up the Columbia Gorge in back-to-back downwind runs. The majority of the world’s top athletes were on show today, which gave us some intense racing and a great spectacle (especially from my vantage point out on the media boat). → READ MORE
Saturday saw over 300 paddlers race in the El Dorado 5 miler while Sunday was the big one: The 14 mile Emerald Bay distance race, which featured more than 150 serious competitors.
To the surprise of nobody, Danny Ching swept the weekend, winning both the 5 and 14 mile races. The 404 front man was never seriously challenged in the 14 foot class, at one stage looking like he might even keep pace with the Unlimited leaders as well. Kai Lenny had been due to race, however he was a last minute withdrawal due to injury. Click through for the results… → READ MORE
Fernando Stalla has just put on an incredible show to win the 2014 Payette River Games and claim the $10,000 winner’s prize ahead of defending champion Ben Sarrazin. Candice Appleby scores the same amount for being the quickest of the women.
That was an amazing end to an awesome weekend. Fernando waited until the final seconds of the final round of the final event to claim the overall victory, winning the SUP Cross with a spirited fight through the whitewater. His win in the SUP Cross A Final gave Fernando the overall victory by the narrowest of margins, with defending event champion and ultimate dark horse, Ben Sarrazin, just one point behind.
Click through for the early results… → READ MORE
Earlier today a small but classy field of paddlers descended on one of SUP racing’s traditional homes, Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, California. The 2014 Hobie Hennessey’s Waterman’s Challenge was a two-race event, combining a 5 miler with an elite surf race to crown the overall winners. Conditions were picture perfect for a SUP race, with sunny skies, dead calm wind and small but fun waves peeling into Doheny.
After combining results from the two disciplines, Anthony Vela and Candice Appleby came out on top. There were also solid performances from the likes of Brandi Baksic, Team USA star Shae Foudy, Sean Pangelinan and Ryan Murphy (edit: and Brennan Rose/Javier Jimenez). However from all reports the highlight was the kids’ racing, where a bunch of very enthusiastic groms blazed around the course in a showcase of SUP racing’s future… → READ MORE
One of the pint-sized highlights of the racing calendar is Performance Paddling’s Junior Pro & Youth SUP Fiesta, a stand up paddle event dedicated entirely to the stars of the future. The 2014 edition is just a couple of weeks away, with the showcase set for May 4th at Bolsa Chica State Beach (Huntington) in California.
The Junior SUP Fiesta is run by Candice Appleby and Anthony Vela and features both a SUP race and SUP surf contest. Most kids’ races get tacked onto bigger events, so it’s cool to see Candice and AV giving the grommies a chance to shine on their own.
Just some of the charging groms who’ll be racing/surfing are Riggs Napoleon, Mo Freitas, Vanina Walsh, Fiona Wylde, Izzi Gomez, Yuri Daberkow, Ridge Lenny, Kai McPhillips, Felipe Gaspar, Berndt Roediger, Noa Hopper. That list include paddlers who’ve won adult surf comps and races, so you know the competition is gonna be high level. → READ MORE
The first stop of the 2014 Tour drew a solid crowd of paddlers, with the men’s final in particular absolutely stacked with talent. But despite some nice 2-3ft waves playing a bit of havoc with the field and some close checking from the likes of Brennan Rose and Mo Freitas, it was Slater who took the win after out-sprinting Mo to the line. And, judging by the pics, it was a win that was performed in style… → READ MORE
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
Boss 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
There are certain names that are synonymous with the Battle of the Paddle. Names such as Danny Ching, Candice Appleby, Jamie Mitchell, Travis Grant and Connor Baxter. These fine athletes have dominated the BOP and pushed the sport to new levels, while at the same time creating strong rivalries among themselves.
Rivalries are what make sport so enthralling. Federer vs Nadal. Slater vs Irons. England vs Australia. It gives individuals added motivation to perform while giving fans something extra to get excited about and cheer for. And now thankfully we have a few genuine rivalries in SUP racing as well.
It seems like 2013 has been the Year of Debate in the Stand Up Paddling world. From drafting to board classes to prize money to world championships and pretty much every little topic in between, informal talks, public discussion and downright heated arguments have become the norm.
SUP racing is at a crossroads; it’s gone from a small, novelty, niche sport into something bordering on the mainstream, with close to a thousand races around the world each year and a new breed of paddlers enjoying full-time careers on the water. And it’s this explosive growth that is fueling the debate, as different organisations and differing opinions jockey for control and attention, with influence on the future of the sport a reward.
So far we’ve heard a lot of talk and some serious action, but it’s mainly come from the male athletes. That changed recently however, with the Gorge Paddle Challenge in Oregon attracting one of the strongest fields of female paddlers we’ve seen outside the BOP, and one of the leading, Candice Appleby, using the chance to roundup the top female talent for a serious debate. → READ MORE
Kody Kerbox and Fiona Wylde have taken out the 2013 Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge in Hood River, Oregon ahead of a stacked local and international field. Kody beat some big names in Georges Cronsteadt and Slater Trout, while local surprise packet Fiona Wylde put in a commanding overall performance to knock off the likes of Andrea Moller, Candice Appleby and Jenny Kalmbach.
Click through for the full results… → READ MORE
There’s not a single scene where they’re actually paddling, but it’s always interesting to see what the stars of SUP racing get up to behind the scenes. This was actually supposed to be a technical chat with Candice and Anthony about the sport, but it quickly turned into a random discussion of healthy bodies, minds, and funky gym moves… → READ MORE
Candice Appleby and Anthony Vela’s Performance Paddling have just announced what looks set to be a great new SUP event. The Junior Pro & Youth SUP Fiesta will be happening May 5th @ Huntington Beach, and as the name suggests is going to be exclusively for the kids.
The event will feature a youth-only SUP Race in and out through the waves as well as a pro junior SUP surf contest. Several of the world’s best groms have been invited to compete, from as far away as Australia and Hawaii, while there will be some big name paddlers on the beach lending their support.
Click through for all the details… → READ MORE