The Carolina Cup is a stand up paddle race held annually at Wrightsville Beach, Wilmington, North Carolina. Since 2011 it has grown from a regional race into an international headliner, attracting dozens of the world’s fastest athletes as well as hundreds of recreational paddlers.

The 2016 Carolina Cup will be one of the biggest and best races on the calendar, but what makes this event so great is that it still maintains the community spirit that’s welcoming to paddlers of all abilities. The Carolina Cup is where the community comes together in a celebration of the grassroots nature of the sport.

And that’s why SUP Racer will be traveling across the globe to Wrightsville to help bring you the spirit, the excitement and the action of this great race as it happens. We’ll have interviews, pics, previews, predictions and full coverage on race day. So mark your calendar for April 23rd. In the meantime though, you can get the latest Carolina Cup news below…

47 Awesome Photos That Tell the Hidden Stories of the 2016 Carolina Cup

Carolina Cup 2016Carolina is done and dusted for another year, however I think we’ll be talking about this race for a while yet.

The 2016 West Marine Carolina Cup presented by Surftech had a bit of everything, from the all-star cast of world renowned athletes to the fresh faced dark horses looking to make a name for themselves. Throw in an unexpected swell that caused a bit of chaos at the start, and you had one hell of a race around Wrightsville Beach.   → READ MORE

Congratulations Titouan Puyo, Annabel Anderson — Champions of the 2016 West Marine Carolina Cup (FULL RESULTS)

Carolina Cup
Titouan Puyo and Annabel Anderson have triumphed over an all-star field of paddlers to claim the 2016 West Marine Carolina Cup here in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, with the infamous Elite Graveyard Race living up to its reputation by serving competitors a challenging mixture wind, waves and currents across 13 miles of ocean and flat water racing.   → READ MORE

The Dark Horses: 16 Paddlers to Watch in 2016

James Casey stand up paddleboardingThese are exciting times for the world of stand up paddle racing, with fresh faces and new names set to energise the sport and shake up the world rankings this year.

With dozens of world class athletes crossing over from other sports and a new generation of hungry juniors eager to prove themselves, I believe we’re on the verge of a new wave of elite paddling talent. So with the first major race of the season just six days away, it’s time for a bit of crystal ball gazing to predict who will make the biggest leap up the leaderboard in 2016.   → READ MORE

Why the Carolina Cup Is Your Best Chance to Learn Directly from the Pros

Carolina Cup paddleboard raceThe Carolina Cup isn’t just a race. The annual pilgrimage to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina signals not only one of the largest, most competitive and most significant events on the international calendar, it’s also probably your best opportunity to learn from some of the world’s fastest and most talented paddlers.

The Carolina Cup isn’t just a race, it’s a true festival of paddling, and one of the best features of the festival are the clinics.   → READ MORE

The Carolina Cup: 10 Days Til the First Major Race of the Season

Carolina Cup stand up paddleboard raceThe countdown is on. In just 10 days’ time, the majority of the world’s best paddlers, along with hundreds of weekend warriors, beginners, industry insiders, media folk, and fans of the sport in general, will descend on the sleepy hollow of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, for the 2016 Carolina Cup.

Over the years, the Carolina Cup has grown from a regional contest into one of the world’s largest, most competitive and most significant stand up paddle events. But it’s about so much more than just the racing…   → READ MORE

Countdown to Carolina: Three Months ’til the First Major Race of the Season

Carolina Cup stand up paddle board race 2016In exactly three months from today, a big chunk of the world’s top athletes, along with hundreds of amateur and first time paddlers, will be standing on the sand at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, for the first ‘major’ of the season: The Carolina Cup.

Carolina has become famous for not only attracting the Travis Grants, Danny Chings and Annabel Andersons of the world, but for also drawing in hundreds of weekend warriors and first timers from near and far. Now in its 6th year, Carolina is not just a race, it’s a festival.   → READ MORE

Top 15 of 2015: The Most Popular Videos of the Year

2015-stand-up-paddling-videosAs the year draws to a close and we reflect back on 12 months of paddling adventures, one thing that stands out is just how many awesome SUP videos were released in 2015.

From Carolina to Oregon to Doheny to Paris to Perth and virtually everywhere in between, there have been a tonne of awesome edits from the paddling community this year. Here are 15 of the best…   → READ MORE

Mid-Year World Rankings: Travis Grant Is Number One (And There’s A Flaw In The System)

ISA Worlds
And just like that, it’s August. This year has flown by. Seems like only yesterday we were getting excited about the first major race of the year, the Carolina Cup. That was four months ago.

We’re now halfway through the international stand up paddling “season,” which loosely runs from April to October (with a couple of outposts in December). Carolina, OluKai, the Worlds, the Euro Tour, Payette and Molokai have already been run and won, while we’ve still got the Gorge Paddle Challenge, Pacific Paddle Games and a few World Series races to look forward to.

So because we’re halfway through the year, I thought it’d be a good time to analyse the best paddlers of 2015 so far.   → READ MORE

Add This To Your Calendar Right Now: Carolina Cup Announces Dates For 2016

Carolina Cup stand up paddle race 2015Whip out your calendar and pencil tattoo in these dates right now: The 2016 Carolina Cup is happening from April 19-24.

Race day will be Saturday April 23rd, however the Carolina “festival” will run from Tuesday to Sunday, with clinics, demos, movie premieres and all the other associated festivities making for six straight days of paddling goodness.   → READ MORE

WATCH: Lahui Kai’s Carolina Cup Highlights Reel

Carolina Cup SUP Race videoCheck out this great Carolina Cup clip from the Lahui Kai Paddleboards team, including some awesome aerial footage of the mass start.

There’s also a cool little behind the scenes look at the team photoshoot, plus some insights from head honcho of design Brian Szymanski.    → READ MORE

WATCH: Rogue’s Awesome Edit From The Carolina Cup

Carolina Cup Stand Up Paddleboard race video 2015Check out this awesome little highlights reel from the Carolina Cup. Courtesy of the Rogue SUP crew, this clip does a great job of capturing the intensity of the infamous Graveyard Race.

Very sharp edit. That slow-mo sequence at 0:20 looks like a bunch of ancient warriors about to charge into battle…   → READ MORE

SUP Racer World Rankings: Post-Carolina Analysis

Stand Up Paddle World Rankings 1
As expected, the SUP Racer World Rankings saw a lot of movement after the epic Carolina Cup on Saturday. Part race, part reunion, part festival of stand up paddling, the Carolina Cup has become one of the most significant and important events in our sport. It’s also one of the biggest gatherings of elite talent in the world.

Click through to see how it impacted the current World Rankings…   → READ MORE

Carolina Cup: Travis Grant, Annabel Anderson Win In Style As The SUP World Celebrates The First Major Race Of The Season

2015 Carolina Cup SUP results
Done. What an epic race that was. Congratulations to Travis Grant and Annabel Anderson – 2015 Carolina Cup CHAMPIONS. Massive effort from Danny Ching and Sonni Honscheid to claim the runner-up positions, and really any paddler in the Top 10/Top 20 deserves a medal. That was hectic out there.

Click through for full results and a full replay of the live webcast…   → READ MORE

Who’s Coming To The Carolina Cup? Short Answer: Everyone…

Carolina Cup Paddleboard RaceIn a clear sign of just how significant the Carolina Cup has become, we’ve confirmed that 17 of the world’s Top 20 guys and 7 of the Top 10 women are heading to the first major race of the season.

The 2015 Carolina Cup, set for Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina on April 25th, will play host to an elite lineup of talent never before seen outside the BOP, further cementing Carolina as the place to be.   → READ MORE

The “Countdown To Carolina” Begins Now: 100 Days ‘Til The First Major Race Of The Season

Carolina Cup Stand Up Paddling RaceTime to start training: The 2015 Carolina Cup is just 100 days away.

As the first major SUP race of the season, the Carolina Cup is shaping up to be a true classic this year. With a unique mix of top-level stars, weekend warriors and first timers, the sleepy, seaside hamlet of Wrightsville Beach will be transformed into a SUP mecca in the last week of April.   → READ MORE

The Majors: The World’s Five Biggest SUP Races (Plus: Predicting The Top 25 “Most Significant” Races Of 2015)

Major Stand Up Paddle Races
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