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 2015 Carolina Cup looks set to be one of the biggest and best races on the calendar, however it's still managed to maintain the community spirit and welcomes all paddlers of all abilities. That's what makes the Carolina Cup such a great event; it's where the community comes together in a celebration of the grassroots nature of the sport.

And that's why will be traveling across the globe to Wilmington, 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 25. In the meantime though, you can get the latest Carolina Cup news below…

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

Who’s Coming To Carolina? (And How Good’s Your Eyesight..?)

Carolina Cup high resSo for the past week I’ve been tossing up which events should be listed as the most significant races of 2015. The “Majors” if you will.

But while I continue to twist my mind around trying to produce something close to a definitive list, I already know one race that’ll definitely be on there: The Carolina Cup.   → READ MORE

The Top 14 Most Competitive Races Of 2014

Battle of the Paddle Salt Creek
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

WATCH: Awesome Edit From 2014 Carolina Cup

Carolina Cup paddleboard race videoCheck out this great highlights reel from the 2014 Carolina Cup, featuring plenty of action, plenty of artistic angles and a few entertaining words from the paddlers themselves.

This is another classy edit from Fin Film Company’s Chris Aguilar (who’s released a LOT of cool videos over the years) on behalf of the Surftech/Bark crew.

I know we’re not even halfway through 2014, but I believe the Carolina Cup will go down as one of the races of the year, probably right behind the Battle in terms of exposure, hype, prestige and the level of competition on show. Do your best to get out to Wrightsville Beach in 2015…   → READ MORE

Dave Kalama Speaks: Some Inspiring Words From The Carolina Cup

dave kalama motivational speechOne of the highlights of this year’s Carolina Cup was hearing Dave Kalama speak on the eve of the race. The big guy shared a story from his 2009 Molokai campaign, which didn’t end the way he wanted it but still taught him a very good lesson about quitting (or in Dave’s words “Being a whiny little bitch”).

It’s a little longer than the usual SUP edit, but definitely worth paying attention til the end. Watch above and enjoy. And remember: No matter how many excuses you can come up with, you don’t get in that boat…   → READ MORE

WATCH: A Very Slick Carolina Cup Highlights Reel

Video Carolina Cup stand up paddle raceCheck out this darn fine highlights reel from the Carolina Cup. It’s got a bit of everything in there, from the rec race to the elite race to everything else that made this such a great event.

Love the finish line sequences.

Click through to watch and enjoy…   → READ MORE

87 Awesome Photos From The Carolina Cup

Carolina Cup photos
The Carolina Cup is done and dusted for another year, so now it’s time to look back and reflect on what really was an amazing week.

There were a lot of great paddlers and a lot of great action at this year’s event. Here’s a collection of the very best…   → READ MORE

Carolina Cup: Danny Ching, Annabel Anderson Stand Victorious After 13 Miles Of Pain (UPDATED RESULTS)

Carolina Cup Graveyard Elite Race
Woah… What a race. That was 13 miles of pain. I’m hurting.

Congrats to Danny Ching for muscling his way through this one and to Annabel Anderson for coming out on top despite a huge push from Jenny and Lina. Danny has now won this event three years in a row while Annabel has gone back to back in her first two attempts.

Click through for full results from all the races.   → READ MORE

Connor’s Carolina Cup Preview

Carolina CupWith less than 24 hours til one of the biggest races of the year, we asked Connor Baxter for his thoughts on the race…

“Yeah stoked to be here, it’s going to be a really challenging race, totally different to what I’m used to so it’ll be a good test. I’ve been doing the shorter 12’6 races lately, but this is 13 miles on a 14 footer so a whole different ball game for me. I usually try to do only two races over 10 miles each year – and those are downwinders in Hawaii… It’s also really different coming off races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, especially Abu Dhabi where it was crazy hot – 105 degres (40 C) in the dry desert heat. So now coming to North Carolina where it’s a bit cooler is actually a nice change.

The Carolina Cup looks like it’ll be a really challenging course. This is my first year but everyone’s saying it’s a total mission out there. Definitely one of the toughest races on the calendar. Comparing this to other events on the level of difficulty, this would be near the top closer to Molokai territory than your average race. It’s got all kinds of conditions – flat, ocean, maybe downwind and a few parts where there are waves. So it’s gonna make for super interesting racing and strategy…”   → READ MORE

Carolina Cup Fantasy SUP: Who’s Going To Win? Previews And Predictions (Plus Your Chance To Win)

Carolina Cup Fantasy SUP
We’re less than 48 hours away from one of the stand up paddling events of the year: The Carolina Cup at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina is happening this Saturday and looks set to be one of the single biggest races of 2014.

I don’t wanna get ahead of myself and hype things up unnecessarily, but, just quietly, the 2014 Carolina Cup is gonna be MASSIVE. In terms of both size and the level of competition, this race is going to be huge. The online rego cut off at midnight last night with 499 people already signed on. Organisers are expecting another 100 in-person regos tomorrow, meaning we could see over 600 paddlers line up on Saturday across the 3.5 mile rec race, the 6.5 mile open race and the big one: The 13 mile Elite Graveyard Race.

But who’s gonna win? Let’s have some fun and make a few bold predictions…   → READ MORE

What Do The Carolina Cup And Coachella Have In Common?

Carolina Cup Stand Up Paddle race scheduleOne thing that’s become very clear since I arrived in Wrightsville Beach a couple days ago: There is an insane amount of organisation going into this event.

The Carolina Cup is not a race, it’s not even an event: It’s a five-day stand up paddling festival.

Seriously, check out the Carolina Cup event flyer – it looks less like a SUP race and more like a Coachella festival guide.

Demos, expos, movie nights, clinics (oh there’s clinics…), autograph signings, SUP yoga sessions, pre-parties, after-parties, night paddles, live music… There might even be time for a couple of actual races in there.   → READ MORE

Good Morning Wrightsville Beach

Wrightsville Beach sunriseGood morning Wrightsville Beach…

After more than 26 hours sitting on planes, we finally made it to Wrightsville Beach late last night. For those who are somehow unaware: Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington, North Carolina is the home of the Carolina Cup. It’s basically a long, narrow, sandy island with the ocean on one side and the intercoastal on the other. From first impressions it seems like a nice sleepy little seaside town; however this weekend it’s going to fire up as hundreds of paddlers descend on the beach from all across the States and around the world.   → READ MORE

Heads Up: We’re Gonna Be Playing “Fantasy SUP” This Week (aka Pick The Carolina Cup Winners And Win Some Schwag)

Carolina CupUnless you’ve been living under a rock (on Mars/fingers in ears) then you’ll know the Carolina Cup is happening this Saturday in the otherwise sleepy little beachside town of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

Hundreds of paddlers have already started descending on the town and come Saturday we should be seeing about three dozen of the very best in the world line up for the 12.5 mile Graveyard Elite Race. Names such as Danny Ching, Annabel Anderson, Jenny Kalmbach, Travis Grant, Connor Baxter, Georges Cronsteadt, Jamie Mitchell, Lina Augaitis, Chase Kosterlitz, Slater Trout, … yeah you get the point. It’s gonna be stacked.

And while the Carolina Cup isn’t just about the elite: It’s more of a celebration of the entire sport we love and it’s whole grassroots, mass-participation vibe, where hundreds of paddlers from all skill levels converge in a bizarre, cult-like “Festival of SUP”… It’s still gonna be a race. And there’s still gonna be some tight competition. So we’re gonna have some fun predicting which elite paddlers are gonna perform better than the others.   → READ MORE

Six Days To Carolina: Check Out This Interactive Course Map To Discover Where We’re Racing On Saturday

Wrightsville Beach Carolina Cup Stand Up Paddle raceThe Countdown To Carolina continues… We’re just days away from one of the biggest events on the calendar: The Carolina Cup in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

Hundreds of paddlers, including a couple dozen of the world’s best, are preparing to descend on this little slice of America’s East Coast. It’s shaping up to be one of the biggest and most competitive SUP races of the year. So I think it’s high time we take a closer look at exactly where everyone’s gonna be paddling on Saturday… Here they are, your 2014 Carolina Cup course maps.   → READ MORE

This Video Sums Up Why The Carolina Cup Is So Popular

Carolina Cup SUP videoWith the Carolina Cup just seven days away, I figured it was a perfect time to look back at 2013 and see why this event has grown so big.

There are hundreds of stand up paddle races out there, yet in just three years this event has grown to become one of the absolute biggest in the world. The Cup attracts hundreds of first time paddlers, hundreds of weekend warriors and dozens of the world’s elite to a small town in North Carolina for a true festival of paddleboarding.

As the leading athletes summed it up:   → READ MORE

Countdown To Carolina: Less Than 10 Days ‘Til One Of The Biggest Events On The Calendar

Carolina Cup
We’re less than 10 days out from one of the biggest and best races of the year: The 2014 Carolina Cup.

Over the past few years, the Carolina Cup has grown from a regional race into a big international event. It attracts hundreds of recreational paddlers as well as dozens of the world’s fastest. However it still has that community spirit and the organisers still go out of their way to make you feel welcome, no matter whether you’re a first timer or a world champ.

I believe the Carolina Cup highlights what makes this sport so great, which is exactly why will be there in Wilmington, North Carolina to help bring you the event as it happens. Our full coverage of the 2014 Carolina Cup begins right now. You’ll be able to follow all the action on our Carolina Cup mini site, which is powered by the generosity and support of Starboard.   → READ MORE

The Carolina Cup Is Now One Of The Most Significant Races On The Calendar

Carolina Cup SUP RaceWe’re just four weeks out from what’s shaping up to be one of the best races of the year: the 2014 Carolina Cup. The Carolina Cup, held in humble little Wilmington, North Carolina, is fast becoming not only one of the biggest races on the calendar, but one of the most significant events in the entire world of SUP racing, period.

And I say that not only because I believe the 2014 elite race will be one of the most exciting contests of the year (it will: Danny, Travis, Jamie, Georges, Connor, Slater, etc will be duking it out – in fact it might just be the second most competitive race in the world this year, after only the BOP), or because luminaries such as Dave Kalama, Jimmy Terrell and Larry Cain will be doing clinics, or because pretty much every major brand will have a presence there, but also because the event will have HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS of recreational paddlers competing. And it’s those hundreds of paddlers that are driving this humble little sport of ours.

In just three short years (which, granted, is actually a lifetime in the fledgling sport of stand up paddle racing), the Carolina Cup has quickly grown from a key regional race, to the biggest race on the East Coast, to one of the most important races in the entire United States, to now being on the verge of becoming one of the biggest and most important races in the entire world, period. Just look at the numbers…   → READ MORE

Outside Magazine Declares Carolina Cup Race Of The Year

2014 Carolina CupAs was first spotted by the intrepid Mullet, the Carolina Cup has just been recognised as one of the races of the year by Outside Magazine.

The Carolina Cup has grown over the past few years from a grassroots event into a big international race, attracting hundreds of amateurs who are eager to race alongside some of the biggest names in the sport. Last year there were over 300 competitors, including the like of Danny Ching, Jamie Mitchell and Annabel Anderson.

The event now ranks as the biggest race on the East Coast and perhaps the second biggest in the entire United States, behind only the Battle of the Paddle.   → READ MORE

Save The Date: 2014 Carolina Cup

2014 Carolina CupOne of the biggest and best events on the SUP Calendar, the Carolina Cup, has announced official dates for next year’s event.

The 2014 Carolina Cup Stand Up Paddle Board Race is happening @ the usual spot: Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. The event runs from Wednesday 23rd to Sunday 27th of April, however the main event, the 12.5 mile “Graveyard Race” is expected to be on Saturday April 26th.

The 2013 Carolina Cup featured some very big names including a victorious Danny Ching as well as Eric Terrien, Jamie Mitchell, Chase Kosterlitz, Ryan Helm, Matt Becker, Annabel Anderson (who dominated the women’s race) and plenty of other elite paddlers from across the U.S. and overseas.   → READ MORE