From Santa Cruz to the South of France, here are the headlines that made waves this week.
As the fading daylight glimmered silently behind distant mountains, Casper Steinfath paddled into the small Norwegian city of Kristiansand just before 8pm local time on Sunday to complete an epic voyage of adventure and redemption, one that took almost 20 hours and covered a mighty stretch of water first crossed by his Viking forebears over a thousand years ago.
Twelve months after falling agonisingly short, Casper conquered the “Viking Crossing” of the Skaggerak strait that separates his home country of Denmark and its northern neighbour, Norway. Battling freezing conditions but aided by mercifully light winds and blue skies, Casper set out at 1am Sunday morning and paddled non-stop for about 19 hours before reaching land in Norway. → READ MORE
Go behind the scenes at “boot Düsseldorf” aka one of the world’s biggest boat shows, which is held in Germany in the depths of winter each January.
The German-speaking vlogger turned Maui local, Mike Jucker, was on the scene and caught up with the likes of Bernd Roediger, Fiona Wylde, Casper Steinfath, Sonni Honscheid and Zane Schweitzer as some of paddling’s biggest names got stuck into the indoor wave pool and other assorted expo festivities.
As with all of Mike’s vlogs, this is well worth a watch if you want to go behind the scenes in our sport.
I love analysing this sport. It all began with one of the earliest posts on the site: The Top 11 of 2011. That story got a lot of attention and helped kickstart SUP Racer as we know it, and from there it followed with year-end “best of” lists in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
And now it’s time for the Top 17 of 2017… → READ MORE
Time to brush up on your “bom dia”s and “obrigado”s — the International Surfing Association has just announced the host nation for next year’s ISA Worlds: Brazil.
The 2018 championship event – the 7th annual edition of the Worlds – will be hosted in Brazil late next year with the dates “tentatively” set for November 23 – December 1. The venue is the postcard-perfect resort town of Búzios, which sits on the coast about an hour north of Rio de Janeiro and has a long history of hosting domestic SUP races. → READ MORE
In brief: France’s Arthur Arutkin and Spaniard Susak Molinero have won the world’s largest SUP race, as 700 paddlers braved zero-degree weather today to participate in the bucket list adventure that is the Paris Crossing.
Arthur won a photo finish with defending champ Bruno Hasulyo, while the Viking Casper Steinfath was just seconds behind. Susak was a clear winner in the women’s, with Frenchwoman Melanie Lafenetre claiming the runner-up spot.
But the real result from today’s race was the number of paddlers on the start line… → READ MORE
If you’ve wondered where SUP Racer has been the past week or so, you’ve had good reason to. For the past week, I’ve been about as far off the grid as I ever have.
Each year when the “season” wraps up after the PPGs, I try to get away somewhere new and avoid looking at the internet for as long as I possibly can. It’s a fun and effective way to refresh after seven straight months of non-stop traveling and reporting.
This year I was lucky enough to join Casper Steinfath and his viking brother at their crazy, remote hideaway somewhere along the west coast of America (the locals don’t like the exact location being advertised). It was a five hour hike from the nearest road out to their cabin. There was very little internet, and we could see no other form of civilisation for miles in any direction. Apart from Casper and his brother, the only other regular contact we had was with deer, coyotes and the occasional sighting of fresh bear tracks. We also had to dodge a few landslides here and there. It was a hell of a fun adventure.
But now we’re back in civlisation and ready to restart the news press. There are some very, very large announcements coming up in the coming days and weeks, so stay tuned as we get ready to sign off on season 2017 with a bang.
And if you want to see what else we get up to behind the scenes, follow @wheresbossman on Insta.
“It was f#$%ing nuts! I’ve never felt so alive and focused in my life…”
That’s how Casper Steinfath described today’s epic Red Bull Heavy Water race to me shortly after he triumphantly crossed the line in San Francisco Bay, with the Danish Viking surviving massive surf at Ocean Beach to claim victory in what is surely the craziest SUP race ever witnessed.
Casper picked up a record $20,000 prize money after beating home a small but all-star field of paddlers, many of whom didn’t even finish after the event lived up to its name and delivered arguably the biggest waves ever seen in a SUP race. → READ MORE
Mo Freitas has surged to an extraordinary and quite emotional victory on finals day in Cold Hawaii following a “you couldn’t script this” photo finish with team mate and close friend Connor Baxter, as Team Hawaii plucked an incredible gold-silver result from an intense and exciting beach race here on the penultimate day of the 2017 ISA Worlds.
Mo battled hard the entire race to finally get a shot at Connor, who had controlled the tempo from the first buoy to the final lap of the gold medal decider along with defending champ Casper Steinfath, in the final 50 metres of this frantic and fast-paced affair. → READ MORE
Home nation hero Casper Steinfath has produced a fairytale finish to the Copenhagen leg of the 2017 ISA Worlds here in Denmark, storming home in the 200 metre sprint final to claim gold in front of a vocal home crowd.
Slovenia’s Manca Notar was the women’s champion after outlasting Frenchwoman Amandine Chazot and America’s Jade Howson. → READ MORE
Connor Baxter has shown yet again why he’s almost permanently ranked number one in the world, pulling clear in the closing stages of today’s windy, unpredictable and exciting distance race here at the Mercedes-Benz ‘SUP World Cup’ in Scharbeutz, Germany to narrowly claim the overall event title ahead of Lincoln Dews and Arthur Arutkin.
After battling through five laps of the bumpy course, where the howling offshore wind produced everything from downwind to sidewind to headwind conditions that splintered the field early and produced big time gaps on the results sheet, Connor somehow found another gear in the final few hundred metres to win by about four board lengths. → READ MORE
In a major development that could drastically alter the future direction of our sport, the International Canoe Federation (ICF) has challenged the long-standing assumption that the International Surfing Association (ISA) is the Olympic-level governing body of stand up paddling, staking a rival claim and forcing a gridlock that has left SUP communities in limbo and blocked a potential inclusion in the 2018 Youth Olympics. → READ MORE
In brief: Michael Booth and Sonni Hönscheid have saluted on day two of the 5-star Maui Pro-Am after winning a long, hot, windless Maliko downwind run that tested the endurance and stamina of the small but highly elite field of assembled athletes.
Despite the relatively flat conditions, there was just enough texture on the water to break up any draft trains, with Boothy powering away from the field early and crossing the line about a minute clear of Connor Baxter. Mo Freitas was another minute further adrift in a strong performance that saw him claim the overall event crown. → READ MORE
While he’s been going by the nickname “Danish Viking” for a few years now, Casper Steinfath, the globe-trotting SUP ambassador who’s best known for being nearly impossible to beat in a sprint (and coming from a country that has no right to produce a world class SUP athlete), recently took his viking game to a whole new level by undertaking a cold water channel crossing of epic proportions. → READ MORE
But who was the best? Who dominated all season long? Who were the standout stand up athletes this year? It’s time to reveal the Top 16 of 2016… → READ MORE
Check out this great little clip from the recent Surf Ocean Cup in Seoul, aka the 2nd Annual Korean National SUP Championships, which featured Casper Steinfath and over a hundred stoked out local paddlers.
This looks like one of those events that captures the essence of paddling and reminds us why we got into racing in the first place. Everyone is giving it their all on the water but they’re still smiling and having fun. → READ MORE
With its neighbour Japan having established itself as a SUP hotspot in the past year or two, Korea is eager to showcase its own paddling potential, from the waterways of the sprawling capital city to the waves (yes, waves) of the south coast and everywhere in between. → READ MORE
Connor Baxter took out the much-hyped Red Bull Heavy Water event in San Francisco last week, surviving the solid waves at Ocean Beach to edge out arch-rival Kai Lenny and pick up a record $20,000 prize.
Zane Schweitzer crossed in third to make it a clean sweep for the Maui Boys, with Casper Steinfath having to settle for fourth place. → READ MORE
Although the season has started winding down after the high of Doheny earlier this month, the racing season never really ends these days… There were a bunch of events around the world in late October, and we’ve still got the Worlds next month before Aussie Downwind Week and the Paris Crossing in December.
Over on Maui last week, Kai Lenny and Fiona Wylde took late-season wins at the World Series event, edging out a small but elite field in fun conditions that saw both a Maliko downwind run and a surf race at the windsurfing mecca of Ho’okipa. → READ MORE
Kenny Kaneko has gatecrashed the Naish party in Hong Kong, defeating the superstar duo of Kai Lenny and Casper Steinfath, along with world number two Mo Freitas and the hero from Hood River, Bernd Roediger, to claim his maiden international race victory at the 2nd annual Hong Kong International SUP Championship.
In challenging conditions, with a mix of flat water, sidewind, upwind and downwind that saw most of the field either retire or get pulled from the 21km (13 mile) elite course due to time limits, Kenny crossed the line in 2 hours, 28 minutes and 28 seconds, giving the SIC team rider a big win ahead of Kai (2:34:48) and Casper (2:36:26). Bernd was 4th, while Mo was a mid-race retirement. → READ MORE