“I was so scared.” Danish Viking Casper Steinfath survives fog and chaos to defend Red Bull Heavy Water title in San Fran; Terrene Black women’s winner (UPDATED)

The “Danish Viking” Casper Steinfath has defended his Red Bull Heavy Water title in San Francisco today after surviving what is surely the gnarliest and most chaotic race the sport has ever seen.

The event certainly lived up to its name as the small but highly-elite band of competitors battled stiff headwind, strong ocean currents and 6-8ft waves. But the biggest obstacle was the fog, which rolled in mid-race and reduced visibility at the Ocean Beach finish line to virtually zero.

The athletes couldn’t even see the beach when they were turning the first outside buoy, nervously paddling like “gorillas in the mist” through one of the heaviest surf breaks in California.    → READ MORE

Paddlecast #001: Casper Steinfath

I’m excited to be starting this new project and look forward to sharing some interesting paddle stories with you. And I’m very excited that the first episode features my good friend Casper Steinfath.

“The Viking” is one of the most interesting characters in the sport. He’s an incredibly accomplished athlete but what he does off the water is even more impressive.    → READ MORE

Viking vlog: Behind-the-scenes at Casper Steinfath’s “Skagerrak” premiere

We’ve just finished a fun little trip to Denmark for the premiere of Casper Steinfath’s new film Skagerrak. If you’ve read my review, you’ll know I was already really impressed with this movie, but to see it on the big screen made it even more powerful.

And of course, it was Denmark, so the whole trip was a fun adventure!

Watch Casper’s Viking Vlog for a little behind-the-scenes edit of the weekend, including a little cameo from yours truly and SUP Racer’s new partner-in-crime, Trevor Tunnington. Not shown: Trevor’s epic dancefloor victory at the after-party

Casper Steinfath’s “Skagerrak” is a fascinating film about life that happens to include some paddling

There’s a scene about five minutes into the movie “Skagerrak” where Casper Steinfath lists all the good and bad things he learned from his bold yet unsuccessful attempt to paddle from Denmark to Norway in the winter of 2017. The bad column has 16 entries including hypothermia, “crazy conditions” and being better prepared if he loses consciousness in the middle of a cold, dark ocean.

The “good” column has one entry, and it’s trivial at best.

This sets the tone for the young Dane’s second attempt at the infamous “Skagerrak Strait” in early 2018 – where he again aims to be the first person to paddle the 140km of open ocean that separates these Scandinavian neighbours (and again, in winter).

But rather than simply chronicling a daring yet straightforward adventure, this “story of redemption” transcends the physical act of paddling and delves much deeper in the life of Casper and those around him; the film becomes a search for a reason why we do the things we do in life.   → READ MORE

Olympic saga: ICF, ISA respond to “selfish parents” debate…

I recently posted an opinion piece titled “The ‘ICF / ISA’ Olympic saga has become a propaganda war, and the real loser is the sport.

The post stirred up plenty of debate as it spoke to a growing sense of frustration from the paddling community that the two federations care more about political games than the actual sport. “Selfish parents going through a bitter divorce” was the analogy.

In the end, the question didn’t seem to be “ICF or ISA” but rather: Do we need an international federation at all? And should we even bother chasing the Olympics in the first place? Is all this political BS really worth it?

SUP always has and probably always will be self-governing, so why do we even need an international governing body? Unless we desperately want to be in the Olympics (and neither federation has made the case why that would be such an amazing thing), then I don’t think we need either the ICF or ISA at this point.

But regardless of your take on the matter, it’s only fair to hear from the federations themselves. So immediately after posting the story, I shared it with the higher-ups in both federations and invited them to respond to the community.

Here’s what we got back. Take a quick read, and feel free to share your thoughts on Facebook once you’re done.   → READ MORE

ROGUE_RECAP_ep.03: The Paddle League Pre-Season Wrap

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From Santa Cruz to the South of France, here are the headlines that made waves this week.

Casper Steinfath Completes Epic “Viking Crossing” from Denmark to Norway in 19 Hours

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

Winter Wave Pools: Mike Jucker’s Behind-the-Scenes Vlog from Germany’s Biggest Boat Show

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.

The ‘Top 17 of 2017’ – These guys were the best paddlers in the world this year.

Gorge Paddle Challenge
SUP Racer quietly celebrated its 6th birthday a couple of weeks ago (time flies), and if one thing has defined this site over the past half a dozen years it’s the world analysis.

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

Bom Dia! The ISA Worlds Are Heading to Brazil in November 2018

ISA-Worlds-Brazil-2018

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

Arthur Arutkin, Susak Molinero Win the Paris Crossing as 700 Paddlers Brave Freezing Weather to Celebrate the Sport

Paris Crossing paddleboard race

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

After an adventurous week off the grid, we now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

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!!” Casper Steinfath Goes Full Viking Mode to Win the Crazy ‘Red Bull Heavy Water’ Race in San Francisco

Red Bull Heavy Water

“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

Photo Finish: Mo Freitas Claims Emotional Victory from Team Mate Connor Baxter; Casper Steinfath Takes Bronze (Full Results)

Mo Freitas and Connor Baxter

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

Host Nation Hero Casper Steinfath and Slovenian Pocket Rocket Manca Notar Win Sprint Gold on Day 3 in Denmark

Casper-Steinfath-stand-up-paddle-boarding

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

Mercedes SUP World Cup: Connor Snatches the Overall Title from Lincoln and Arthur; Fiona Edges Out Olivia (FULL RESULTS)

Mercedes Benz SUP World Cup in GermanyConnor 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

Olympic Tug of War: International Canoe Federation Challenges ISA’s Role as Stand Up Paddling’s Official Governing Body

ISA stand up paddleboarding

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