Downwind Month Glides on… Connor Baxter has just won the Maui 2 Molokai race yet again, beating an all star field and firing a shot across the bow ahead of the big one, Molokai 2 Oahu. This must be about the 6th or 7th time in a row that Connor has claimed the M2M title, however this year the win was more hard fought than ever. Connor edged out fellow Maui young gun Kai Lenny by a couple of minutes, while behind him was a who’s who of the downwinding world including Dave Kalama, Travis Grant and Livio Menelau.
Very interesting to look at today’s result in relation to the Molokai 2 Oahu race coming up in two weeks (and which we’ll have live coverage of). Today’s Maui 2 Molokai could be a bit of a form guide for the big one: All five of the top guys from today will be back in action on the 27th. → READ MORE
Maui 2 Molokai. It sounds a lot like Molokai 2 Oahu. And it is. Many miles of paddling across an open ocean channel from one Hawaiian island to another. Only difference is: Maui 2 Molokai is actually fun.
Known as the little brother of M2O, the M2M doesn’t have the same level of prestige but certainly trumps it’s older sibling when it comes to conditions. While Molokai 2 Oahu is usually a grinding affair, the Maui 2 Molokai race almost always scores an epic downwind run. → READ MORE
As we revealed last week, Honolua Surf Co’s Ultimate SUP Showdown is set to go next level in 2014, with a prize purse that rivals the Battle of the Paddle and an elite invitation list that’ll make it one of the single most competitive races we’ve ever seen. Danny, Travis, Connor, Kai and five dozen others from the top echelons of stand up paddling. For the first time outside the BOP, we’re going to see all the big guns go head to head.
The Showdown is an elite, invite-only event and one of its coolest features are the personal invitations that each athlete will receive from the chief organiser, Boyd Jeffery. Let’s call it Showdown: Draft Day. → READ MORE
We’re just two and a half weeks out from one of the biggest and most prestigious races of the year: The 2014 Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships.
This is the big one. One of the most grueling races on the planet. Along with the Battle, probably the most prestigious trophy in the sport. It’s the race that sold out in three hours. It’s SUP racing’s pilgrimage to Mecca. → READ MORE
The start of a SUP race can make or break your day on the water. In elite racing, falling off your board at the start means you’re instantly behind. It’s not much fun seeing the top guns sprint away while you’re clambering to get back on. Unless you’re a very strong paddler, your race could be over quite literally before it begins.
Sometimes a bad start is entirely the paddler’s fault. Too nervous, inexperienced or whatever the reason may be. However far too often it’s not the paddler’s fault at all, which makes things that much more frustrating. I’ve seen quite a few races where, to put it politely, the starts sucked. → READ MORE
Another week, another cool edit from the Payette River Games. From the moment this race was announced we knew it’d produce some awesome highlights and it certainly delivered. Carnage On The River we nicknamed it.
And this clip from the Boardworks crew might just be the best one yet. While we’ve seen a bunch of very slick highlight reels from Idaho over the past couple weeks, those all focused on the myriad of festivities on offer in Cascade. This one however is almost entirely SUP (which in my very biased opinion was the big highlight of the weekend… except for maybe the axe throw… definitely the axe throw). → READ MORE
Maui. The ultimate downwind playground. Endless bumps blowing like clockwork along a picture perfect coastline and ridden each day by the world’s foremost downwind masters.
Well now that it’s officially Downwind Month, it’s a good time to have a closer look at this unique part of the paddling world. We don’t want to only cover the big races with SIC Downwind Month, we also wanna take a look at what makes downwinding so much fun. And nothing highlights that fun better than these clips from Maui local, SIC team rider and all around good guy Jeremy Riggs. → READ MORE
Euro Tour. Week 8. France…
The NSP Euro Tour continues to roll on. What was supposed to be a seven week voyage around Europe has turned into a two and a half month-long odyssey. The traditional European summer racing season is mid May til the end of June, but this year it’s gonna stretch right through to the beginning of August.
Euro Tour: Encore we’re calling it. → READ MORE
One of the biggest and longest-running paddleboard races in the world was held in Hawaii today: The 36th Annual Da Hui Race on Oahu’s North Shore. The event is also the first race of SIC Downwind Month and from all reports the wind was blowing and the bumps were rolling today.
Da Hui’s “Independence Day Race” is held each year on the 4th of July and always attracts hundreds of paddlers but this year was surely a record: 338 stand up paddlers and over 600 in total (across the SUP, prone and outrigger divisions).
Click through for pics and full results from all the action on the North Shore today… → READ MORE
Euro Tour. Week 8. Finland…
The Euro Tour simply refuses to end. While the traditional European summer racing season runs from mid May til the end of June, this year it looks set to extend for a whole nother month.
Let’s call it the Euro Tour: Encore. → READ MORE
Hawaii in July is Downwind Month. It’s when the wind starts blowing, the bumps start rolling and the paddleboarding world descends on the Hawaiian islands to chase endless glides and elite competition in an absolute paradise. From Maui to Molokai to Oahu, four weekends of big downwind races and one whole month to enjoy the fun and freedom of the open ocean.
The action starts tomorrow with the Da Hui Race on Oahu, before heading to Maui for two massive races back to back: Maui to Molokai and the Maui Paddleboard Race. After that it’s the big one. The main event. The grand finale of Downwind Month. Perhaps the most prestigious race in the world: The Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championship on July 27th.
And now thanks to SIC we’re going to focus on the Hawaiian downwind season all month long, including LIVE COVERAGE of Molokai 2 Oahu. → READ MORE
Honolua Surf Co’s Ultimate SUP Showdown is one of the few events that’s been on everyone’s radar this year, however up until now it’s also been a little mysterious and secretive. Well this week I got a peek behind the scenes at Showdown 2014 including the prize money, format and a preview of some other very interesting developments. And I gotta say the whole thing is looking rather impressive…
The 2014 Ultimate SUP Showdown is happening from August 16-18 in Waikiki, Hawaii. The weekend combines SUP surfing and SUP racing into one event. First up there’s a standard SUP surf contest, then there’s a regular SUP race, before the top finishers from each will meet up in the Showdown, a grand finale that aims to combine surfing and racing (think: Battle of the Paddle on steroids).
This year the Showdown will have a super elite field and a big prize purse, while a few other very interesting things are happening behind the scenes. So click through for all the info… → READ MORE
One of the most respected paddleboard shapers in the world, Brian Szymanski has joined the SUP ATX team to further develop their Lahui Kai race board range. California SUP pioneer John Becker joins the team along with Brian, in what is a major coup for the brand.
SUP ATX was originally known for mass producing all round SUP touring boards, however in the past year or two they’ve made a serious push towards SUP racing. SUP ATX bought the distribution rights to the boutique Lahui Kai brand in 2012 in order to fuel their move into the elite side of the sport. This move to hire Brian and John will be a major catalyst as they continue the push towards higher end production and more elite racing. → READ MORE
Today must be the day for Payette River Games news. First we got a look at an awesome Payette highlights video and now we’ve got something perhaps even cooler: The event just got featured on the Sports Illustrated website the other day.
How many SUP races end up in Sports Illustrated? Probably none until now. But the Payette River Games are no ordinary race, so head on over to SI.com and take a look at some very slick shots of the action. → READ MORE
The 2014 Payette River Games was an amazing weekend. So much action, so much carnage, so many laughs… It was a breakout event for the whitewater SUP community but it was so much more than that. The SUP racing was the highlight (in my biased opinion at least) but just as entertaining was the whitewater kayak, the log rolling, the raft cross, the axe throw, the beach volleyball and all the other festivities that brought this sleepy little Idaho town to life for a few days.
Well now thanks to Sunplay.com (the same crew that brought us that epic Carolina Cup video and Dave Kalama’s pep talk), we’ve got an awesome look at the weekend on the river in Idaho. → READ MORE