I love analysing this sport. The athletes, the results, the events, the stats. But as I was staring at spreadsheets ranking the best paddlers of 2019, I found myself getting nostalgic and pondering the question: Who was the paddler of the decade?
I was lucky enough to meet, watch, commentate and write about hundreds of very good paddlers from 2010 – 2019, but there are two that stood out. So I decided to create an award that I’ll probably never have to give out again. → READ MORE
We’ve just wrapped up an historic few days of racing here at the inaugural ICF SUP World Championships in China. There will be plenty of things said about this event over the coming days and weeks, but for now here’s a quick recap of the final day’s action along with full results from the epic Beach Race events. → READ MORE
Connor Baxter has cemented his name as the greatest of all time after claiming sprint gold on day two of the ICF Worlds in a record time of 0:46.38.
Connor held off Italian ace Claudio Nika, Brazilian favourite Arthur Santacreu and half a dozen impressive darkhorses from the canoe world to win the world title in what is surely the fastest time ever recorded over 200 metres. → READ MORE
First I posted about the ISA’s last-minute decision to host a World Championship in El Salvador next month, a move that left many paddlers scratching their heads. Then just last week it was revealed that several top athletes would be competing at the inaugural ICF Worlds in China. Oh and the whole political shit-fight apparently had its day in court in Switzerland recently.
Now we get to hear some unfiltered views from a couple of the top athletes about the whole idea of paddleboarding in the Olympics and which federation would best serve the sport. Connor Baxter and Zane Schweitzer chatted with Mike Jucker from Stand Up Magazin on Maui recently. Mike has been pushing this debate forward better than just about anyone, and he always tries to get an unbiased look at what’s happening.
The entire video is well worth a watch but if you want the quick summary: The paddlers think both federations need to lift their game.
Connor Baxter and Fiona Wylde have made it a clean sweep for Team Starboard at the Gorge Paddle Challenge in Hood River, Oregon today.
Fiona, the three-time defending champ, was once again unstoppable as her home course turned on the downwind conditions. Fiona’s fourth-straight DD crown cemented her reputation as not only the Queen of Hood River but also one of the most-talented bump-riders in the sport.
The Pan American Games were held in Peru this week. The event is known as the “Olympics of the Americas” and welcomed stand up paddlers for the first time in its 68-year history. The performances of Connor Baxter and Brazil’s Lena Ribeiro, the inaugural gold medalists in the Pan-Am Games surf race, presented SUP with a historic moment.
But while the presence of paddleboarding in an Olympic-style event is positive, one thing about the race seemed a little odd: “Why are the sponsors all covered up?”→ READ MORE
Connor Baxter has won gold for Team USA at the Pan-Am Games in Peru this morning, overpowering home-nation hero Itzel Delgado and the smiling assassin from Brazil, Vinnicius Martins, to claim a historic victory at the first ever Pan-Am SUP event.
With conditions at Punta Rocas reminiscent of the BOP at Salt Creek, Connor out-paddled and out-surfed his rivals around the three-lap, five-kilometre, ten-man race to cross in a time of 24 minutes and 18 seconds — one and a half minutes clear of the runner-up.
Connor simply said he was “Over the moon!!!” with his result, which returns the Hawaiian hero to a spotlight that’s been surprisingly missing this season. → READ MORE
Travis Grant has outlasted Hawaii’s Connor Baxter to defend his Molokai-2-Oahu title and claim a fourth crown in the world’s most prestigious paddleboard race, while fellow Aussie Terrene Black has saluted for the second time after overpowering three-time champ Sonni Honscheid in a fantastic battle across the infamous ‘Channel of Bones’. → READ MORE
And just like that, it’s the end of July. Where has this season gone? It seems like only yesterday we were freezing in the French Alps and getting ready to launch The Paddle League. Now it’s the end of July, the season is well over half done, and it’s suddenly time for the big one: Molokai.
The 32-mile, open-ocean channel crossing between the Hawaiian islands of Molokai and Oahu has grown to become the most prestigious (and arguably: most challenging) race in the sport of paddleboarding, whether that be standing up or laying down. And this year is set to be a cracker, with a stacked field and promising conditions lining up to create a monumental showdown for this six-star specialty event.
Race day is Sunday, but in the meantime, here’s a quick look at the top contenders for this year’s Molokai crown. → READ MORE
In brief: Sonni Honscheid has continued her unbeaten streak in season 2018 to five events after claiming the Kerama Blue Cup on Japan’s Zamami Island. Sonni was too strong yet again, however yesterday’s win wasn’t as dominant as her previous four after home nation hero Yuka Sato gave the German some serious competition.
Seychelle hung on against a fast-finishing Lina Augaitis to claim third step on the podium, while number two seed Fiona Wylde faded late to finish fifth. → READ MORE
Connor Baxter and Sonni Honscheid have reclaimed their OluKai crowns in tough conditions on Maui today, with light winds and big seas providing a mighty challenge for both competitors and organisers of the 10th Annual Ho’olaule’a, the third stop of the 2018 Paddle League World Tour.
Connor held off a four-pronged Aussie invasion to defeat defending champ James Casey, perennial OluKai bridesmaid Travis Grant, dark horse Ty Judson and ocean master Matt Nottage to secure his sixth OluKai belt and restart his World Title campaign after disappointing results in Carolina and Tahiti. → READ MORE
On the eve of The Paddle League World Tour, we sat down with world number one Connor Baxter for a chat about the big season ahead. Connor shared his thoughts on The Paddle League, the next generation, his love of paddling, and… getting married.
Watch above and enjoy, and follow The Paddle League on Facebook and Insta for more.
Connor begins his season this weekend at the major Air France Paddle Festival in Tahit, which you can watch live on The Paddle League from 11am local time Saturday.
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.
Led by perennial world number one Connor Baxter, and with exceptional support from vice-captain Fiona Wylde and deputies Michael Booth and Olivia Piana, Team Starboard absolutely blizted our VMG Battle of the Brands leaderboard this season.
That Starboard won a fourth-straight Battle of the Brands title is no real surprise. Anyone that follows our sport with more than half an eye could tell you how dominant the blue boards are. But this wasn’t just a victory, it was a massacre. → READ MORE
Annabel Anderson and Connor Baxter have highlighted their respective world number one statuses here at today’s 7th Annual Battle of the Bay in San Francisco, claiming this morning’s race around iconic landmarks Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge before backing up with victories in this afternoon’s beach race.
Here are the overall results. Check back in the morning for a full recap and some stellar photos of the scenic course… → 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
Hungary’s Bruno Hasulyo has officially announced himself as one of the sport’s best athletes after claiming the marathon race here at the ISA Worlds in Copenhagen today, holding off Hawaii’s Connor Baxter in an exciting finish to a very tough and hugely competitive 18km grind.
After showing hints of greatness over the past two years, this is clearly the biggest win to date for Bruno, while it’s also a very well deserved reward for one of the most-dedicated and hardest-training athletes on the circuit.
The win was made all the more sweet after Bruno’s bother Daniel, who helped set the early pace, crossed the line in 4th place, behind France’s Titouan Puyo, to claim the copper medal for Hungary and give both the team and family an historic podium double. → READ MORE