FLASHBACK: The crazy “Battle of the Paddle” at Salt Creek was exactly five years ago today

 

Giving new meaning to the term “Flashback Friday,” today marks the fifth anniversary of perhaps the most famous (or infamous) race in the history of SUP.

The Battle of the Paddle at Salt Creek was one for the ages. Not only was it the final edition of the event that single-handedly kickstarted the sport but it was also held in some of the craziest conditions we’ve ever seen.

There was carnage, there was chaos and there was no shortage of drama as perfectly-clean, six-foot swell rolled through Salt Creek in Southern California on the weekend of October 4th and 5th, 2014. Virtually every single top athlete in the sport was there and a good chunk of them are in this photo.

One wave, 21 guys.

This shot was captured on the opening lap of the men’s Elite Race Final. There were actually a handful of breakaways out in front (Danny, Connor, Kai and Jamie Mitchell, from memory) who got mowed down shortly after this shot was taken.

The angle doesn’t even do the wave justice — I just found the video in the archives and it’s an absolute horror show from the front angle. I’ll post that clip tomorrow.

Oh and as if 21 guys wasn’t already enough, the wave behind it had another 13 guys and the wave behind that about 10 more.

I miss the BOP…

If you’re curious, here are the 21: Jake Jensen, Eric Terrien, Casper Steinfath, Titouan Puyo, Ryan Helm, Paul Jackson, Lincoln Dews, Guilherme dos Reis, Kelly Margetts, Kai Bates, Kody Kerbox, Riggs Napoleon, Michael Booth, Trevor Tunnington, Arthur Arutkin, Travis Grant, Mo Freitas, Georges Cronsteadt, Vinnicius Martins, Javier “Bicho” Jimenez and Noa Ginella.

Click here to zoom in on the shot (photo credit: @andrewwwwelker)