Return to the Gorge with Team QB

video-gorge-paddle-challenge-sup-race-quickblade-paddlesThere have been so many big races lately that one of the biggest of them all, the Gorge Paddle Challenge, seems like it was way more than six weeks ago. But no, it was only just over a month ago that we saw the community gather in Hood River, Oregon for one of the best weekends of the year.

Well if you’re having withdrawals from the bumps and glides of the Gorge, this three-part series of mini-films from Team Quickblade should keep you satisfied for a while. Featuring the likes of…   → READ MORE

Return to Hood River: Gorge Paddle Challenge Announces Dates for 2017

2017 Gorge Paddle ChallengeAfter the massive showdown that was The Gorge 2016, the crew from Hood River have wasted no time in setting dates for next year’s big gathering in Oregon.

The 2017 Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge will be happening on the weekend of August 19 & 20, and I have no doubt it’ll again be one of the biggest, most competitive and funnest races on the calendar.   → READ MORE

173 Great Photos from the Gorge Paddle Challenge

Gorge Paddle Challenge SUP Race Hood River Oregon

The 2016 Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge was definitely one for the history books, with a massive turnout of elite and amateur athletes enjoying superb conditions in the paddling mecca of Hood River, Oregon.

And now, thanks to the excellent work of Jen Gulizia from Gorge-Us Photography, you can get a close up look at how the epic Double Downwinder went down yesterday. Go straight to the official Gorge Facebook page to view all 173 photos. Above: Connor Baxter, Bernd Roediger and Mo Freitas were the stand out performers.

Gorge Paddle Challenge Preview and Predictions (This Is One STACKED Field…)

Fiona Wylde stand up paddling Hood River OregonWow, the Gorge is going to be STACKED this weekend…

We always knew the Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge would be a big deal — it’s one of the few “majors” in the sport after all, and it always attracts a solid field, but this year it’s seriously gone next level.

But who’s going to win?   → READ MORE

Gorge Paddle Challenge Update: A Note about the World Rankings

Gorge Paddle Challenge SUP RaceAnother week, another big race. After the excitement of the JM Survivor Race in Huntington just a few days ago, it’s time for another big showdown this weekend, with the Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge set to be one of the best and most competitive events of the season.

There’s a huge lineup of talent hanging out in Hood River for the 6th annual edition of this iconic event, and with such a high level of competition on the start line, there’s bound to be plenty of movement on the SUP Racer World Rankings come Monday morning.   → READ MORE

Top 15 of 2015: The Most Popular Videos of the Year

2015-stand-up-paddling-videosAs the year draws to a close and we reflect back on 12 months of paddling adventures, one thing that stands out is just how many awesome SUP videos were released in 2015.

From Carolina to Oregon to Doheny to Paris to Perth and virtually everywhere in between, there have been a tonne of awesome edits from the paddling community this year. Here are 15 of the best…   → READ MORE

2016 Gorge Paddle Challenge Dates Announced

Gorge Paddle Challenge SUP raceWe’ve just gotten word of the dates for the 2016 Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge, one of the biggest and most beloved races on the international circuit.

If you’ve never been to this race then you really should mark it on your calendar for next next year. It’s a great race but it’s also held an amazing location, with the host town of Hood River definitely one of the cooler little parts of the world to hang out for a week.   → READ MORE

WATCH: Rogue Recap Of The Gorge Paddle Challenge

Gorge Paddle Challenge videoWatch this great highlights reel from the Rogue crew’s trip to Hood River last week.

The clip features some great angles of the race action, a few glimpses of what makes the Gorge so much fun, along with words from Rogue’s Maui boy Josh Riccio and new ambassador Brian Meyer.    → READ MORE

Mid-Year World Rankings: Travis Grant Is Number One (And There’s A Flaw In The System)

ISA Worlds
And just like that, it’s August. This year has flown by. Seems like only yesterday we were getting excited about the first major race of the year, the Carolina Cup. That was four months ago.

We’re now halfway through the international stand up paddling “season,” which loosely runs from April to October (with a couple of outposts in December). Carolina, OluKai, the Worlds, the Euro Tour, Payette and Molokai have already been run and won, while we’ve still got the Gorge Paddle Challenge, Pacific Paddle Games and a few World Series races to look forward to.

So because we’re halfway through the year, I thought it’d be a good time to analyse the best paddlers of 2015 so far.   → READ MORE

The Showdown Purge: 12 Months After The Second Biggest Race Of 2014, Changes To The World Rankings

Ultimate SUP Showdown 2014Despite there being no big races this weekend there have still been a few changes to the SUP Racer World Rankings.

Why? Because it’s been exactly 12 months since the 2014 Ultimate SUP Showdown was held, which means it’s now time for that event to be purged from the system. And considering it was the second highest scoring race of 2014, the Showdown’s removal has had a big impact on the Men’s Top 100 and Women’s Top 50 Leaderboards.   → READ MORE

Countdown To The Gorge: Relive Last Year’s Classic With This Great Highlights Reel

Gorge Paddle Challenge stand up paddle videoTwelve days and counting til one of the biggest races of the year: The Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge in Hood River, Oregon. It’s set to be a classic, with a sizeable chunk of the world’s top international paddlers joining a big group of local and domestic wildcards for an awesome weekend of racing.

The Gorge is a top event, not only because of its unique conditions (inland downwinder) but also the great local paddling community and the laidback vibe of Hood River in general. It’s definitely one of my favourite stops on the international calendar.   → READ MORE

Return To The Gorge: Less Than Three Weeks Til One Of The Biggest Races Of The Year

Gorge Paddle Challenge Hood River OregonIn less than three weeks, sleepy little Hood River, Oregon will be taken over by dozens of the world’s best paddlers. The 2015 Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge is set for August 22nd and 23rd, and it’s shaping up to be one of the best races of the year.

Hood River is a special place. This long-time paddling mecca is home to the unique Columbia River Gorge, aka the world’s largest wind tunnel, which produces one of the best downwind runs on the planet despite being 150 miles inland. There’s a huge local paddling crew, while the town itself is an awesome little spot to hang.   → READ MORE

The Majors: The World’s Five Biggest SUP Races (Plus: Predicting The Top 25 “Most Significant” Races Of 2015)

Major Stand Up Paddle Races
I asked the question last week: “What do we call the biggest races in stand up paddling?” The Majors? The Grand Slams? The Classics?

In a sport as fragmented and disorganised as SUP racing, I think it would be great to recognise and celebrate the big, standalone events that support and develop both the community and industry. To help promote them with a collective theme that highlights their significant contribution to the sport.

I say we call them the Majors, and these are the races that I think qualify. The five biggest races in the world this year are…   → READ MORE

The Top 14 Most Competitive Races Of 2014

Battle of the Paddle Salt Creek
There were a lot of SUP races this year. We had over 400 listings on the Rogue Race Calendar. We sent 137 race results to the Results by Riviera archive. You couldn’t go a week without your Facebook feed being flooded with photos of SUP races here, there and everywhere.

Some of those races were fun, local events. Some were grand, international spectacles. Most fell somewhere in between. And that’s just fine. Most races don’t need to be grand to be successful, they just need to be well organised, encourage a few extra people to give the sport a try and offer everyone a fun day on the water.

But some races push the boundaries a little more than the average. Some races attract, either through deliberate marketing or incidental brilliance, a disproportionately large amount of attention and elite talent. Quite simply: Some races are a lot more competitive than others. Click through to see the full list and read my overly-thorough analysis…   → READ MORE

This Photo “Won” The Gorge Paddle Challenge

Stand Up Paddling with a dogWho won the Gorge race last week? Connor Baxter and Annabel Anderson may have scored the biggest trophies and fattest prize cheques, however one competitor (or rather two) stood out above the crowd.

Matt Willett and his golden retriever Hunter received the loudest cheers of any competitors. Plus if Instagram and Facebook are any measure, the two were the clear winners of the event. The shot below was the most liked pic of the entire Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge…   → READ MORE