Ukrainian paddlers are fighting for their freedom – here’s how you can support them

The first thing I noticed when I met Ukrainian paddler George Zamana is that he was always smiling. I thought he was just excited that we were about to paddle in Kyiv’s sub-zero temperatures (adventure!) but it turns out George is one of those happy-go-lucky guys that’s always sharing a positive face with the world. George is smiling in his latest photo, too, except he’s not standing next to his board with a paddle in hand–he’s sitting beside an anti-tank missile launcher.   → READ MORE

ICF cancels SUP World Cup in Russia, joins Olympic world in banning athletes

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) has joined the Olympic world in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by banning Russian and Belarusian athletes from competition. This follows an announcement last week by ICF President Thomas Konietzko that the Federation was cancelling (with the potential of “relocating”) its three international events to be hosted in Russia this year, which included a SUP World Cup in Moscow that was going to be a pretty big deal in the leadup to the ICF Worlds in Poland in September.   → READ MORE

2x WORLD CHAMP NOÏC GARIOUD JOINS TEAM STARBOARD

One of the world’s best paddlers has signed with the world’s biggest race team. In a New Year’s Day post, New Caledonian wunderkind Noïc Garioud announced he was departing Sunova after five years to join mighty Team Starboard. The move opens up an exciting new chapter for the 2x ICF World Champ and marks an aggressive acquisition by Starboard to ensure they remain the undisputed #1 team.    → READ MORE

THE “TOP 1-2” OF ’21 (…who were the best paddlers in the world this year?)

Carrying on that fine tradition of rating the world’s best paddlers at the end of each season as if a year’s worth of blood, sweat and tears could be reduced to mere syntax – beginning with the ‘Top 11 of 2011’ that marked the birth of SUP Racer – I present you with my list of the world’s best paddlers for season 2021.   → READ MORE

REPLAY: Talking story with KT on SUP Connect Live

Here’s a full replay of my chat with Kristin Thomas on Supconnect Live yesterday. It was a fun chance to catch up with KT and chat a little about where our sport might be heading (it was also fun to be on the other end of the interview for a change).

Kristin is one of the most knowledgeable paddlers in the world and does these interviews every week — follow along on @supconnect insta.

(I was a bit late — I jump on around the 4 minute 15 second mark)

SUPtember Double-Header: ICF set to sanction 11 City Tour in 2022 (potential ‘Ultra World Championship’ in 2023)

In news that will excite those with a passion for paddling way too far, the classic SUP11 City Tour is set to become an even grander event in 2022 and beyond. The International Canoe Federation (ICF) and 11 Cities have agreed to collaborate and form a big double-header next September (or SUPtember), with the traditional, five-day version of the 11 Cities in the Dutch province of Friesland running back-to-back with the 2022 ICF Worlds in Gdynia, Poland.

The beloved ultra will become an officially sanctioned ICF event in 2022 but the longer-term goal is even more exciting: the potential for an “Ultra-Marathon World Championship” event starting in 2023.   → READ MORE

2022 ICF Worlds: dates confirmed for Gdynia, Poland

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) has confirmed dates for its 2022 Stand Up Paddling World Championships to be held in Gdynia, Poland. The “ICF Worlds” are slated for September 7-11 and will feature the usual disciplines of sprints, course race and marathon across junior, open and masters divisions.

We even got a beach.   → READ MORE

The SUP Racer “Daily Show” episode #278

Welcome back to the SUP Racer Daily Show — episode #278 features the European Summer of SUP and the Aussie *Winter* …plus Casper, Kyiv and the surprising return of a former champ. If you’ve got any questions leave a comment below, and tune in next week for more live updates from the world of paddling ✌

Paddlecast #30: Tommy Buday talks Olympics, canoe racing and paddling in the bathtub

Tamas (or “Tommy”) Buday Jr. is a three-time Olympian and gun paddler from Canada (via Hungary). I love catching up with Tommy when we’re traveling to events — he’s got a great insight into paddling and is just an all-round good guy — so it was a pleasure to have him on Paddlecast today.

We had an interesting chat about Olympics, the cross-over between canoe and SUP, the introduction of women’s canoe events, his early days paddling with Larry Cain and Jim Terrell, and his first memories of pretending to paddle in the bathtub as a kid.    → READ MORE

BREAKING: ICF to skip 2020 World Champs due to legal uncertainty but confirms 2021 event in Hungary

I just spoke with the International Canoe Federation (ICF) in Europe and they’re about to announce a pretty surprising move: The 2020 ICF SUP World Championships have been put on hold due to legal uncertainty surrounding their court case with the ISA (International Surfing Federation). But in an interesting twist, canoe’s governing body has already confirmed the host nation for the 2021 Worlds: Hungary.

The decision to postpone the 2020 event comes after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) failed to reach a conclusion to the long-running “Olympic SUP” debate between the ISA and ICF. Both federations were expecting some sort of answer in December, but the saga of all sagas appears to be dragging on a little longer. The ICF also suggested that increasing concerns around the coronavirus – which has already seen thousands of sporting events canceled around the world – was another factor in their decision.

This is a developing story. More to come…

Paddlecast #006: Mike Jucker from Stand Up Magazin talks “Chaos of Champions”

Mike Jucker from Stand Up Magazin – one of the oldest and most respected outlets in the SUP media world – joins us to chat “Chaos of Champions,” world titles and the future of the sport. Give Mike a follow on Instagram and help him celebrate 10 years of @standupmagazin.

You can also listen to Paddlecast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts

   → READ MORE

Chaos of Champions: The “sport” of stand up paddling now has 22 world titles and it’s getting ridiculous

“What did you get on Halloween?”

– “15 gummy bears, three chocolate bars and a couple of SUP world titles.”

“Ooh, I’ll trade you half a pack of M&Ms for your world titles!”

– “Nah, you can have ’em. I’m sick of world titles anyway.”
 

And just like to kids on Halloween, it appears the world titles of SUP have been handed out like candy this year.

By my count, there were 44 individual “world titles” awarded this season — 22 for men and 22 for women.

Even if ignore the confusing number of junior, master and surfing world titles (which would be generous), we’re still left with at least 18 top-level titles — six from each of the “Three Acronyms” (ISA, ICF, APP). Several athletes won multiple, which means we “only” have 12 different world champions.

12 world champions…

How the hell do we promote a sport that has 12 world champions in a single year? How do we market a sport that has no clear winner, no clear leadership and no clear direction. How do we explain the “sport” of stand up paddleboarding to the wider sporting world? How do we even explain it to ourselves?   → READ MORE

FULL REPLAY: Relive the action from every race at the ICF Worlds

And that’s a wrap! The first ever ICF SUP World Championships are complete, and what an awesome few days of racing it’s been. You can relive all the action with full replays of the daily live streams (you can also re-watch every race on the SUP Racer Facebook page).   → READ MORE

BOOM: Watch Connor Baxter grab gold at the ICF Worlds in record time (DAY 2 REPLAY + RESULTS)

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

MICHAEL BOOTH, SONNI HONSCHEID WIN HISTORIC GOLD AT ICF WORLDS IN CHINA

In brief: Aussie powerhouse Michael Booth has proven yet again he’s the strongest distance paddler on the planet by claiming an historic gold medal on day one of the ICF Worlds in China. Boothy was just a little too good for Bruno and Daniel Hasulyo who stuck with the world champ right until the final kilometre before settling for silver and bronze.

The women’s marathon became a two-horse race after Sonni Honschei and Olivia Piana broke free from Fiona Wylde and Susak Molinero after the first of three 6km laps. Sonni showed why she’s considered the strongest woman on the water by leading for almost the entire second half of the race before powering clear to win by a minute.   → READ MORE

ICF Worlds: First impressions from Qingdao + when & where to watch the live stream

Welcome to China.

There’s been a lot of buzz around the ICF Worlds for a variety of reasons. So after arriving in Qingdao yesterday, and in the face of seemingly-insurmountable jetlag, I’m going to try to share my “first impressions” of this event, talk about what I got wrong in my earlier posts, plus tell you when and where you can watch the live stream that I’ll be hosting with Kelly Margetts.

My first impression is fairly simple: The inaugural ICF SUP World Championships are legit. This is shaping up to be a big event with a huge crew working behind-the-scenes to make it run smoothly. We’re still 48 hours from the first race, so we’ll reserve final judgement until after the weekend, but so far so good.   → READ MORE

OLYMPIC PADDLETICS UPDATE: SUP has its day in the ‘Supreme Court of sport’ as the ISA vs. ICF saga continues

Remember that whole political saga surrounding the fight to get SUP into the Olympics? The one between the International Surfing Association (ISA) and International Canoe Federation (ICF) over who has “control” of Olympic paddleboarding?

The one I referred to last year as the selfish parents debate — a story that even made the New York Times (as well as some great April Fool’s joke material).

Paddletics.   → READ MORE