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

WATCH: Connor, Zane weigh in on the Olympic debate

Seems like it’s the month for paddletics.

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.

The ICF Worlds are shaping up to be a pretty big deal as top athletes sign on (…but I still have a few questions)

As soon as the International Canoe Federation (ICF) announced it would be hosting a SUP World Championship in China this year, the messages started hitting my inbox.

“Who’s going?” “You reckon everyone will support it?” “Is such and such racing?” “Should I go?”

While running a successful SUP race involves far more than simply attracting a few big names, it certainly is one of the easier metrics to gauge interest in an event–especially when that event is billed as a “world championship.”

With the inaugural ICF Worlds just 10 days away (Oct 25-27), we can finally start to answer that question. As of last week, entries for the ICF SUP World Championships stood at 122 athletes from 35 nations.   → READ MORE

Last-minute surprise: The ISA Worlds are actually happening this year (in… El Salvador?)

In a surprise announcement that will create mild chaos for its national federations, the International Surfing Association (ISA) has just confirmed the 2019 SUP & Paddleboard World Championship is actually happening after all. The event will be hosted by the Central American nation of El Salvador (yes, El Salvador) from 23 November – 1 December.

No, they’re not announcing the 2020 Worlds, the ISA is today announcing the 2019 Worlds. In October.    → READ MORE

ICF Worlds: SUP Racer and Kelly Margetts will be hosting the live stream in China

Buckle up, we’re headed to China.

I’m excited to announce that myself and Kelly Margetts will be hosting the live broadcast of the inaugural ICF SUP World Championships.

The “ICF Worlds” are happening in the port city of Qingdao from October 25-27, and we’ll be there along with a bunch of the world’s best paddlers to share the show with you and the rest of the international SUP community.   → READ MORE

Canoe cash: $40,000 confirmed for inaugural “ICF Worlds” in China

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) recently confirmed a monster purse of 36,000 euros (about $40,000 USD or $60,000 AUD) for its inaugural SUP World Championships to be held in China from October 24-27.

Canoe & kayak’s global governing body has become proactive in its quest to promote SUP as a potential Olympic sport, which includes an ongoing legal battle with the International Surfing Association (ISA), however this is the first time we’ll see what they can actually produce on the water.    → READ MORE

Well that’s interesting: The ICF just announced a $50k World Championship in China; “Your move, ISA.”

Grab the popcorn.

Just when we were enjoying a nice little break from the usual politics (or “paddletics”), the ICF has gone and lobbed a grenade at the ISA as the two international federations continue their bizarre fight for Olympic control of our sport.

Earlier today, the International Canoe Federation (ICF) confirmed it’ll be hosting its first ever “Stand Up Paddling World Championship” in Qingdao, China later this year.

Yes, China. The same country that hosted the International Surfing Association (ISA) SUP World Championship just three months ago.

There’s so much to dig into here that I don’t even know where to begin…   → READ MORE

Paddletics? Not in Britain! English canoe/surfing bodies agree to hold hands

In a minor victory for both common sense and logic, we’ve just heard news of a positive collaboration between the canoeing and surfing bodies that may actually help the sport of stand up paddling move forward.

It only happened on a national level, and neither the ISA nor ICF (aka the “selfish parents”) were involved, but still, it’s progress.   → READ MORE

OPINION: The “ICF / ISA” Olympic saga has become a propaganda war, and the real loser is the sport.

We awoke this morning to news that the ICF’s upcoming championship event in Portugal has been canceled after a successful legal challenge from the ISA’s national affiliate in the country. It’s a disappointing outcome that has been met with a mix of disbelief and ambivalence from a SUP community that is now thoroughly sick and tired of the political saga being waged between these two Olympic federations.

The battle between the ICF (International Canoe Federation) and ISA (International Surfing Association) has been well publicised over the past 18 months ever since the canoe world launched a late bid to become the Olympic governing body of stand up paddleboarding. But while politics are a natural (though unfortunate) part of any sport, this saga is becoming utterly ridiculous.

What started out as a political dust-up between two organisations on the fringe of our sport has become an all-out propaganda war that risks engulfing the community. And the first casualty is going to be the sport itself.

The ICF and ISA are acting like selfish parents going through a messy divorce and arguing over custody of an adopted child. Nobody is asking what the child actually wants, and neither parent realises that their “child” moved out of home years ago anyway.

It’s classic paddletics, and enough is enough…   → READ MORE

Olympic Tug of War: International Canoe Federation Challenges ISA’s Role as Stand Up Paddling’s Official Governing Body

ISA stand up paddleboarding

In a major development that could drastically alter the future direction of our sport, the International Canoe Federation (ICF) has challenged the long-standing assumption that the International Surfing Association (ISA) is the Olympic-level governing body of stand up paddling, staking a rival claim and forcing a gridlock that has left SUP communities in limbo and blocked a potential inclusion in the 2018 Youth Olympics.   → READ MORE

Germany’s “Lost Mills” Becomes First SUP Race to Be Sanctioned by the International Canoe Federation (ICF)

Lost Mills stand up paddling race in GermanyIn a major and very interesting announcement, the Lost Mills, one of Europe’s premiere SUP events, has become the first stand up paddle race in the world to be sanctioned by the International Canoe Federation (ICF), instantly elevating its status at home in Germany while setting up an interesting debate about the future of governing bodies within our sport.

The Lost Mills, which will see its 5th annual edition run from May 26th-28th this year, has established itself as one of Europe’s largest and most elite stand up paddle races over the past few years…   → READ MORE