The ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship is an annual event hosted by the International Surfing Association.

Nations compete as teams in SUP racing, SUP surfing and prone paddleboarding, with individual medals and overall team points awarded. Australia won the first three ISA Worlds in Peru (2012, 2013) and Nicaragua (2014), before Team USA swept the 2015 Worlds in Sayulita, Mexico. The Aussies reclaimed their title at the 2016 ISA Worlds in Fiji and defended it in Denmark 2017, both times narrowly edging out a strong French contingent.

The 2018 ISA Stand Up Paddleboarding World Championship will be held from November 23 – December 2 in Hainan, China. It was originally planned for Brazil.

The road to this year’s championships has been dirtied by a bitter power struggle between the ICF and ISA for control of Olympic stand up paddleboarding, which included the ISA’s legal blocking of the ICF’s new championshp event in Portugal. The general consensus from the SUP community is that neither federation is doing a particularly good job for the sport right now.


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.

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

Paddlecast #001: Casper Steinfath

I’m excited to be starting this new project and look forward to sharing some interesting paddle stories with you. And I’m very excited that the first episode features my good friend Casper Steinfath.

“The Viking” is one of the most interesting characters in the sport. He’s an incredibly accomplished athlete but what he does off the water is even more impressive.    → 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

“I’m pumped!” — Shak’s back as underdog Aussies aim to defend ISA teams title in China.

Yesterday we took a look at Team Australia, the squad that will be seeking a mind-boggling sixth teams title (out of a possible seven) at the ISA Worlds in China later this month. I also did some light analysis of the lineup.

The big news is that Terrene Black and Shakira Westdorp will be competing in every single SUP discipline this year, both surfing and racing, as the two-time defending teams champions (and five-time overall winners) look to retain their title against Teams France and USA.

Here’s how the humble superstar is feeling about this year’s event…   → READ MORE

Olympic saga: ICF, ISA respond to “selfish parents” debate…

I recently posted an opinion piece titled “The ‘ICF / ISA’ Olympic saga has become a propaganda war, and the real loser is the sport.

The post stirred up plenty of debate as it spoke to a growing sense of frustration from the paddling community that the two federations care more about political games than the actual sport. “Selfish parents going through a bitter divorce” was the analogy.

In the end, the question didn’t seem to be “ICF or ISA” but rather: Do we need an international federation at all? And should we even bother chasing the Olympics in the first place? Is all this political BS really worth it?

SUP always has and probably always will be self-governing, so why do we even need an international governing body? Unless we desperately want to be in the Olympics (and neither federation has made the case why that would be such an amazing thing), then I don’t think we need either the ICF or ISA at this point.

But regardless of your take on the matter, it’s only fair to hear from the federations themselves. So immediately after posting the story, I shared it with the higher-ups in both federations and invited them to respond to the community.

Here’s what we got back. Take a quick read, and feel free to share your thoughts on Facebook once you’re done.   → 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

Watch as Vinni Martins gives us a paddling tour of Búzios, Brazil (host of the ISA Worlds)

Here’s a great look at the Rei de Búzios, one of Brazil’s longest-running SUP races and something of a preview for this year’s ISA Worlds.

While we’re a little late in posting the vid (it went up two months ago), it’s worth taking a second look now because it’s not only a cool edit, this clip also previews what is [potentially] going to be the course for this year’s gold-medal marathon race in late November.   → READ MORE

Team Brazil Is Dominating the Pan American Surf Games (…the ISA Worlds of the Americas)

PanAmerican-Surf-Games-Peru-2017In brief: Brazil has made an almost perfect start to the 2017 Pan American Surf Games in Peru, an “ISA Worlds of the Americas” style event that also acts as a warm-up for the 2019 PanAm Games.

Young gun Guilherme dos Reis took gold just ahead of team mate Vinnicius Martins in yesterday’s beach race, while Lena Ribeiro Guimarães made it a double victory for Brazil in the women’s and Aline Adisaka picked up a bronze to put all four SUP racing team members on the opening podium of the event.   → READ MORE

Bom Dia! The ISA Worlds Are Heading to Brazil in November 2018

ISA-Worlds-Brazil-2018

Time to brush up on your “bom dia”s and “obrigado”s — the International Surfing Association has just announced the host nation for next year’s ISA Worlds: Brazil.

The 2018 championship event – the 7th annual edition of the Worlds – will be hosted in Brazil late next year with the dates “tentatively” set for November 23 – December 1. The venue is the postcard-perfect resort town of Búzios, which sits on the coast about an hour north of Rio de Janeiro and has a long history of hosting domestic SUP races.   → READ MORE