There are big changes to the World Rankings following an incredible weekend of racing up in the Gorge. We have a new world number one, a top 10 debutante, several bolters and dozens of other +/- movers on the Men’s Top 100 Leaderboard.
Click through for our full analysis of the latest changes… → READ MORE
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
Despite 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
Kai Lenny really wants to win Molokai. He really, really wants to win. So much so that he and his sponsors went to extraordinary lengths to achieve greatness this year.
To understand this story is to understand how incredibly driven, determined and extraordinarily competitive Kai Lenny is. It’s a story of winning at all costs. But it’s also a story of mutual respect and admiration between two incredible ocean athletes, as you’ll discover at the end. → READ MORE
Travis Grant and Sonni Hönscheid have just won the most prestigious race of the year: The Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships in Hawaii. Travis claims his second title in three years to stamp himself as one of the greatest paddlers in the sport, while Sonni Honscheid deserves she belongs up there with the best after going back-to-back.
With some of the slowest and most grueling conditions in recent memory (there was virtually no wind at all), Travis outlasted Kai Lenny and Lincoln Dews for the men’s solo unlimited crown, while Sonni held off an impressive Annabel Anderson, who took second place over the line despite paddling a stock 14 footer. → READ MORE
This is part of our “What You Missed In…” series that we’ll be running today, where we update a bunch of races that we failed to cover in the past few weeks.
After a string of delays and cancellations, the 2015 Stand Up World Series finally got started in Barcelona two weeks ago (June 27/28), with Connor Baxter and Candice Appleby proving too strong for the well assembled field of elite athletes. → READ MORE
Today saw the release of the 2015 Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships official start list. And it’s looking mighty stacked.
Some people were worried the new lottery system – introduced this year to deal with unprecedented demand – would thin out the field for the 19th annual edition, however I can safely say this will be the most competitive M2O of all time. → READ MORE
Results are in from one of the more exclusive SUP races on the calendar: The Ultimate Waterman, an invite-only event that’s been happening in New Zealand all this week. The competition, which sees 8x elite ocean athletes descend on the country for six days of surfing and paddling, is a made for TV style production that attempts to crown the best all-round ocean athlete.
It has the backing of major companies such as Red Bull and looks to be a fairly high-end affair. And lucky for us, half of the competitors are stand up paddlers. → READ MORE
Kai Lenny vs Slater Trout: Who will get to 60,000 Instagram followers first? And is this the most important SUP race of the year?
I think so…
There’s so much at stake: Pride. Glory. The fleeting attention of thousands of iPhone-wielding teenage girls. → READ MORE
The Battle of the Brands. The BOB. It’s the one race a year where virtually all the major brands come together to duke it out for glory, bragging rights and market share.
Our sport (and our industry) is a bit like the Wild West right now: We’re growing so fast that new board and paddle manufacturers are popping up every week. But who’s staking the strongest claim?
I decided to run the numbers and see which boards and paddles the elite guys and girls are choosing today. While throwing a bunch of adrenaline-fueled paddlers into macking surf at Salt Creek isn’t exactly a scientific study of what brand makes the best gear, it does give us an indication of the current landscape. And either way, it’s kinda fun to dig into the stats… → READ MORE
The final event of the 2014 Stand Up World Series
is happening this weekend has just wrapped up on the North Shore of Oahu. Based out of Turtle Bay, which sits just down the road from famed breaks such as Waimea, Sunset and Pipeline, the World Series Finals will see a very small but hyper-elite band of young guns battle it out in what could be some very interesting conditions.
One week after the all-time, wave-fueled carnage at Salt Creek, the surf at Turtle Bay looks set to throw up another chaotic weekend of racing. Yesterday the North Shore was tipping a solid 10-12 ft plus (20 ft faces) and while the swell is expected to slightly dip today and tomorrow, I’m confident there will be some entertaining chaos to enjoy. → READ MORE
Here’s a very interesting post-Battle interview with Connor Baxter, which includes a lengthy discussion about *that* incident with his arch-rival Kai Lenny. The young Maui superstar lays it out very open and honest, taking us through exactly what happened and giving us his blunt assessment.
You should watch the whole clip but basically: Connor admits he was wrong, accepts responsibility for his actions, even apologises for setting a bad standard for the young spectators on the beach. However Connor also doesn’t hold back in accusing Kai of being a dirty racer, even using the word cheating to describe what happened. → READ MORE
We’ve just wrapped up the 2014 Battle of the Paddle here at Salt Creek, California. What a weekend… Action. Drama. Heroics. But most all: Carnage.
Yesterday’s Elite Race saw some of the most exciting stand up paddle racing ever, with a solid south swell rolling into the BOP’s new home of Salt Creek and creating some very memorable moments. Today’s Distance Race was a little mellower, however the performances were just as strong.
Click through for the full results plus the archive of our LIVE BLOG, which includes play-by-play from the racing and plenty of shots of the carnage… → READ MORE
Hands up if you wanna see the best young paddlers surfing and racing around the world in a non-stop, action-filled stand up paddle movie?
There have been some great SUP movies before now, but most of them focus on the “history” of SUP and its origins. Apart from slices of the H2O movies and some cool shorts from guys like Dave Boehne and Kai Lenny, there hasn’t really been a stand up paddle movie that focuses entirely on action. Until now.
In a generation of Red Bulls and GoPros, this movie was crying out to be made… → READ MORE
Euro Tour. Week 10. Germany. This weekend it was off to the northern German island of Fehmarn, where the “SUP World Cup” kicked off (see what we did there?) with a small but elite field of talent on display. Saturday saw the sprints while Sunday it was the long distance race, with combined results determining the overall event placings. Despite the small field, there were still a few seriously big names battling it out this weekend.
In Saturday’s sprints the Kai/Connor rivalry clicked into gear straight away, with the two young superstars locked in a duel right to the line. Kai narrowly took the honours on day one, however Connor had other ideas for the distance race on day two. → READ MORE
We’re right smack bang in the middle of the grand spectacular that is SIC’s Downwind Month, when the world descends on the Hawaiian Islands to chase big bumps and endless glides.
Downwind Month is about having fun in the open ocean no matter how fast you go, though it does happen to feature a string of big, elite races as well. In a week and a half it’s the grand daddy: Molokai 2 Oahu, which we’ll be covering LIVE on July 27th. However last weekend saw another big channel crossing: Maui 2 Molokai, where Connor Baxter defeated the likes of Kai Lenny, Dave Kalama and Travis Grant to claim his 6th straight M2M crown.
And thanks to EPIC Aerial Productions, we can now enjoy the race from above… → READ MORE
Downwind Month Glides on… Connor Baxter has just won the Maui 2 Molokai race yet again, beating an all star field and firing a shot across the bow ahead of the big one, Molokai 2 Oahu. This must be about the 6th or 7th time in a row that Connor has claimed the M2M title, however this year the win was more hard fought than ever. Connor edged out fellow Maui young gun Kai Lenny by a couple of minutes, while behind him was a who’s who of the downwinding world including Dave Kalama, Travis Grant and Livio Menelau.
Very interesting to look at today’s result in relation to the Molokai 2 Oahu race coming up in two weeks (and which we’ll have live coverage of). Today’s Maui 2 Molokai could be a bit of a form guide for the big one: All five of the top guys from today will be back in action on the 27th. → READ MORE
Looks like a bunch of all-star paddlers were in Vail, Colorado on the weekend for the GoPro Mountain Games. The event featured a couple of interesting SUP races: the downriver sprint and the SUP cross, both of which gave us a glimpse of what’s in store at the big Payette River Games next week.
Spencer Lacy and Haley Mills took out the destruction derby that was the SUP Cross, while Kai Lenny showed he’s one of those annoyingly “good-at-freakin-everything” kind of athletes, taking out the downriver sprint ahead of Mike Tavares. Over in the women’s sprint, Gillian Gibree was the quickest. → READ MORE
A small but elite field of young talent has launched the 2014 Stand Up World Series in Brazil this weekend, with Connor Baxter drawing first blood by making it a clean sweep of both the Sprint and Long Distance races. Meanwhile on the women’s side it was Angie Jackson all the way, with the reinvigorated Aussie proving too strong for a select group of local and international paddlers.
The Connor/Kai rivalry, the recurring theme of the 2013 Series, returned on Day One of the Alagoas Pro, with the two superstars battling all the way to the finish line in the sprints. Connor got the win by half a second, while one wave behind was Aussie Jake Jensen, a paddler that I (and many others in Australia) have tipped to be one of the World Series title contenders this year. Coming home 4th was Zane Schweitzer, while rounding out the top 5 in the sprints was the Danish Viking, Casper Steinfath. → READ MORE
In an extraordinary development that will no doubt go down as one of the biggest marketing coups in SUP history, Kai Lenny, the reigning Battle of the Paddle champion and poster boy for a new generation of paddlers, has left his lifelong sponsor Naish to sign a multi-year deal with Team Starboard.
A full announcement is expected before lunchtime today, however we managed to catch Kai on the phone a few moments ago – while he was in between a Red Bull photoshoot and GQ suit-fitting appointment – to get the full story:
“Firstly I just want to thank Naish from the bottom of my heart for all they have done for me. Since I was a little grom, the Naish ohana has felt like my own family and I’ve been so fortunate to experience everything that the company has done for me over the years. Quite simply, I wouldn’t be the superstar I am today if it wasn’t for their continued support.
It will be particularly hard to part ways with my long time hero and mentor, Robby Naish, who has taught me so much about honour, respect and throwing the perfect shaka. However I hear that (Starboard founder) Svein Rasmussen has some really cool toys in Thailand that I’ll get to play around with, so I’m definitely looking forward to this new direction in my career. Plus (Naish team manager) Chuck (Patterson) kept wanting to take selfies with me ALL the time, so that definitely made the decision easier.” → READ MORE