Last Paddler Standing was an emotional rollercoaster—and a disruptive new frontier for SUP racing

Kelly Margetts called it a Netflix series. That’s a bold assertion for a humble SUP race, yet by the time Paolo Marconi claimed victory after 48 hours of slow-moving suspense in Sarasota last week, Kelly’s comment was starting to sound like an understatement.

Last Paddler Standing was unlike anything we’ve seen in the world of SUP. It was less of a race and more of a journey. An emotional rollercoaster that swept up everyone it touched and somehow turned a simple, never-ending live stream into compelling viewing complete with its own vocal community. This whole event is an innovative, disruptive format for SUP racing and it might just be a new frontier for how our sport is shared.   → READ MORE

PAOLO MARCONI IS THE LAST PADDLER STANDING!

Last Paddler Standing was billed as the craziest race of the year and it didn’t disappoint. Two days of slow-moving drama and emotion as 18 paddlers attempted to be the last one standing.

Thanks to everyone who tuned in live for this grand experiment — you can now watch a replay of the final 12 hours from our 50-hour non-stop live stream (youtube won’t save longer than 12 hours).

NOTE: YouTube clipped this replay right as Paolo was completing his 48th and final lap, but we’ve uploaded “Paolo’s Finish” as a separate video below.


THE FINAL 12 HOURS (REPLAY)


THE FINAL 7 MINUTES (PAOLO’S FINISH!)

(not loading above? click here)


STILL STANDING AFTER 48 LAPS
Paolo Marconi (Italy)

NO LONGER STANDING…
John Knippers [retired after 47 laps]
Alex Somoano [DQ’d after 43 laps]
Bobby Johnson [retired 41]
Göran Gustavsson [retired 40]
Joshua Lanphear [retired 26]
Aleksey Synkov [retired 24]
Brendon Prince [retired 19]
Brian Richardson [retired 18]
Tony Peters [retired 16]
Denise Forner [retired 13]
Josette Lata [retired 12]
Patrick Broemmel [retired 12]
Tracy Cullinane [retired 12]
Brandon Grundy [retired 8]
Heidi Stapula [retired 5]
Anton Synkov [retired 4]
Bryant Ransom [retired 3]

Who will be the last paddler left standing in Sarasota this weekend? Meet some of the contenders in the craziest race of the year

Last Paddler Standing is the craziest race of the year. It’s part paddling, part strategy and total mindf**k. It’s also the most interesting new race format I’ve seen in a long time.

The idea is simple enough: you paddle 3.3 miles (5.3km) around a flat water canoe/kayak lake in Sarasota, Florida. If you finish within an hour you get to start the next lap. And the next, and the next, and the next until you’re literally the last paddler left standing. With predicted finishing times of 2-3 days, you will almost certainly have to paddle all day, all night, all day and all night again if you want to be crowned champion of this Kafkaesque odyssey.   → READ MORE

‘Last Commentator Standing’ …SUP Racer will attempt an endless live stream of this weekend’s Last Paddler ultra

I’m excited about Last Paddler Standing. This might just be the best new race format our sport has seen in years. Though it’s hard to tell: The race has never happened before.

The inaugural ‘Last Paddler’ is happening this weekend in Sarasota, Florida and to celebrate the epic scale of this event, SUP Racer will attempt to host an endless live stream of the entire race.

Let’s call it Last Commentator Standing.   → READ MORE

Last Paddler Standing — is this the first “gender equal” race in the history of SUP?

The last big race of the year is the one I’m most excited about.

No, I’m not referring to Paris. The race that interests me most is one we’ve never seen: Last Paddler Standing, a brand new ultra-marathon that probably features SUP racing’s most-innovative format since Jacko’s Super Lap turned heads eight years ago.    → READ MORE

‘Last Paddler Standing’ is probably the best new race format our sport has seen in years

It’s been 14 years since the Battle of the Paddle kickstarted the sport of stand up paddle racing, and that fateful day on the shores of Southern California in 2008 would set the tone for more than a decade to come. For years, SUP events around the world simply copied the BOP format of “course race + distance race” because it was the race. Innovation be damned, it was a competition to see who could best emulate the Battle.

For a while, this imitation helped grow the sport by providing structure and familiarity. But eventually flattery turned to lethargy. Too many races looked the same, which led to burnout as competitors ached for something different. The promotion of 200 metre sprints to world championships and the rise of the ultras have at least offered alternatives, but apart from Jamie Mitchell’s Survivor Race and Paul Jackson’s Super Lap there hasn’t been much innovation in the actual race formats — especially not in the past half a decade.

That’s why I’m so excited about a new event happening in Florida in December: Last Paddler Standing is an ultra-marathon mind game of (potentially) epic proportions. I say potentially because nobody knows just how long the race will be — and that’s the beauty of it.   → READ MORE