The sport of stand up paddleboarding, specifically SUP racing, is being considered for the Olympic Games with possible inclusion in either Paris 2024 or Los Angeles 2028.

Two international Olympic federations, the ICF (International Canoe Federation) and ISA (International Surfing Association) are currently waging a political and legal battle for “control” of the sport.

Though if you ask most paddlers, SUP is a self-governing sport (see: ICF vs ISA “selfish parents” Olympic debate).

Below is a collection of articles we’ve written over the years about stand up paddling in the Olympics…

Paddlecast #33: Jim Terrell talks building canoes, competing in the Olympics and the early days of SUP…

It’s finally ready. After three attempts and a few days of editing, the marathon Paddlecast with Jim Terrell from Quickblade is done.

Jim Terrell is a four-time Olympian and the founder of Quickblade Paddles. We had a great chat about everything from building canoes to competing in the Olympics, the birth of QB and working with guys like Dave Kalama and Laird Hamilton in the earliest days of the sport. We were also joined by Jimmy’s good friend and one of the original SoCal paddlers, Dane DeBoer, to chat about the first-ever Battle of the Paddle.    → READ MORE

Paddlecast #32: Andrey Kraytor talks “Olympics vs. Reality,” multiple passports and coaching Chinese canoe champions

Andrey Kraytor is an Olympic athlete who competed in sprint canoe at the 2016 Games and now coaches the Chinese national team. I had the pleasure of chatting with Andrey about the realities of being an Olympian, the incredible subtleties of paddling a sprint canoe and what it’s like to coach Chinese champions (spoiler alert: it’s a lot of pressure).

We also get to watch a whole bunch of canoe races, of which I’m becoming a big fan 🤨

Andrey was in the final of the C1-200m at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and these days lives in China where he’s the technique coach for the women’s national team. He’s also a total badass on a SUP even though he’s only been paddling on his feet for 2 or 3 years — he almost took the gold medal off Connor Baxter at the ICF Worlds last year in the fastest sprint race our sport has ever seen.    → READ MORE

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

Paddlecast #16: Master coach Larry Cain talks quarantine, training and the fine art of cold water paddling

Master coach Larry Cain talks quarantine, training and the “zen” of cold-water paddling. We also watch some classic footage from Larry’s gold medal-winning canoe race at the ’84 Olympics.

Larry is the co-founder and head coach of Paddle Monster — join today on paddlemonster.com if you want to step up your paddle game, and follow the Paddle Monster Facebook page for free daily live shows ✌️

Next week, I’m going to invite you to join a paid, members-only group “Club SUP Racer” if you want to support the creative work of SUP Racer. For just a buck a week you can help ensure these daily podcasts keep rolling as well as all the other work from SUP Racer continues. Keep an eye out for launch details in a few days…   → 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

PREVIEW: Who to watch at the 2019 ISA Worlds in El Salvador

The International Surfing Association’s annual world championship – the second World Championshps this year following the ICF’s offering in China last month – is about to get underway in the emerging surf mecca of El Salvador, with 27 nations and about 15-20 big names set to compete alongside 100+ national reps that’ll no doubt be surfing or racing with pride.

However, with this event only announced last-minute, the 2019 ISA Worlds are just as notable for who isn’t there, with several top athletes and many of the usual ISA suspects missing from the lineup.   → READ MORE

Paddlecast #004 – Paul “Jacko” Jackson

Welcome back to Paddlecast!

My guest today is one of the most experienced (and opinionated) paddlers on the planet. Over the past 15 years, Paul “Jacko” Jackson been a pro kiter, paddler, foiler, team manager, retail store owner and now co-founder of a board brand: ONE Ocean Sports, which is producing some of the most innovative race boards in the world.

In this episode, we had a good chat about building a board brand, the endless saga of Olympic paddletics and how to make racing more interesting and exciting…   → 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

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

WATCH: Connor, Zane weigh in on the Olympic debate

SUP Talk: SUPolitics ISA vs. ICF saga

Things are getting frustrating: the ICF is luring the SUP Athletes with big price money to China and the ISA announced a last minute event in El Salvador. I had to share my frustration with someone. Thank you Connor Baxter and Zane Kekoa Schweitzer for your time. #suptalk #standupmagazin International Surfing Association Planet Canoe

Posted by Stand Up Magazin on Tuesday, 15 October 2019

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

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

The Olympic Sticker Debate: Why did Pan-Am paddlers have to hide their sponsors?

The Pan American Games were held in Peru this week. The event is known as the “Olympics of the Americas” and welcomed stand up paddlers for the first time in its 68-year history. The performances of Connor Baxter and Brazil’s Lena Ribeiro, the inaugural gold medalists in the Pan-Am Games surf race, presented SUP with a historic moment.

But while the presence of paddleboarding in an Olympic-style event is positive, one thing about the race seemed a little odd: “Why are the sponsors all covered up?”   → READ MORE

Team USA’s Connor Baxter and Brazil’s Lena Ribeiro win historic gold at the Pan-Am Games in Peru

Connor Baxter has won gold for Team USA at the Pan-Am Games in Peru this morning, overpowering home-nation hero Itzel Delgado and the smiling assassin from Brazil, Vinnicius Martins, to claim a historic victory at the first ever Pan-Am SUP event.

With conditions at Punta Rocas reminiscent of the BOP at Salt Creek, Connor out-paddled and out-surfed his rivals around the three-lap, five-kilometre, ten-man race to cross in a time of 24 minutes and 18 seconds — one and a half minutes clear of the runner-up.

Connor simply said he was “Over the moon!!!” with his result, which returns the Hawaiian hero to a spotlight that’s been surprisingly missing this season.   → READ MORE