The Paddle League: “Why we’re so excited about season 2018”

I had a chat with my fellow Paddle League co-founder Kelly Margetts yesterday to share why we’re so excited about season 2018…

World Number One Takes Hiatus: Injured Annabel Anderson Withdraws from Carolina Cup; Rethinks Remainder of the Season

In an surprise announcement that will probably come as no surprise to those who know her best, world number one Annabel Anderson has revealed she won’t be defending her Carolina Cup title this year, opening up the women’s field at one of the biggest races in the world as the New Zealander takes an indefinite hiatus to recover from injury and re-evaluate her priorities.

Following a career-best season in 2018, where she managed to break her own lofty records and finish the year with an astonishing 300+ points (a number I thought was virtually impossible to achieve when I created the world rankings system — the “Unicorn Club” we call it), Annabel spent the southern summer chasing her other passion: mountain bike racing.

Annabel doesn’t do anything by halves whether it’s on or off the water, so the fact she suffered a serious injury, while not great to hear, is no surprise to hear. The tenacious Kiwi had a heavy mtn bike crash a couple of months ago that she’s still recovering from, while the five-time Carolina Cup champion and reigning PPGs title holder has had many niggling injuries throughout her career that have started to catch up.    → READ MORE

The Road to Wrightsville: Quiksilver Waterman Signs on as Title Sponsor of the Carolina Cup

In brief: The Carolina Cup, one of the top-rated majors on the international circuit and a true pillar of our sport, has landed Quiksilver Waterman as title sponsor for the 2018 edition in what is a great sign not only for the event but our sport in general.

Beginning in 2011, Wrightsville Beach has grown in an absolute mecca for the paddling community. Hundreds of paddlers descend on Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina every April for the week-long festival, and it’s become a must-do event no matter whether you’re a title-contending superstar or a first time member of the racing fraternity.   → READ MORE

WATCH: Sunova’s James “Jimmy” Casey is Foiling Around the World

James Casey isn’t just one of the world’s best ocean paddlers, the reigning OluKai champ and downwind master is also pretty handy on a foil board.

“Jimmy” doesn’t mind traveling either, so this year he’s teamed up with Sunova to create an epic series of videos in some of the most iconic locations. Last month he was foil surfing Waikiki, this month the Sunova rider is flying past the Sydney Opera House and under Australia’s best-known bridge. Where to next? 🤔

If you’re wondering what that board is: it’s this one.

Bucket List: Let’s Go Paddling on an Underground Lake in Switzerland (It’s The “Bat Race”)

Every stage of the amazing Alpine Lakes Tour is unique, and Saturday’s race in Switzerland was absolutely no exception. After the massive GlaGla Race was held on Lake Annecy in the snowy depths of winter, the second event took place on another alpine lake. But this one was a little more protected from the elements…

Sitting about 50 metres below the surface, Saint-Leonard is the largest underground lake in Europe, which creates a very special setting for the very special BAT Race. Competitors on Red Paddle Co inflatables race through near-darkness around a cave that’s 250 metres long but only about 10-20 metres wide.   → READ MORE

There must be something in the water in New Caledonia 🤔

There must be something in the water in New Caledonia.

The small, semi-autonomous Pacific island nation with a population of just 278000 (98.85% smaller than Australia’s) took home an incredible four of the top five men’s spots in yesterday’s Down Under Double Downwinder.

Inspired by their pioneering superstar Titouan Puyo, a new generation of New Caledonian paddlers are emerging on the international stage with under-18s Noic Garioud and Clement Colmas continuing their meteoric rises.   → READ MORE

2 Minutes with Titou: Why Is New Caledonia So Good, and Which Race Do You *Really* Wanna Win?

We had a quick chat with NSP/Quickblade team rider Titouan Puyo after his big win at the SUPs Down Under ‘Double Downwinder’ on the Gold Coast today, where Titou led an onslaught by the tiny but powerful Pacific island nation of New Caledonia.

New Caledonia, whose population is barely more than 1% that of Australia’s, took four of the top five spots to completely own the home team, with only runner-up Lincoln Dews getting in the mix.

I asked Titou why New Cal produces so many good paddlers, plus what his plans are for season 2018 and which race he REALLY wants to win…

Titouan Puyo, Angie Jackson Win the “SUPs Down Under” Double Downwinder as Tiny New Caledonia Owns Australia

Titouan Puyo showed he’s still the king of New Caledonia, but there are no shortage of heirs apparent after the tiny Pacific island nation blew away the Aussies at the SUPs Down Under event on Queensland’s Gold Coast today.

New Caledonia took four of the top five spots in the men’s race, with Titou being joined by Noic Garioud (3rd), Clement Colmas (4th) and the new downwind dark horse (or “le cheval noir”) Ben Riviere. Only runner-up Lincoln Dews managed to get in between the “Cagous” and salvage some pride for the home team, while Angie Jackson took out the women’s ahead of her ONE team mate Kate Baker.   → READ MORE

This Weekend: Double Downwinders Downunder, and Paddling on an Underground Lake in Europe

Another weekend, another round of interesting races around the world. And this week’s clear theme is the word under, with the SUPs Downunder race in Australia and the underground (literally) BAT Race in Switzerland set to dominate the news cycle.

First up will be the “SUPs Downunder” race in Oz, which has morphed into a double downwinder after stormy seas shut down the original course. While this is the inaugural Downunder race, the simple fact it’s held on Queensland’s Gold Coast – home of last week’s epic 12 Towers and a paddling mecca in general – means it should be a pretty solid showing.    → READ MORE

PADDLE VLOG_002: good wine, good design and how to make the winning Molokai board with NSP craftsman Alain Teurquetil

How do you design a winning race board? Who’s going to win Molokai this year? And which one is better: Australian or French wine? 🤔

These are the big questions we asked Alain Teurquetil, the head designer of NSP and the man behind Titouan’s winning Carolina board and Travis’ magic Molokai design, for this week’s episode of the PADDLE VLOG.

For a closer look at the boards featured in this week’s episode, head over to the official site and check out the all-round NSP Puma and the downwind-friendly Sonic.