Paddlecast #26: Fernando Stalla talks Tahiti, travel and teaching his daughter spearfishing

Fernando Stalla is a master of the ocean who has competed at the highest level in SUP racing and surfing for years, and who is now enjoying his isolation days spearfishing and living the Tahitian life with his wife and daughter.

It was great to catch up with an old friend and talk about travel, children and the desire to have more fun on the water. We also reminisced about the Battle of the Paddle, Payette River Games and mythical “Beach Flags World Tour” — plus spicy margaritas in Sayulita 😉   → READ MORE

Quickblade Pays Tribute To The Awesome Payette River Games

Payette River Games SUP videoThe Payette River Games may have been put on ice for now, but the memories will last a lifetime. The 2015 event was a classic, and now you can relive the event with this great recap from Quickblade Paddles.

The clip, courtesy of Pat Myers, has plenty of insights from the QB athletes, including Shakira Westdorp, Kelly Margetts, Anthony Vela, Chase Kosterlitz and Candice Appleby, plus a very special mention for Jonas Leteiri, a double amputee from Brazil who inspired everyone in Idaho with his skill, spirit and determination.   → READ MORE

Payette River Games Put on Hold, May Not Return in 2016

Mo Freitas stand up paddlingIn what can only be described as a major bummer, the Payette River Games, one of the biggest, best and most beloved SUP races on the calendar, has been put on hold and may not return in 2016.

After the 2015 edition was held a few months ago, where Mo Freitas and Rebecca Giddens triumphed and the exciting spectacle was televised on CBS Sports, organisers decided they couldn’t continue financing and organising the event without additional corporate support.   → READ MORE

Mid-Year World Rankings: Travis Grant Is Number One (And There’s A Flaw In The System)

ISA Worlds
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

WATCH: Full Replay Of The Payette River Games Cable TV Broadcast

Payette River Games CBS TV broadcast replayWell this is a nice treat. Just days after the Payette River Games had its momentous world premiere on CBS Sports Network, the event organisers have given us an early Christmas present: You can watch a full replay of the broadcast online. Right here, right now.

Click through to watch…   → READ MORE

The Verdict: Payette River Games On CBS Sports (Good? Bad? Totally Awesome?)

Payette River Games CBSIn case you’ve been living under a rock the past week, you’d know that Saturday was the world premiere of the Payette River Games on CBS Sports Network.

I was up in Idaho last month and got to witness the PRGs in all their glory. In person, the 2015 Payette River Games was an awesome spectacle. Not only is it one of the most well organised races in the world, the PRGs are definitely one of the most exciting to watch. It’s perhaps the most exciting race in the world of SUP racing. So buoyed by the real world excitement and emotion, I was very interested to see how Payette would look on the small screen…   → READ MORE

REMINDER: Payette River Games Premieres On CBS Sports Network This Saturday

Payette RIver Games CBS Sports NetworkThis Saturday will be a momentous day for the sport of stand up paddling, though most of the top athletes won’t even get their feet wet. Instead, they’ll be crowded round the telly, tuning in for the world premiere of the Payette River Games on CBS Sports Network.

The Payette River Games, or PRGs, offer perhaps the single most entertaining spectacle in our sport, so I’m pretty damn excited to see how it looks on the small screen.

WATCH: Rogue’s Epic Edit From The Payette River Games

Payette River Games videoCheck out this rad little clip from the Payette River Games, which comes from the fun-loving crew over at Rogue SUP.

The video features Rogue team riders Fernando Stalla and Josh Riccio in action, along with some guy throwing an axe, Chuck Patterson munching sand, log rolling, beach volleyball and plenty of people drinking beer and having a good time in general. In other words: Does a pretty good job of summing up what the Payette River Games are all about.   → READ MORE

On Gratitude… (aka “Everyone Loves The Payette River Games”)

Payette River Games thank youStand up paddle racing is a strange sport sometimes. We’re so young and immature, and growing at such a pace, that we often fail to see what’s right in front of us. In a mad dash to reach the future before it’s ready, we lose sight of what’s really important.

Debate and disagreement can be healthy, even vital parts of our sport, however we should never forget what really matters most: Gratitude and positivity. In the world of stand up paddling, especially on the elite side of the sport, I believe we often forget to say thank you to the ones who deserve to hear it most.    → READ MORE

Payette River Games: Mo Freitas, Rebecca Giddens Reign Supreme On The River (Updated Results)

2015 Payette River GamesMo Freitas and Rebecca Giddens have just won the 2015 Payette River Games following a hugely entertaining three days of racing here in Idaho.

In one of the best all round performances we’ve ever seen, Mo made it a clean sweep by claiming both the super technical “SUPer G” time trial and the mildly chaotic SUP Cross event. Giddens, a former Olympian and mother of two, matched this extraordinary result by sweeping the women’s events.   → READ MORE

Payette River Games Preview: Who’s Going To Conquer The River And Claim The Bounty? (24 Hours To Go…)

Jeramie VaineWe’re just 24 hours away from one of the biggest, richest and funnest races of the year: The Payette River Games.

Part race, part festival, part party on the river in the Idaho countryside, the PRGs are a unique and highly entertaining spectacle. The main attraction is the stand up paddling (with its record $50,000 prize purse), however there are plenty of other highlights on the schedule…   → READ MORE

Payette River Games: New Course, New Boards, and Everything Else You Need to Know (Rise of the Inflatables?)

Payette River Games SUP CrossThe Countdown to Idaho is on. In just under a month, a whole stack of the world’s best paddlers will descend on the sleepy little hamlet of Cascade, Idaho, for a long weekend of festivities on and off the water.

The Payette River Games, scheduled for June 19-21, is set to be a pretty big show this year. We’ve already listed it as one of the “Majors” for 2015, and I know that more than half the world’s top names will be in Idaho for the showdown. Throw in an exclusive TV broadcast deal with CBS Sports and I think it’s safe to say Payette will be one of the highlights of 2015.   → READ MORE

Payette River Games: Air Date Confirmed For CBS Sports Network TV Broadcast

Kai Lenny SUP Payette River GamesThe Payette River Games, already labeled as one of the five “majors” of 2015 and with a world-record, gender-equal prize purse of $50,000 up for grabs, just keeps getting better. Last week we revealed Payette’s deal with CBS Sports Network, and now we have the air dates to go with it.

The broadcast is scheduled for…   → READ MORE

One Of The Five ‘Majors’ Just Got Even Bigger: Payette River Games Secures TV Broadcast Deal

Payette River Games stand up paddlingAs if a $50,000 prize purse and the title of “Funnest event of the year” weren’t already enough of a drawcard, now we’ve all got one more reason to register for the 2015 Payette River Games: An exclusive broadcast deal with CBS Sports Network.

Race organisers recently signed an agreement with the cable channel that will see the PRGs given the full post-production treatment and an exclusive airing slot in July.   → READ MORE

100 Day Countdown: The $50,000 Payette River Games

Brittany-Parker-river-standup-paddlingToday marks the 100 day countdown to one of the biggest/richest/funnest races of the year: The Payette River Games.

Held in the last-place-you-would-imagine-as-a-SUP-mecca – Cascade, Idaho – the PRGs are part SUP race, part lumberjack tournament and part festival on the river in a beautiful, mountainous countryside. This is one of the most truly unique events on the SUP calendar. It’s also probably the funnest…   → READ MORE

Registration Opens For The Payette River Games – One Of The Major Races Of 2015

Payette River Games Cascade IdahoRegistration has just opened for the 2015 Payette River Games, probably one of the funnest, most exciting (and definitely THE richest) stand up paddle races in the world.

With a $50,000 cash prize purse, a host of cool events on and off the water and an expected influx of elite talent, the PRGs are shaping up to be one of the biggest and best events of the year.   → READ MORE

New Boards, New Courses And Even More Fun For The Payette River Games

Payette River Games IdahoWell it looks like one of the best events on the calendar just got even better.

The Payette River Games, one of the five major SUP races of 2015, will see two big changes this year: New courses and new boards.

While the 2015 website and registration won’t be opening until next week, I just chatted with the organisers and got a sneak peek at what’s in store for the 3rd annual edition of this big event.   → READ MORE

The Majors: The World’s Five Biggest SUP Races (Plus: Predicting The Top 25 “Most Significant” Races Of 2015)

Major Stand Up Paddle Races
I asked the question last week: “What do we call the biggest races in stand up paddling?” The Majors? The Grand Slams? The Classics?

In a sport as fragmented and disorganised as SUP racing, I think it would be great to recognise and celebrate the big, standalone events that support and develop both the community and industry. To help promote them with a collective theme that highlights their significant contribution to the sport.

I say we call them the Majors, and these are the races that I think qualify. The five biggest races in the world this year are…   → READ MORE

2015 Payette River Games Just Got Even More Awesome: Beach Flags! Added To The Schedule

Payette River Games Beach FlagsThe Payette River Games – already lining up to be one of the funnest weekends of 2015 – just got a whole lot more awesome.

After weeks of behind-the-scenes discussions with organisers, I can now reveal, in a exclusive, that Beach Flags! will be part of next year’s PRGs. Beach Flags, for the uninitiated, is one of the grandest sporting events known to man. It’s a cross between a sprint race and musical chairs. And it’s awesome in every way.   → READ MORE