These are interesting times for the Waterman League. The fledgling company that’s been trying to establish a professional, global racing tour for the past half a decade is now on the brink. On the brink of finally going big, but also on the brink of going totally bust.
For the fourth year in a row, and despite months of promises to the contrary, the Waterman League has begun a new season without having paid for the last one. Athletes are owed tens of thousands of dollars from season 2015, while there are serious doubts about several of the proposed events on the 2016 Stand Up World Series schedule.
But despite all the problems, the Waterman League is confidently talking up a big future. And in some ways they have a good reason to be. Here’s what we know so far… → READ MORE
The Stand Up World Series is a fascinating part of our sport. Almost five years after it began, the Waterman League’s bold vision of a pro tour for the sport’s top athletes has been both a success and a failure, depending on how you look at it. The franchise has attracted outside sponsors and mainstream media, but continually stumbles by not paying the paddlers on time, canceling events and failing to attract many of the top names.
I want to love the World Series. I really do. I’ve given it more positive coverage over the years than most. But as much as I admire their hard work and resilience, following the Waterman League often feels like watching Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, only nobody’s laughing. The Stand Up World Series is equal parts excitement and frustration for the athletes, the fans, the brands and the media. → READ MORE
Welcome to 2016, and what a season it’s going to be. From big international races to classic events to new names to watch, I’ve got a feeling it’ll be a great year for stand up paddle racing. Click through to find out why I’m so excited about the 12 months ahead… → READ MORE
Following the unofficial “season ending” race on the weekend, the World Series Finals at Turtle Bay in Hawaii, there’s been a bit of movement on the SUP Racer World Rankings.
Though, interestingly, it was actually those who didn’t race at Turtle Bay that reaped the biggest rewards. That includes Titouan Puyo, who jumps back into the top 5, and Arthur Arutkin, who makes his debut in the exclusive top 10 club at the expense of Fanatic team mate Jake Jensen. → READ MORE
The unofficial “last big race of the season” (with apologies to Paris and Perth) is happening in Hawaii this weekend, with the fourth and final stop of the 2015 World Series going down at Turtle Bay on Oahu’s North Shore.
Numbers are down this year compared to last, with just four women and 17 guys competing in the distance race today, something of an anti-climax to last weekend’s Pacific Paddle Games. But while it lacks the numbers compared to other international events, Turtle Bay still has plenty of talent, with Connor, Kai, Casper and half a dozen other top ranked paddlers all at Turtle Bay this weekend. → READ MORE
Results are in from Japan, where the World Series is holding the second of its four stops this year. The Hayama Pro has attracted an elite little group of the world’s best young (and a few not so young) paddlers, including Kai Lenny, Connor Baxter, Candice Appleby and Fiona Wylde.
Click through for the final standings… → READ MORE
Zane Schweitzer has won the 2015 Italia Surf Expo SUP Race, saluting against a small but very elite field of European stars in what looked to be a festival atmosphere.
Zane didn’t actually win either of the two races on the weekend – the distance and the sprints – however his pair of runner-up performances was enough for the overall event title ahead of Casper Steinfath and Leo Nika. → 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 over the past few weeks.
After the Stand Up World Series finally got started in Barcelona last week, the franchise leapt straight over to Finland for event number two, the Sieravuori SUP Masters, on July 3rd & 4th. → 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
Following last week’s Battle of the Paddle bombshell, another major stand up paddle race has bitten the dust.
In what can only be described as “Major bummer…” the SUP World Cup in Fehmarn, Germany, has just been cancelled. One of Europe’s oldest, biggest and best events, the SUP World Cup was going to be one of the Top 15 international races of 2015. However the news came through early this morning that this year’s edition, set for the first weekend in August, was cancelled due to lack of funds. → READ MORE
There were a lot of SUP races this year. We had over 400 listings on the Rogue Race Calendar. We sent 137 race results to the Results by Riviera archive. You couldn’t go a week without your Facebook feed being flooded with photos of SUP races here, there and everywhere.
Some of those races were fun, local events. Some were grand, international spectacles. Most fell somewhere in between. And that’s just fine. Most races don’t need to be grand to be successful, they just need to be well organised, encourage a few extra people to give the sport a try and offer everyone a fun day on the water.
But some races push the boundaries a little more than the average. Some races attract, either through deliberate marketing or incidental brilliance, a disproportionately large amount of attention and elite talent. Quite simply: Some races are a lot more competitive than others. Click through to see the full list and read my overly-thorough analysis… → 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
Check out this very cool little clip from Mo Freitas, highlighting the super elite Distance Race that went down at the Huntington World Series last week. I love the short, sharp, edgy style of the edit. It’s not the longest stand up paddling video you’ll ever see but it actually does a very good job of summarising the entire, hour-long race.
Oh and the clip also includes footage of *that* wave, where the entire elite field was taken out in the first 15 seconds by the punchy Huntington shorey… → READ MORE
The Stand Up World Series @ Huntington delivered some very entertaining moments over the weekend. Despite the roller-coaster nature of the whole World Series enterprise, this event seemed to deliver on all fronts.
One of the areas the World Series has always done a solid job is getting slick videos up on YouTube just hours after the event. So check out these video highlights from Huntington Beach, which feature some great carnage in the punchy HB shorebreak. → READ MORE
Results and recap from the racing half of the Huntington Beach Pro, which finished just moments ago. The event saw a very solid group of young stars hit Southern California for a serious warm-up ahead of the Battle of the Paddle.
This event was the penultimate stop of the always dramatic (quite often for the wrong reasons) Stand Up World Series and, with the BOP just two weeks away, was a great chance to see who’s in form heading into the biggest race of the year.
It was cool to see some powerful and determined performances from some very dedicated athletes, however the weekend belonged to Connor Baxter and Candice Appleby. → READ MORE
Euro Tour. Week #… (I dunno, I’ve lost count). Italy.
I know it sounds crazy, but there was actually a SUP race happening somewhere other than Hawaii on the weekend. While Connor, Travis, Sonni, Jenny and co. were battling it out across the Ka’iwi Channel, all the way over in Rome, Italy there was a very solid crew competing at the Italia Surf Expo’s SUP Challenge.
Despite going up against a talented string of Euro boys, as well as Aussie whipper snapper Jake Jensen, in the end it was the Danish Viking, Casper Steinfath, taking out the crown and capping off a memorable summer of racing in Euro land. → 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
Euro Tour. Week 8. Finland…
The Euro Tour simply refuses to end. While the traditional European summer racing season runs from mid May til the end of June, this year it looks set to extend for a whole nother month.
Let’s call it the Euro Tour: Encore. → READ MORE
Euro Tour. Week 5. France.
While some of us headed down here to Noja, Spain this week, a bunch of the top guys drove north to France for the Oleron Island Stand Up Paddle Challenge.
On show this weekend are the likes of Eric Terrien, Titouan Puyo, Beau O’Brian, Casper Steinfath, Zane Schweitzer and plenty of other top guys.
Saturday update: Titou shows once again he’s a master in the bumps. Sunday update: Zane steals the sprints and the overall title. → READ MORE
It’s week #4 of the Euro Tour and this weekend we’re in the awesome city of Bilbao, Spain for another big race: The Bilbao World SUP Challenge. The action wrapped up just moments ago and it was Zane Schweitzer and Angie Jackson who claiming the overall event titles.
This event attracted a pretty solid lineup of talent; I’d say there were around 15 paddlers competing who would be on the top level internationally. Set right near the iconic Guggenheim Museum, the event involved sprint racing on Saturday before a 13km cruise through the city on Sunday.
Here’s how it all went down. → READ MORE