France is one of the strongest paddling nations in the world, period. They’ve long been the powerhouse of Europe, while their athletes often mix it with the best on the world stage. A full-strength Team France would probably be the biggest threat to the ruling triumvirate (Australia/US/Hawaii). But despite some big names in the 2015 squad, the French team is lacking in one critical area. And this highlights a wider problem with the ISA World Stand Up Paddle And Paddleboard Championship… → READ MORE
These two guys are a couple of the world’s premiere bump riders. While you may think “Connor” and “Kalama” when you think downwind supremos, Travis and Titou are both firmly on the top level as well. These guys have a sixth sense for reading the ocean, and if the wind is blowing and the bumps are running, you’ll struggle to keep them in sight. → READ MORE
Everyone’s favourite dark horse (though I think he’s long since outgrown that label), Titouan Puyo, has won another couple of trophies at home in New Caledonia. The NRJ Pro Cup, held in New Caledonia’s famous turquoise coral reef lagoon, offered paddlers both a downwinder and course race in paradise.
Titou surprised nobody by claiming the downwinder on Saturday, before backing up in Sunday’s Beach Race for the double. → READ MORE
With close to 250 competitors all up, this would be Australia’s biggest ever SUP race in terms of participation (by a long way). The level of competition didn’t exactly match the Battle of the Paddle, however there were still quite a few well known, world ranked paddlers on show. The strongest performances came from Angie Jackson, Titouan Puyo, Paul Jackson, Karla Gilbert, Jake Jensen and Celine Guesdon. → READ MORE
Some quality footage in there (love the sequence at the 1:12 mark) highlighting just how tricky conditions were for competitors. → READ MORE
UPDATE: We’ve just wrapped up the second and final day of competition, with Arthur Arutkin making it a clean sweep of the event. The 17-year-old took out both yesterday’s long distance event and today’s course race. Click through for full results/recap/photos… → READ MORE
The ‘Championnats’ is the first part of the selection process for Team France 2015, the squad that will wear the red berets at next year’s ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship. So why am I so excited about this event? Three things… → READ MORE
Seems like Jersey is becoming a bit of a paddling hub these days (we’re talking about the isle of Jersey, not the American Jersey…). The island has a strong local race series, some epic downwind conditions and is now seeing some of the international names come over and compete. → READ MORE
Titou, the reigning ISA Distance Race World Champ, showed once again that he’s an absolute machine in the bumps, finishing the 16km run three minutes clear of his rivals. Those rivals included many of France’s finest, such as rising star (and Battle of the Paddle ‘Most Inspirational’ award winner) Martin Letourneur, Vincent Verhoeven, Gaetan Sene and Greg Closier (who was runner-up in the 12’6 class). → READ MORE
This video is awesome. Watch Starboard superstar Titouan Puyo and his good friend Vincent Verhoeven pack their inflatable SUPs on a light aircraft and fly out to the magic “Ile des Pins” (Isle of Pines).
The island is part of the South Pacific outpost of New Caledonia and sits a short flight away from the main atoll. Ile des Pins is nicknamed “l’île la plus proche du paradis” which roughly translates to The Closest Island To Paradise. Watch the clip above and you’ll see why. → READ MORE
While any of the world’s best paddlers were competing at Huntington Beach this weekend, there was another race taking place in Jersey, an Island with a rich paddling heritage. The event, the Battle of the Rock, is the brain child of John Harvey and was first held in 2013.
Following his success at the Heritage Race on the Island in the summer, Greg Closier took no time in returning to Jersey and this time brought ISA World Champion Titouan Puyo and Vincent Verhoeven with him. The three Frenchmen were using the event as part of the training regime for the Battle of the Paddle. → READ MORE
In case you needed any extra motivation to get out there and paddle today, here’s a very cool video from a very nice part of the world. Watch this clip to get an aerial view of downwinding in New Caledonia, the South Pacific island paradise that’s home to world beater Titouan Puyo.
The clip, filmed earlier this year, features Titou along with fellow Frenchie Vincent Verhoeven → READ MORE
Who is Titouan Puyo? Take a SUP journey around the world and find out. Peak behind the scenes at Starboard’s HQ in Thailand, go downwinding on Titou’s home island, New Caledonia, then travel across to Nicaragua, where he wins gold at the ISA Worlds.
Watch the full clip above or click through to read the back story behind the video… → 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
After two days of great racing, Eric Terrien has held onto his crown as the King of France, but only just… Titouan Puyo (aka Ti2) has shown he’s an international star and that his win in Nicaragua was definitely no fluke. After a horror start, the New Caledonian almost chased down Eric in Saturday’s downwind/upwind/sidewind Beach Race, while today the tables were turned with Titou coming home first ahead of Leo Nika and Eric.
Sonni Hönscheid showed great form to make it a clean sweep of the women’s field, beating home Manca Notar in both the 7km Beach Race and 17km Distance event. Click through for full results, pics and recap from the French Riviera… → READ MORE
Day 7 saw the men’s distance event here at the 2014 ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship. After the women’s race gave us a glimpse of this unique and exotic course, I had the feeling we could be in for a classic showdown today. And the guys certainly didn’t disappoint…
With a deep field of talent lining up at 9am for the 18km grind around Lake Nicaragua, and with the wind blowing strong enough to become a major factor, conditions were set for an intense battle. Click through for a full recap, results and pics of the action… → READ MORE
In a sign that French national team selectors got their men’s racing picks spot on, Eric Terrien and Titouan Puyo have gone one-two at the Jade Paddle Race in France, just days before they jet off to Nicaragua to represent their nation.
It was a fitting victory for Eric as the race was held in his childhood hometown of La Plaine sur Mer. With waves, wind and what looks to be very cold water, the BIC team rider out-lasted a classy field that featured several of France’s finest paddlers. Eric finished half a minute clear of Titou (or simply: “Ti2″) while one of France’s original stand up paddle racers, Greg Closier, finished a very close third. → READ MORE
The wind was relatively light and the sun was blazing hot, however there were still plenty of fun bumps to be had. The 10km course ran from Ansevata to Plage de Kuendu, covering a beautiful stretch of water inside the giant lagoon that surrounds this island.
New Caledonia really is a paddling paradise… With such consistent winds and a strong paddling community, I can see it becoming a popular downwind destination in the near future. → READ MORE
In November 2013, the French held their National SUP Racing Titles. The top finishers would earn a spot on Team France for the 2014 ISA Worlds in Nicaragua, while the rest would get to see how they compared against the best. The usual suspects were there along with a string of up-and-coming youngsters who had been rising fast in the preceeding year. Outside of Australia and the USA, France’s national titles would probably be the most competitive in the world.
But for all that talent, both young and old, nobody really expected anyone other than Eric Terrien to win. Eric has been the flag-bearer for SUP racing in Europe for the past five years and was the first of the Euros to really make an impact overseas. He also almost never loses in France, especially not to his fellow countrymen.
So you can imagine my surprise, and the surprise of the core SUP racing community in general, when the early results came through and the new distance race champion of France was listed as Titouan Puyo.
Titouan who…? → READ MORE
Remember how France decided to go all out in selecting their team for the 2014 ISA Worlds? In addition to their National Titles five weeks ago, the governing body (French Surf Federation) organised a week-long series of racing and training that’s essentially a second (and final) round of qualification to decide who flies to Nicaragua next May.
Ten of the best paddlers in France (and, by extension, ten of the best in Europe and even some of the very best in the world) will be battling it out over the next five days in a series of short and long distance races. A win is worth zero points, 2nd place = 2 points, 3rd place = 3 points, and so on… Each paddler’s best four out of six results (four races this week plus the two races from last months Nationals) are tallied up and then the two guys / one girl with the lowest score will be invited to compete for Les Bleus in Nicaragua. → READ MORE