In brief: Australia has dominated the 2016 Maui Jim OceanFest, with Jackson Maynard and Karla Gilbert claiming the men’s and women’s titles respectively, while Travis Grant and Kelly Margetts also enjoyed stand out stand up performances.
Jackson and Karla were the defending champions coming into this year’s event, with the Queensland duo going back-to-back at Maui’s iconic Ka’anapali Beach. The all-round theme of the Maui Jim OceanFest – the event combines SUP, swimming, prone, OC-1 and surfski – heavily favours the Australians, who dominate the parallel world of surf life saving (lifeguard racing). → READ MORE
Travis Grant created history on Saturday, winning the Molokai to Oahu Solo OC1 race to match his victory in the M2O SUP race last July and become the first ever paddler to claim both titles. It’s the Molokai Double.
It’s also a fitting reward for a paddler whose skill and talent is matched only by his hard work and humility — very few paddlers are as respected as Travis, and as the flood of post-race congratulations messages on Facebook show, this is a very popular victory within the paddling community. But nobody is happier than the man himself; He commented after the race that winning the Molokai Solo title is “a life long dream come true.” → READ MORE
I’ve always loved paddling unlimited boards. There’s a special feeling you get from gliding through the ocean on a 17 or 18 foot board that just can’t be matched on a 12’6 or 14. Unlimiteds are slightly challenging at first but I reckon that’s half the fun. Once you get the hang of it you never want to paddle anything else!
Unlimited race boards are pretty common over here in Hawaii but almost non-existent everywhere else. When it comes to unlimiteds: Not many brands make them, not many paddlers ride them, and not many events focus on them. Maybe it’s time to change that. Why not?! → READ MORE
Connor Baxter has won his 5th straight OluKai title, defeating an all-star cast of the world’s best downwind paddlers in near-perfect conditions on Maui this afternoon.
After going into the race as red hot favourite – Connor has won every edition of this event stretching back to 2012 – the world number one relished the excellent downwind bumps on the famous Maliko run to finish in a time of 47 minutes, 41 seconds, while Mo Freitas put in a commanding performance to claim the runner-up spot. → READ MORE
We’re still coming down from the high of Carolina, but there’s no time to rest as the paddling world heads straight into another big weekend of racing. From the Key West Classic in Florida to the big downwind showdown on Maui, there will be plenty of results to keep track of on Saturday.
Here’s a quick preview and a few not-so-bold predictions… → READ MORE
The Carolina Cup isn’t just a race. The annual pilgrimage to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina signals not only one of the largest, most competitive and most significant events on the international calendar, it’s also probably your best opportunity to learn from some of the world’s fastest and most talented paddlers.
The Carolina Cup isn’t just a race, it’s a true festival of paddling, and one of the best features of the festival are the clinics. → READ MORE
The start list for the 2016 Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships has just been revealed, with the men’s solo stand up paddle division attracting the most competitive field in the event’s 20 year history.
Top ranked athletes including three-time champ and world number one Connor Baxter, two-time champ and world number two Travis Grant, number three Danny Ching, and number four Kai Lenny will be racing across the Ka’iwi Channel (aka the “Channel of Bones”) on Sunday, July 31st. → READ MORE
Nice little drone clip out of New Zealand, where reigning Molokai/Carolina champion Travis Grant has been residing/teaching for the past week.
Trav was down in NZ for an NSP training camp, though the current world number two also jumped in to the local Beach Race Series, where he held off a bunch of very talented locals to take the win. → READ MORE
In what can only be described as a ‘massive’ move, NSP has just signed world-beater Titouan Puyo, pairing him with world number two Travis Grant to instantly give the team one of the best lineups in the sport.
Formerly with Starboard, Titou has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past two seasons. He shot up to #5 on the SUP Racer World Rankings last year, and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t become #1 in the future… → READ MORE
As the year draws to a close and we reflect back on 12 months of paddling adventures, one thing that stands out is just how many awesome SUP videos were released in 2015.
From Carolina to Oregon to Doheny to Paris to Perth and virtually everywhere in between, there have been a tonne of awesome edits from the paddling community this year. Here are 15 of the best… → READ MORE
Great little clip out of West Oz this week, featuring world beater Travis Grant showing us how to really have fun on a stand up paddle board: Wake surfing behind boats.
Click through to watch, then go and find a boat to chase… → READ MORE
Great highlights reel from last weekend’s big King of the Cut downwind race in West Oz, which was won by Matt Nottage and Angie Jackson.
Via Reflex Films, this clip does a good job of showing just how fun the bumps are in this part of the world. → READ MORE
Matt Nottage has proven he’s one of the best ocean paddlers in the world for the second week in a row, taking out today’s King of the Cut downwind race, presented by Stand Up Surf Shop, in triumphant fashion.
The emerging young gun defeated world number two Travis Grant, Jake Jensen, defending champ Beau O’Brian and a who’s who of the Aussie paddling scene. To cap it off, Nottage also narrowly beat home the top unlimited paddlers, giving him the 14′ and line honours double. → READ MORE
Matt Nottage has shown he’s one of the best ocean paddlers in the world right now, defeating world number two Travis Grant, defending champ Beau O’Brian and a dozen more international level athletes to win The Doctor ocean race as part of Aussie Downwind Week.
The unheralded youngster, who recently joined Team Starboard, outlasted his compatriots after more two hours of racing, with Trav crossing the line just 17 seconds behind Matt, while Beau a further 33 seconds adrift. Trav was leading for much of the race but faded about half an hour from the finish, while Matt powered home in what he described as the race of his life. → READ MORE
The season is winding down and the SUP world has already begun looking towards 2016, so we’re currently in the middle of rounding up dates for all of next year’s main events. And no date is bigger, or rather, no date is more prestigious than that of the Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships.
The M2O has taken on mythical proportions in recent years. The 32 mile crossing of the Ka’iwi Channel, aka the Channel of Bones, has become one of the pillars of the international racing season, while the winners become instant legends within the community. → READ MORE
If you still haven’t had your fill of crazy, chaotic, carnage-filled imagery from the inaugural Pacific Paddle Games, you’ll enjoy this clip.
Watch Buzzy Kerbox give us a play-by-play recap of the main event at the PPGs… → READ MORE
There’s been a slight bump to Battle of the Brands Leaderboard following the World Series Finals @ Turtle Bay on the weekend. This year’s event didn’t attract as many top names as the Pacific Paddle Games a week earlier, so there has only been minimal movement on the leaderboards today.
After a smaller than expected turnout, this year’s World Series Finals @ Turtle Bay scored 30.5% on our Race Index. That’s a fall from the 45.0% it scored in 2014, which meant there were approximately 50% less points on offer for the athletes this time around. → READ MORE
Travis Grant has taken out Japan’s “Kumano SUP Marathon” for the second year in a row, with the current world number two holding off an impressive Kenny Kaneko in wild ocean conditions.
In what looked to be a beautiful sunny day in a very picturesque part of the country, the pro divisions were sent out of the protected Atashika Bay and into the open ocean. Once outside, they paddled along a rugged coastline of jagged cliffs and small islets that were getting slammed by swells, creating a backwash effect that looked either a whole lot of fun or an absolute nightmare (depending on how wide your board was). → READ MORE
On the back of very strong performances at Doheny, Casper Steinfath and Kody Kerbox have helped elevate Naish to the #2 ranking on our Battle of the Brands Leaderboard.
Showing the kind of strength and consistency that have made him a perennial podium-getter over the past few seasons, Casper finished third in the distance race and second in the surf race at the Pacific Paddle Games, only narrowly missing out on the overall championship title. → READ MORE
It’s taken us a few days to come down from the high that was D-Day at Doheny, but now that the dust has settled and dings have been repaired, it’s time to sign off on this amazing event by posting the full and final results from the 2015 Pacific Paddle Games.
Click through for the full results, plus changes to the SUP Racer World Rankings… → READ MORE