Ukrainian paddlers are fighting for their freedom – here’s how you can support them

The first thing I noticed when I met Ukrainian paddler George Zamana is that he was always smiling. I thought he was just excited that we were about to paddle in Kyiv’s sub-zero temperatures (adventure!) but it turns out George is one of those happy-go-lucky guys that’s always sharing a positive face with the world. George is smiling in his latest photo, too, except he’s not standing next to his board with a paddle in hand–he’s sitting beside an anti-tank missile launcher.   → READ MORE

ICF cancels SUP World Cup in Russia, joins Olympic world in banning athletes

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) has joined the Olympic world in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by banning Russian and Belarusian athletes from competition. This follows an announcement last week by ICF President Thomas Konietzko that the Federation was cancelling (with the potential of “relocating”) its three international events to be hosted in Russia this year, which included a SUP World Cup in Moscow that was going to be a pretty big deal in the leadup to the ICF Worlds in Poland in September.   → READ MORE

The day I went paddling in Kyiv

It was a cold February day, not unlike today. The ground was covered in fresh snow that crunched under foot like a strange kind of sand. Foreign but somehow familiar. The ice sheet covering the Dnieper River was starting to break up and release its grip on the city.

It was 2018 and I had stopped over in Kyiv on my way home from the GlaGla Race. I had met the core of the Ukrainian SUP community – Andriy, Alex and Slava – in France two weeks prior and was invited for a winter session in their hometown. I jumped at the opportunity and thus began one of the coldest paddling days of my life.   → READ MORE