Seems like it’s the month for paddletics.
First I posted about the ISA’s last-minute decision to host a World Championship in El Salvador next month, a move that left many paddlers scratching their heads. Then just last week it was revealed that several top athletes would be competing at the inaugural ICF Worlds in China. Oh and the whole political shit-fight apparently had its day in court in Switzerland recently.
Now we get to hear some unfiltered views from a couple of the top athletes about the whole idea of paddleboarding in the Olympics and which federation would best serve the sport. Connor Baxter and Zane Schweitzer chatted with Mike Jucker from Stand Up Magazin on Maui recently. Mike has been pushing this debate forward better than just about anyone, and he always tries to get an unbiased look at what’s happening.
The entire video is well worth a watch but if you want the quick summary: The paddlers think both federations need to lift their game.
Go behind the scenes at “boot Düsseldorf” aka one of the world’s biggest boat shows, which is held in Germany in the depths of winter each January.
The German-speaking vlogger turned Maui local, Mike Jucker, was on the scene and caught up with the likes of Bernd Roediger, Fiona Wylde, Casper Steinfath, Sonni Honscheid and Zane Schweitzer as some of paddling’s biggest names got stuck into the indoor wave pool and other assorted expo festivities.
As with all of Mike’s vlogs, this is well worth a watch if you want to go behind the scenes in our sport.
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With the trade winds blowing and big bumps rolling between Maui and Molokai last weekend, Zane Schweitzer decided to ditch his race board and compete in the M2Molokai challenge on his SUP foil board. Despite ceding about 10ft in board length, Zane was the quickest racer in (or rather: out of) the water.
In brief: Aussie James Casey has continued his winning ways in Hawaii, with the 2017 OluKai champ taking out the M2Molokai Challenge on the weekend as the ocean paddling world gears up for a big double header later this month.
Jimmy completed the 42km (26 mile) crossing from Maui to Molokai in a time of 3 hours, 19 minutes and 9 seconds, narrowly avoiding an upset at the hands of his Team Sunova board designer Marcus Tardrew, a lesser-known but extremely talented downwind paddler who crossed less than a minute later. Maui’s Kody Kerbox restored some pride for the home team by snagging third place.
Annabel Anderson was in a league of her own in the women’s race, claiming the win in 3:39:05, with Andrea Moller runner-up and stars-of-the-future Kali’a Alexiou and Lara Claydon enjoying a close battle for the third step on the podium. → READ MORE
Zane Schweitzer has gone back-to-back at The Ultimate Waterman in New Zealand, defending the title he first won 12 months ago after a close battle all week with Australia’s Jackson Maynard and Brazilian Caio Vaz across the eight surfing, racing and strength disciplines. World number one Connor Baxter was fourth overall after taking out the SUP race for the third year in a row. → READ MORE
Connor Baxter took out the much-hyped Red Bull Heavy Water event in San Francisco last week, surviving the solid waves at Ocean Beach to edge out arch-rival Kai Lenny and pick up a record $20,000 prize.
Zane Schweitzer crossed in third to make it a clean sweep for the Maui Boys, with Casper Steinfath having to settle for fourth place. → READ MORE
Although the season has started winding down after the high of Doheny earlier this month, the racing season never really ends these days… There were a bunch of events around the world in late October, and we’ve still got the Worlds next month before Aussie Downwind Week and the Paris Crossing in December.
Over on Maui last week, Kai Lenny and Fiona Wylde took late-season wins at the World Series event, edging out a small but elite field in fun conditions that saw both a Maliko downwind run and a surf race at the windsurfing mecca of Ho’okipa. → READ MORE
Zane Schweitzer and Connor Baxter have just taken the hydrofoil craze to a bizarrely-awesome new level, showing off their freakish talents at the Starboard dealers meeting in San Diego the past couple of days.
First up, Zane getting some lift courtesy of a windsurf tow-in behind Connor yesterday afternoon, which I thought that was impressive enough, but what they did the next morning was beyond epic… → READ MORE
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
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
In brief: Zane Schweitzer has taken out the Ultimate Waterman event in New Zealand, triumphing over Danny Ching, Connor Baxter and a handful of other elite ocean athletes in this multi-sport, invite-only specialty event.
Now in its second year, the Ultimate Waterman combines everything from SUP racing to outrigger to longboarding, and is held at various locations around New Zealand. → READ MORE
What are some of the world’s top SUP athletes doing in the off season? What they love most: Surfing big waves.
Jamie Mitchell, Kai Lenny, Mo Freitas, Connor Baxter, Zane Schweitzer and 7-time OluKai champion Andrea Moller were just some of the stand up paddlers to feature recently in a string of historic big wave sessions. → 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
Now here’s a pretty epic view from Hawaii.
Earlier this week, Maui boy Zane Schweitzer got the rare chance to paddle his race board alongside dozens and dozens of playful dolphins. And his brother Matty caught it all with his drone. → 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
Mo 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
Danny Ching has just won gold in the Men’s Distance Race here at the 2015 ISA Worlds, giving Team USA a critical lead in the team standings against arch-rivals Team Australia and Team Hawaii. After two of the most entertaining hours of racing we’ve seen in a long time, Danny claimed the win just ahead of local hero Bicho Jimenez. → READ MORE
In what is a major step forward for the event, we can now confirm that Team Hawaii will compete at the ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship for the first time this year. After missing the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Championships, the Hawaiians have assembled a very strong lineup for the 2015 Worlds to be held in Mexico next month.
Led by current world #1 Connor Baxter and fellow superstars Zane Schweitzer and Mo Freitas, Team Hawaii will start one of the instant favourites when the festivities kick off in Sayulita on May 10th. → READ MORE
Check out this epic image from yesterday’s beach race in New Zealand, where apparently macking surf and board-breaking conditions are greeted with a “lets-get-on-with-it” shrug of the shoulders.
This shot (courtesy of PhotoCPL) was taken at Piha Beach about an hour west of Auckland, where the racing was part of Surfing New Zealand’s national championships. Starboard’s superstars Connor Baxter, Zane Schweitzer and Sean Poynter, who are in NZ this month for a pre-season training camp, took the chance to join the locals in what must surely be SUP racing’s equivalent of Code Red conditions. → READ MORE
On Saturday I had the good fortune of being in Miami for Stand Up For The Cure, an annual charity SUP event that’s raised over $300,000 (and will soon be raising a lot more) to support the Susan G. Komen foundation’s fight against breast cancer.
Hundreds of paddlers, from total beginners to experienced athletes, showed up at the Miami Yacht Club to support and promote a good cause. The concept is fairly straightforward: You register, pay $30 or $40, get a pink shirt and go for a paddle.
The local SUP community turned out in force, Zane Schweitzer, Brennan Rose, Thomas Maximus and Oahu’s surfing supremo, Kala Alexander, were all there to lend support, while Riviera Paddlesurf offered an endless selection of boards if you didn’t have your own. → READ MORE