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Kim Barnes SUP Athlete Interview

The US has long lost its dominance in SUP Racing and race rankings are dominated by European flags. At the last two EURO TOUR races how ever we das stars and stripes on the podium for the first time in a while. It was Kim Barns who made 2nd at the Nordhausen SUP Race and 1st at the Namur SUP Race. The Namur race was a particular interesting win because Kim won against no other than Duna Gordillo on of the strongest athletes in recent years.

We had to reach out and find out more about Kim and what was going on at that race.

Aloha Kim, thank you very much for your time and congratulations for your outstanding performance. Before we jump into to SUP Racing can you introduce youself to our readers and your history in paddling?

Hello and thank you for your interest in my racing. I have been paddling for 11 years now. I started and still practice in Jupiter, Florida. Our community was very small when I began and now it is thriving with many paddlers.

That is awesome, are you just Stand Up Padding or are you doing other water-paddle sports?

I actually started racing OC6 this year, in addition to SUP racing. I also surf, Kiteboard, and wakeboard.

That is really cool you are an overall water women.

What sparked your interest to take the trip across the Atlantic and compete in the two EURO TOUR Races?

I have been watching the racing in Europe for the last few years. I loved the idea of being able to travel and race while I’m traveling in Europe. For me that seems like a win/win. I really wanted to head over for the Barcelona race in May, but work and home life dictated otherwise.

When I looked on the calendar and saw two races fairly close to each other, I though why not go?  I’m on summer break from teaching, so work was not going to be an issue and my family also had plans already while I was planning on going. So, it all just seemed to all work out.

I also, knew that the competition is really strong in Europe and I wanted to see how well I could do in a strong field.

Well it looks like you did really well. Can you tell us a bit more about your experience at the races?

I had a little experience racing with the top racers in Thailand last year, so this was a good test of my ability.

Nice and how was it over all? Would you go back and why?

The races were very well organized.  Belar and crew made the trek abroad less intimidating. The help with accommodations, travel directions and boards was incredible.

Absolutely! I would definitly go back and participate in the Euro Tour again! The luxury of traveling and paddling in different places is a dream come true.

That is so nice to hear. Yes, Belar built a great thing for SUP Races in Europe.

I agree 100% He has created a welcoming environment for all paddlers, Adults and kids, Armatures and Elite.

Now for all our race lovers out there, you beat Duna Gorillo. I don’t think many people saw that coming. Can you talk about that race for us for a moment? How heated was the competition on the racecourse? When did you race with her before?

Actually, it was the 3rd time I’ve raced with Duna. She is and incredible person and racer. In 2023 we raced the Carolina Cup together and we were in a draft train with Candice. With about 2 miles left she dropped off the train and that left Candice and I together. The 2nd time, was at ICF Worlds last year in Thailand and it was Espe, Duna, myself and Rika in a draft train for most of the race. At the last buoy, Espe took off and Duna took the buoy wide and I stayed closer to then sprint to the finish and claim 2nd behind Espe. Then the Namur race was our 3rd meeting. After the buoy turn Duna, Claudia and I were in a draft train with me leading. I decided to stay in the lead position until the finish. At some point Claudia fell of and that left Duna and I together. I was nervous because Duna is such a strong sprinter and smart racer, so I knew, the finish was going to come down to a sprint. I was just fortunate to have enough power to hold her off at the finish.

Showing the girls half her age the tail end of her board – Photo: EURO TOUR

During the race there was more competition the first couple miles with Claudia and I trying to stay in 2nd behind Duna. That was very exciting! But after the turn, I just stayed focused on keeping the lead.

Wow that is very cool and some strong racing. What makes it even more remarkable that you are a different generation than the other girls. What are your thoughts on that?

To be honest, I felt really old in Europe. LOL. I was so impressed with the youth racers and their strength and discipline. Hats off to their coaches! I am an older racer. The phrase “Past Your Prime” comes to mind. I really hope I am proving that statement isn’t true. I have a lot of obstacles in my life at my age. I think if I were younger, I could solely focus on SUP racing. For me it is a hobby that I love, but it isn’t my life.

In the US, we have older racers and I think creating a youth program, should be a focus.

I get it for many SUP Racing is a hobby rather than their full time thing and you are giving us a great transition here. Future and youth. What is your perspective on the Sport as a whole?

I think the sport is fantastic! I feel like there are pockets all over the world where it is doing better than others. In Europe youth and adult SUP racing is very strong, where the US use to be. It is a sport for any age which is the beauty of the sport. I really feel like the next step is getting SUP racing in the Olympics. That will create whole new driving force for SUP racing.

The SUP Sport started in Hawaii and the US mainland. Then the US lost all relevant race to Europe. Now with USA SUP things are getting revamped. What would you like to see as far as progressing the sport goes?

The US is such a big country, I believe the cost of traveling and getting equipment to different locations is the most challenging part. We need a Belar and Co. Personally, I’d love to see regional races, that can count towards a US ranking, in addition to the National race. I’d love to see a youth program developed in all regions, so there is a younger age group creating the competitive field. Maybe some sort of funding to help the US representatives get to some of the world races, so that were not having to get our own sponsorships and/or pay out of pocket for everything.

We have such a huge influx of new paddlers in our area and its wonderful! I would love to see more communities grow like our has.

Thank you very much, yes I can see that. Here at the Stand Up Magazin we feel that the competitive sport lacks a bit of structure giving ambitious paddlers a path forward. Series like the EURO TOUR can give such a path.

I agree. I feel like it is a lot of work to streamline racing in the US, but it is possible. It doesn’t mean that all races have to be a part of a “Tour”, but that there are races where people can turn their focus on in addition to their local events.

What are the next races for you?

I am heading to Canada for the Eastern Canadian Championships next weekend, then to South Carolina for the Goat Boater series and the Flying Fish Summer Challenge in July. In August most likely paddle OC6 at the Lanakila Iki Ocean Challenge. Then, I’ll head to Bay Bridge Paddle race and the Key West Classic in September, USA Nationals and Chattajack in October and The Nish Outrigger Challenge in November along with ICF Worlds In Sarasota.

That is great schedule, and we are looking forward to follow you along. Thank you so much for your time.

About Kim:

  • Born in New York grew up in Florida
  • Profession: Teacher
  • Year born: 1976
  • Supported by: Flying Fish – Quickblade
  • Outside of SUP: Family and Mountain Bike

Kim Barns track record

  • 2024. Namur SUP Race (ld) – 1. place
  • 2024. Nordhausen SUP Race (ld) – 2. place
  • 2024. Carolina Cup (ld) – 2. place
  • 2024. Blueline Surf & Paddle\’s Winter Series (ld) – 1. place
  • 2023. ICF SUP World Championships Pattaya (tr) – 10. place
  • 2023. ICF SUP World Championships Pattaya (ld) – 2. place
  • 2023. ICF SUP World Cup – Sarasota (s) – 2. place
  • 2023. ICF SUP World Cup – Sarasota (tr) – 4. place
  • 2023. ICF SUP World Cup – Sarasota (ld) – 2. place
  • 2023. Olukai Lowcountry Boil Paddle Battle (ld) – 1. place
  • 2023. Flying Fish Summer Challenge (ld) – 1. place
  • 2023. Belle Isle Classic (ld) – 1. place
  • 2023. Carolina Cup (ld) – 1. place
  • 2022. Chattajack 31 (ld) – 1. place
  • 2022. ICF World Cup Oklahoma (s) – 3. place
  • 2022. ICF World Cup Oklahoma (tr) – 3. place
  • 2022. ICF World Cup Oklahoma (ld) – 1. place
  • 2022. Belle Isle Classic (ld) – 1. place
  • 2022. Eastern Canada SUP Championships (ld) – 1. place
  • 2022. Carolina Cup (ld) – 2. place
  • 2021. Carolina CUP 2021 (ld) – 2. place
  • 2021. Chattajack 31 (ld) – 1. place
  • 2021. Key West Paddle Classic (ld) – 1. place
  • 2021. Bay Bridge Paddle (ld) – 1. place
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Fallmouth Bay Open SUP Race Results

The British National SUP Series held the Fallmouth Bay Open down in Cornwall. The winners in the longdistance race were Blue Ewer and Holly Pye. Both are known names in the UK as well as internationally. Holly Pye currently ranks number 18 on the SUP World Rankings with great results in the UK as well as an 8th place at the Battle for Hercules and a 4th at the Sprint Race the at Lake Rocks.

Behind Holly was Annabel Page current number 23 in the world. Her race history so far is limited to UK but we hope to see her on the international stage some time.

Blue Ewer is currently world number 4 with many great results this year. He participated at many EURO TOUR Races for example the Nordhausen SUP Race where he became 2nd. In the UK he also makes consistently podium at all the races.

Second was Hector Jessel current world number 29 who mostly competes in the UK except for the Battle of Hercules where he became 18th.

Women Longdistance

RankNameCategoryTime
1Holly PyeOpen 18+11:45.2
2Annabel PageOpen 18+12:02.9+0:17.7
3Emily EvansOpen 18+13:08.5+1:23.3
4Marie BuchananOpen 18+16:15.9+4:30.7
5Verity Thomas40-49 Masters22:54.3+11:09.1
6Michelle Kimbler Open 18+23:26.4+11:41.2
7Natalie Rendle40-49 Masters24:04.3+12:19.1
8Louise Court40-49 Masters27:33.2+15:48.0
9Georgie PageNone 50-59 Veterans29:48.2+18:03.0
10Lydia Clifton 30-39 Seniors33:00.4+21:15.2
11Annabel Ewer50-59 Veterans38:25.7+26:40.5
12Gila Joffe50-59 Veterans42:43.4+30:58.2

Men Longdistance

RankNameCategoryTime
1Blue Ewer Open 18+59:55.8
2Hector Jessel Open 18+03:05.6+3:09.8
3Damian WarnerOpen 18+04:00.0+4:04.2
4Glenn EldridgeOpen 18+07:18.1+7:22.3
5James Rowe Open 18+10:27.8+10:32.0
6Denzil Williams50-59 Veterans13:03.5+13:07.7
7Kiran Raval50-59 Veterans15:28.0+15:32.2
8Matt Brookes50-59 Veterans19:06.0+19:10.2
9Ollie Nawrat30-39 Seniors20:53.9+20:58.1
10Alexander Jessel 50-59 Veterans21:13.1+21:17.3
11Philip Sparkes50-59 Veterans21:31.9+21:36.1
12Tom Pryse-Davies Open 18+24:27.2+24:31.4
13Steve Lynn 60+ Grand Kahunas24:39.1+24:43.3
14Paul Drake50-59 Veterans25:54.6+25:58.8
15Eric Amada50-59 Veterans27:17.9+27:22.1
16Joseph JonesOpen 18+27:49.3+27:53.5
17Andrew Halliday40-49 Masters27:57.0+28:01.2
18Gregory Adams50-59 Veterans28:15.5+28:19.7
19Hugh Pryse-Davies 60+ Grand Kahunas30:53.5+30:57.7
20Marcel Hiemstra40-49 Masters32:05.0+32:09.2
21Francis Mobbs 30-39 Seniors42:58.0+43:02.2
22Kevin Jackson60+ Grand Kahunas47:47.9+47:52.1
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Battle of the Bay SUP Race Results

All photos by @toms_beachlife

With the many races going on in Europe this summer many might wonder what race was the place to be. Right now it looks like that the Battle of the Bay in Bournemouth was that race. The British National Series race attracted the current World SUP Ranking number one athlete Donato Freens to compete against Englands best.

Longdistance is Donatos strong suit and he defeated Englands number one paddler Blue Ewer by 32 seconds. As far as we can tell from the race times the rest of the field was pretty much left far behind as the 3rd on the podium Arthur Arutkin from France was almost 4 minutes behind.

Men Longdistance Top 20

1Donato Freens NED1:02:57
2Blue EwerGBR1:03:29+0:32.4
3Arthur ArutkinFRA1:06:55+3:58.0
4Hector JesselGBR1:07:07+4:10.0
5Bastian GrimmGER1:09:19+6:21.9
6James RoweGBR1:14:55+11:58.7
7Pete Holliday GBR1:15:11+12:14.8
8Ryan JamesGBR1:17:57+15:00.7
9Denzil WilliamsGBR1:18:21+15:24.4
10Dave EwerGBR1:20:12+17:15.1
11Nick WattGBR1:20:39+17:42.0
12Adam StilingGBR1:21:00+18:03.7
13Kiran RavalGBR1:21:59+19:02.0
14Jonathan SherwinGBR1:22:15+19:18.2
15Saviour Aquilina GBR1:22:37+19:40.9
16Scott BrownGBR1:22:48+19:51.6
17Simon NashGBR1:23:41+20:44.6
18Scott WarrenGBR1:25:01+22:04.6
19Chris Macdonald GBR1:25:02+22:05.5
20Andy JoyceGBR1:27:03+24:06.5

On the ladies side Annabel Page who is a lesser known name in the SUP World won pretty clear over two British household names: Ginnie Betts and Holly Pye. Ginnie Betts is currently ranking world number 14 and has all podiums at the British National Series, as well as a 10th place at the SUP Spring Race. Never the less she was almost one and a half minute behind Annabel.

Ladies Longdistance Top 10

1Annabel Page GBR1:17:24
2Ginnie Betts GBR1:18:53+1:28.4
3Holly PyeGBR1:20:03+2:38.5
4Verity ThomasGBR1:26:53+9:29.1
5Julie Smith GBR1:27:20+9:56.3
6Louise CourtGBR1:27:33+10:08.9
7Sarah PerkinsGBR1:27:39+10:15.0
8Lydia Clifton GBR1:32:21+14:57.1
9Julia KuletaGBR1:35:20+17:56.1
10Claire Terry GBR1:37:59+20:34.7

Tech Race Men

Blue Ewer and Donato Freens traded spots in the Tech. Race although it looks like they were splitting hairs. Arthur Arutkin remains 3rd and behind him the ranks look almost the same like in the longdistance race.

1Blue EwerGBR17:32.7
2Donato Freens NED17:34.7+0:02.0
3Arthur ArutkinFRA17:36.2+0:03.5
4Hector JesselGBR18:31.2+0:58.5
5Bastian GrimmGER18:52.4+1:19.7
6James RoweGBR19:51.8+2:19.1
7Dawid KuletaGBR21:30.4+3:57.7
8Denzil WilliamsGBR21:35.1+4:02.4
9Kiran RavalGBR21:59.6+4:26.9
10Jonathan SherwinGBR22:13.5+4:40.8

Ladies Tech. Race

Once again Annabel Page came out on top of Holly Pye and Ginnie Betts with a 2 second lead to Holly and a smoking 46 seconds over Ginnie. We wonder what happened there, but unless we were at the race we would never know.

1Annabel Page GBR20:55.7
2Holly PyeGBR20:58.5+0:02.8
3Ginnie Betts GBR21:42.5+0:46.8
4Julie Smith GBR23:04.9+2:09.2
5Verity ThomasGBR23:06.7+2:11.0
6Lydia Clifton GBR23:59.9+3:04.2
7Louise CourtGBR24:06.2+3:10.5
8Sarah PerkinsGBR24:13.6+3:17.9
9Claire Terry GBR24:32.4+3:36.7
10Sara MaxeyGBR25:10.3+4:14.6

All results by webscorer.com

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Hawaii Downwind Race Series

Koa Kai Tripple Crown combines Paddle IMUA – M2O – M2M

The month of July has been traditionally THE Downwind Month in Hawaii. It started back in 2008 when Downwind SUP Racing became popular on Maui. It was a time when the world of SUP came to meet in Hawaii to race the famous 9 mile course where SUP racing actually started: The Maliko Run.

Hawaii had a strong turnout of SUP Athletes year after year as the ocean racing community kept growing. Back then then pinnacle of SUP Racing was the famous M2O and its shorter version the M2M. The run of strong SUP Races kept going until about 2018/19 when slowly but surely the foil started to take over and the busy European SUP Race Schedule started to suck the athletes away from the Hawaiian waters. Then Covid came and the M2O was not held for 3 years. In that time the development of Downwind Foiling was on over drive as the foil took the downwind community by storm.

Now the M2O is going into its 2nd Post-Covid race, the demand for Downwind Foiling became that big that the M2O organizers were forced to split the races into two weekend. The M2M was sold out in less than one hour with one hundred participants and many waitlisted. To give the Hawaii Downwind Month of July more weight this year the organizers of the Paddle IMUA, the M2O and the M2M have joined forces and crated the Koa Kai Tripple Crown.

There is no price money but lots of prestige. Athletes have to participate in all three races and the winner will be crowned at the awards ceremony after the M2O.

Stay tuned for lots of great content as Hawaii once again is leading the Downwind SUP Foil Trend.

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SUP World Rankings Weekly Top Ten

It’s time again to look at the weekly SUP Top Ten list. While most of the world was looking at the Longdistance Race “Paddle for Hercules” in Andalusia, there were actually some other races that made an impact to the SUP World Rankings.

Pretty much all of Italy paddled at the Trasimeno SUP Race, they held Longdistance and a Tech. Race. We are glad Tibor Hasulyo is paying attention and is adding races to the rankings that are lesser know but have a great local turn out.

Same thing in Brazil, there was a race last weekend, the “Ultimate Paddle Brasil” this race did not much to shuffle to many positions but it did enough for us to see some unknown names making an appearance in the Worlds Top Ten list.

Men Longdistance

Despite not winning the Paddle for Hercules, Donato Freens remains on top of the list. The winner of that race, Aaron Sanchez only paddled in this race so far and the points of this medium rated race were not enough to get him into the Top 10. The biggest jump came from Thomas Dusart who became 2nd at a small race in France. However, with 5 races completed this season the 2nd place there was enough to move up 4 spots.

RankNameNationPointsRacesLast ResultChange
1Donato FreensNED1570.0542. Battle for Hercules
2Thomas DusartFRA968.652. Amiens Paddle Race↑ 4
3Normen WeberGER863.5634. Spring SUP Race↓ 1
4Rai TaguchiJPN863.221. Sprint SUP Race↓ 1
5Antonio MorilloESP828.6323. Battle for HerculesNEW
6Ludovic TeuladeFRA815.2426. Spring SUP Race↓ 2
7Bode von AllmenUSA797.8543. Dana Ocean Challenge↓ 2
8Filippo MercurialiITA770.3631. Trasimeno SUP RaceNEW
9Ricardo RossiITA714.3233. Trasimeno SUP Race↑ 1
10Danny ChingUSA697.231. Dana Ocean Challenge↓ 3

Women Longdistance

At this time the women Top 10 does not quite look how we were used to it from last year. Right now it is Laura Quetglas who is leading the pack. But Petronalla van Malsen is having a good season. After her win that the GlaGla Race, she won the Rondje Haarleem race which is part of the Belgium SUP Tour. Cecilia Pampinella also jumps up 4 spots, she won the Longdistance at the Trasimeno SUP Race.

After that, we do not see too many exciting moves in the list. The season is young and big names like Duna Gordillo or Esperanza Barreras have not arrived yet. One name to look out for this season, given she will be racing more, is Alba Frey. She is not on he list yet but won the “Battle for Hercules”, but the points from that one race are not enough yet to make the Top 10.

We are hoping the women’s Longdistance competition for 2024 shapes up as suspenseful as it was in 2023.

RankNameNationPointsRacesLast ResultChange
1Laura QuetglasESP532.5324. Battle for Hercules↑  3
2Petronella van MalsenNED428.521. Rondje Haarleem BeNe SUP Tour↑ 6
3Samantha EastburnUSA406.2242. Dana Ocean Challenge↓ 2
4Juliette DuHaimeARG405.7521. ProSayulita SUP Open↓ 2
5Cecilia PampinellaITA404.7221. Trasimeno SUP Race↑  4
6Soryn PrestonUSA402.0531. Dana Ocean Challenge↓ 3
7Jessica MatosBRA381.2521. Ultimate Paddle BrazilNEW
8Vira LemekhaUKR373.635. Trasimeno SUP Race↓ 2
9Lia VenturelliITA368.9232. Trasimeno SUP Race↑  1
10Kunthong SupatchayaTHA316.221. SUP Addict Champ.↓ 1

Tech. Race Men

Once again we have Donato Freens on top of the list, but the Italians were busy with the Trasimeno SUP Race shaking up the rankings from the SUP Spring Race. If we continue to have a busy season with Tech. Races this category may surprise us with new names being present permanently in the Top 10. All the movement behind Donato Freens stems from the Trasimeno SUP Race and the one race in Brazil.

RankNameNationPointsRacesLast ResultChange
1Donato FreensNED954.0223. Spring SUP Race
2Filippo MercurialiITA760.922. Trasimeno SUP Race↑ 1
3Ricardo RossiITA622.8821. Trasimeno SUP Race↑ 4
4Rai TaguchiJPN616.811. Spring SUP Race↓ 2
5Tomasso PampinellaITA542.927. Trasimeno SUP Race↓ 1
6Filippo AlbertiITA416.626. Trasimeno SUP RaceNEW
7Cameron TripneyRSA416.3414. Srping SUP Race↓ 2
8Zeno SzaboHUN413.4825. Trasimeno SUP RaceNEW
9Arthur SantacreuBRA385.72211. Ultimate Paddle BrasilNEW
10Christian AndersenDEN379.611. ProSayulita SUP Open↓ 4

Tech. Race Women

Cecilia Pampinella won the Trasimeno SUP Race and is now 100 points in the lead. We see a big move from Jessica Matos your 2nd place in Brazil. Her other race was the Aloha Spirit Festival where she won the Tech. Race. This is the first big move of a racer collecting points from races outside of Europe. As of right now we do not see a clear trend in this category. This might all come down to which organizers choose to hold Tech. Races at their events.

RankNameNationPointsRacesLast ResultChange
1Cecilia PampinellaITA543.521. Trasimeno SUP Race↑ 1
2Paris KatnissUSA431.7722. Spring SUP Race↓ 1
3Jessica MatosBRA341.222. Ultimate Paddle Brazil↑ 7
4Lemekha ViraUKR320.1624. Trasimano SUP Race↑ 1
5Cieplinska MalgorzataPOL297.511. GlaGla↓ 1
6Laura QuetglasESP246.7213. Spring SUP Race↓ 2
7Juliette DuHaimeARG237.2511. ProSayulita SUP Open↓ 1
8Marta ApanasewiczPOL200.4614. Spring SUP Race↓ 1
9Lena RiberioBRA200.2411. Ultimate Paddle BrasilNEW
10Zusanna TylingoPOL190.413. GlaGla↓ 2

Sprint Race Men

Sprint is the most under rated race category. There fore we have not much movement in this list. Filippo Mercuriali holds on to the top as the only one with 2 races. His first result was his victory at the Florence Paddle Games. The two newcomers in the top then here are the guys from Brazil. Who know maybe the we will see more sprint races in South America than in Europe.

RankNameNationPointsRacesLast ResultChange
1Filippo MercurialiITA718.0223. Spring SUP Race
2Cameron TripneyRSA616.811. Spring SUP Race
3Normen WeberGER539.712. Spring SUP Race
4Sergio CantoralESP416.3414. Spring SUP Race
5Iwai SotaJPN370.0815. Spring SUP Race
6Rai TaguchiJPN339.2416. Spring SUP Race
7David LeaoBRA320.411. Ultimate Paddle BrasilNEW
8Doukas PhaedonGRE308.417. Spring SUP Race↓1
9Arthur SantacreuBRA280.3512. Ultimate Paddle BrasilNEW
10Samuel PeskaCZE277.5618. Spring SUP Race↓2

Sprint Race Women

All women in the top 10 have one race under their belt and that was the ICF sanctioned Spring SUP Race. We have just like on the men side new names in the list coming from Brazil.

RankNameNationPointsRacesLast ResultChange
1Cecilia PampinellaITA385.511. Spring SUP Race
2Susak MolineroESP308.412. Spring SUP Race
3Kyriaki LogothetiGRE246.7213. Spring SUP Race
4Sabine FischerSUI200.4614. Spring SUP Race
5Jessica MatosBRA200.2511. Ultimate Paddle BrasiNEW
6Roseli NovloskiBRA160.212. Ultimate Paddle BrasilNEW
7Marta ApanasewiczPOL154.215. Spring SUP Race↓ 2
8Candice ApplebyUSA13111. Afterglow Series 1↓ 2
9Lena RiberoBRA128.1613. Ultimate Paddle BrasilNEW
10Maria MettaITA123.3616. Spring SUP Race↓ 3
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SUP World Rankings Season 2024 Start

SUP Race enthusiast have been waiting for this moment: The start of the highly anticipated Stand Up Magazin Top Ten List by SWR.

We just finished the last weekend with the Spring SUP Race where some but by far not all of the known names competed in an ICF sanctioned race that held all 3 SUP disciplines: Longdistance, Tech. and Sprint. There is not much movement yet but some of the known names are on the score board and some other lesser known names too.

Next weekend we are looking at the Battle for Hercules in Spain. We are sure the field will be shuffled quite a bit as we may anticipate for the Spanish SUP Elite to show up for this race.

Men Longdistance

Just like in 2023 Donato Freens is very busy with his race schedule and his second place in Italy got him into the first place. Normen Weber who is probably easy 20 years older than Donato keeps up quite well. He finished 4th in Italy against many young guns. The name to look for here is Ray Taguchi, we have serious doubts that Rai jumped on a plane and flew back to Japan after this race. Is he spending the SUP Summer in Europe? Or was is visit in Italy at quick stop in Europe? We will know soon.

RankNameNationPointsRacesLast ResultChange
1Donato FreensNED1174.232. Spring SUP Race↑ 3
2Normen WeberGER863.5634. Spring SUP Race↑ 8
3Rai TaguchiJPN863.221. Sprint SUP RaceNEW
4Ludovic TeuladeFRA815.2426. Spring SUP Race↑ 3
5Bode von AllmenUSA797.8543. Dana Ocean Challenge↓ 5
6Thomas DusartFRA758.645. Mays SUP Race 53NEW
7Danny ChingUSA697.231. Dana Ocean Challenge↓ 4
8Joep van BakelNED582.0532. Winter Cup Kempen↓ 3
9Natapat KomanTHA553.822. SUP Addict Champ.↓ 3
10Ricardo RossiITA518.425. Sprint SUP RaceNEW

Women Longdistance

The points collected at the Spring SUP Race were not enough to change the current podium for the women. But when looking at the points distribution, then it becomes clear that if it look Samantha Eastburn 4 races to get to her points and Laura Quetglas only one to get to hers, that US races don’t weigh as much as European ones. We anticipate big changes to this list after the Battle for Hercules this weekend.

RankNameNationPointsRacesLast ResultChange
1Samantha EastburnUSA406.2242. Dana Ocean Challenge
2Juliette DuHaimeARG405.7521. ProSayulita SUP Open
3Soryn PrestonUSA402.0531. Dana Ocean Challenge
4Laura QuetglasESP385.511. Spring SUP RaceNEW
5Kunthong SupatchayaTHA316.221. SUP Addict Champ.↓ 1
6Vira LemekhaUKR310.422. Florence Paddle Games↓ 1
7Susak MolineroESP308.412. Spring SUP RaceNEW
8Petronella van MalsenNED297.511. GlaGla↓ 3
9Cecilia PampinellaITA246.7213. Spring SUP RaceNEW
10Lia VenturelliITA242.5227. Spring SUP RaceNEW

Men Tech. Race

Once again Donato Freens is leading the charge with the most races, but if Rai sticks around in Europe Donato will have to work hard for his lead.

RankNameNationPointsRacesLast ResultChange
1Donato FreensNED954.0223. Spring SUP Race
2Rai TaguchiJPN616.811. Spring SUP RaceNEW
3Filippo MercurialiITA539.712. Spring SUP RaceNEW
4Tomasso PampinellaITA416.512. GlaGla↓ 2
5Cameron TripneyRSA416.3414. Srping SUP RaceNEW
6Christian AndersenDEN379.611. ProSayulita SUP Open↓ 3
7Ricardo RossiITA370.0815. Spring SUP RaceNEW
8Leo NikaITA368.913. GlaGla↓ 4
9Ludovic TeuladeFRA339.2416. Spring SUP RaceNEW
10Itzel DelgadoPER332.1512. Pro Sayulita SUP Open↓ 5

Women Tech. Race

We do not recognize many of the names in this list. We see Cecilia Pampinella paddling strong. With Paris Katniss from the US we might have a dark horse on our hands here. Paris last race was in Mexico at the ProSayulita SUP Open were she was 4th. Who know maybe we have new name to look out for from the US. Time will tell.

RankNameNationPointsRacesLast ResultChange
1Paris KatnissUSA431.7722. Spring SUP Race↑  8
2Cecilia PampinellaITA385.511. Spring SUP RaceNEW
3Cieplinska MalgorzataPOL297.511. GlaGla↓ 2
4Laura QuetglasESP246.7213. Spring SUP RaceNEW
5Lemekha ViraUKR23812. GlaGla↓ 3
6Duhaime JulietteARG237.2511 ProSayulita SUP Open↓ 3
7Marta ApanasewiczPOL200.4614. Spring SUP RaceNEW
8Zusanna TylingoPOL190.413. GlaGla↓ 4
9Sofia FinerMEX189.812. ProSayulita SUP Open↓ 4
10Jessica MatosBRA18111. Aloha Spirit FestivalNEW

Men Sprint

Besides for Filippo Mercuriali this was pretty much a season opener he already won the sprint race at the Florence Paddle Games but the points there were so low that all the other racers from that race were not able to hold on to their position after the Spring SUP Race. Since SUP Sprints seem to be the least favorite race category we don’t anticipate for this list to change anytime soon.

RankNameNationPointsRacesLast ResultChange
1Filippo MercurialiITA718.0223. Spring SUP Race
2Cameron TripneyRSA616.811. Spring SUP RaceNEW
3Normen WeberGER539.712. Spring SUP RaceNEW
4Sergio CantoralESP416.3414. Spring SUP RaceNEW
5Iwai SotaJPN370.0815. Spring SUP RaceNEW
6Rai TaguchiJPN339.2416. Spring SUP RaceNEW
7Doukas PhaedonGRE308.417. Spring SUP RaceNEW
8Samuel PeskaCZE277.5618. Spring SUP RaceNEW
9Antonio MorilloESP246.7219. Spring SUP RaceNEW
10Linus KarlssonSWE215.88110. Spring SUP RaceNEW

Women Sprint

This list pertty much represents the top results from the Spring SUP Race. We have three American ladies still in this race and recognize one of the OGs in the SUP Sport, Candice Appleby. Its great to see she is racing mostly in California. It sure would be great to see her sometime join some races in Europe.

RankNameNationPointsRacesLast Result
1Cecilia PampinellaITA385.511.Spring SUP Race
2Susak MolineroESP308.412. Spring SUP Race
3Kyriaki LogothetiGRE246.7213. Spring SUP Race
4Sabine FischerSUI200.4614. Spring SUP Race
5Marta ApanasewiczPOL154.215. Spring SUP Race
6Candice ApplebyUSA13111. Afterglow Series 1
7Maria MettaITA123.3616. Spring SUP Race
8Samantha EastburnUSA104.812. Afterglow Series 1
9Laura QuetglasESP92.5217. Spring SUP Race
10Lindsay WeidnerUSA83.8413. Afterglow Series 1
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SUP World Rankings Update after the ISA SUP Races

It is getting late in the year but the SUP Season is far from over. We concluded the first SUP World Championships in a series of three organizations who claim SUP World Titles. In the meanwhile we have been keeping track all year round of a unified system that keeps track of SUP races around the globe based on mathematics. We believe, even if its not completely flaw less, this system is by far the best the SUP Race community can get.

With that being said we don’t want to take away from the athletes accomplishments. For example Shrimpy who just made it back into the top 10 with only 4 races on to board. Shrimpy has been in and out of the top 10 since the APP race in Spain. Compare this for example with Manuel Lauble with 11 races, Shrimpy is only 424 points behind, but has 7 races less. Imagine Shrimpy showing up for a European SUP Summer. He be dominating everybody on this list. This is why we still need a unified and agreed upon SUP Tour that everybody goes so the race count of these athletes is not all over the place. The APP has been trying to do that since day one but sadly had not figured out how to gain the loyalty of the international SUP community, but that is another topic for the season finale.

Now lets celebrate the new entries and amazing performance from all the SUP athletes out there.

Men Longdistance

As mentioned all the newcomers stem from the ISA, except Manuel Lauble who racked up some local results in Germany. Normen Weber is German Champion and 1. at the Bavarian Waters SUP race that gave him the points needed to move in 2nd place. Despite Donato Freens 13th place in the ISA he will be very had to catch unless he sits out the ICF SUP Worlds and Normen makes podium, but even that wont be enough, he would have to do really good in Paris in December as well with Donato not being there.

RankName CountryRacesPoints Change
1Donato FreensNED133872.97
2Normen WeberGER102886.68↑1
3Christian AndersenDEN82602.25↓1
4Manuel LaubleGER112493.44NEW
5Bruno HasulyoHUN72493.44
6Michael BoothAUS62252.18
7Ludovic TeuladeFRA62237.45↓3
8Noic GarioudFRA42180.56NEW
9Blue EwerUK72171.46↑1
10Shuri ArakiJPN42069.2NEW

Women Longdistance

The ladies competitive SUP is much better to follow than the men. The women top 4 pretty much fall in line with the ISA Worlds. Esperanza Barreras ramains the undisputed worlds number one. Despite her 2nd place at the ISA Duna remains in 4th position as she is missing out on one race. Sadly Mariecarmen Rivera did not make the cut she sure would deserve it after her great showing, but she is just not present enough to get into the top ten. For now she remains on rank 16.

RankName CountryRacesPoints Change
1Esperanza BarrerasESP92895.8
2Anna TschirkySUI122628.64
3Cecilia PampinellaITA92206.77
4Duna GordilloESP82018.45
5Tanja EckerGER71144.67↑1
6Candice ApplebyUSA61009.55↓1
7Emma Freja PedersenDEN7913.89
8Claudia PostiglioneITA6885.89
9Iona RivetFRA6829.56NEW
10Petronella Van MalsenNL5824.21↓1

Men Tech. Race

We notice here that the race count in this category is way lower than in the longdistance, therefore Shrimpys 1st place has moved him right into rank two. Christian Andersen has twice as many races as Shrimpy, one more race and Shrimpy could move to the top. Lets see what happens next month in Thailand. Noic also made the list with his 2nd place in France but he has one race less than Shrimpy. We can now all look forward to the ICF Tech. Races that for sure will look a bit different than the ISA.

RankNameCountryRacesPointsChange
1Christan AndersenDEN82710.93
2Shuri ArakiJPN42225.65NEW
3Connor BaxterUSA42016.8↓2
4Ollie HoughtonNZL61786.65↑1
5Davide AlpinoITA61758↓3
6Noic GarioudFRA31599.9NEW
7Donato FreensNL61570.18↓1
8Blue EwerUK61490.18↑2
9Fernando PerezESP51467.32↓2
10Claudio NikaITA51467.32↓2

Women Tech. Race

Esperanza dethroned Cecilia Pampinella. These two been going back and forth all year long. Sadly Cecilia did not do too good in France. Her 10th place and Espes win did set them apart by many points now. Mariecarmen Rivera and Melanie Lafenetre both came into the top 10 with their podium placement at the ISA.

RankNameCountryRacesPtsChange
1Esperanza BarrerasESP72016.73↑1
2Cecilia PampinellaITA81526.13↓1
3Juliette DuhaimeARG51334.44
4Anna TschirkySUI61035.8↑1
5Caroline KuntzelDEN4970.19↓1
6Marie Carmen RiveraPUR6881.26NEW
7Melanie LafenetreFRA3853.8NEW
8Fiona WyldeUSA3831.8↓2
9Claudia PostiglioneITA6773.27↓2
10Duna GordilloESP3749.3↓3

Sprint men

If you look at the race count of the athletes you can clearly tell that we have a lack of sprint races in this world. Why race organizers shy away makes no sense to us here at the Stand Up Magazin.

Christian Andersens disappointing final miss, still gave him the push to move to the top, but by a really slim margin ahead of Claudio Nika who was third. In fact if you look from rank 2 to 4 its the ISA podium in reverse. Unfortunately the final 4th did not make top 10: Aaron Sanchez 397.98 point for that one race were not enough. This circumstance allows us to compare his score with Filippo Meruriali who also has only one race but 504 points. Filippo won the Agios race in Greece. That race must have ranked higher in the scale. We might speculate that has to do with the fact that the ISA does not pay price money and the race in Greece was an ICF World Cup with a big prize purse.

RankNameCountryRacesPointsChange
1Christan AndersenDEN2800.16↑6
2Claudio NikaITA2773.74NEW
3Ollie HoughtonNZL2713.65NEW
4Noic GarioudFRA1589.6NEW
5Andrey KraitorBUL1576↓5
6Itzel DelgadoPER2571.65NEW
7Ondej PetrakCZE3535.04↑1
8Matyas SoukupCZE3506.93↓6
9Linus KarlssonSWE2506.93↓6
10Filippo MercurialiITA1504↓6

Sprint women

The women sprint rankings are a bit all over the place. We did see many sprint races in eastern Europe and with the lack of participation of the well known paddlers this list was and still is dominated by eastern European ladies. The ISA event has now created a bit of a mix. It would have been great to see Linda Syrovatkova racing in France to find out how she stands against the rest of the field.

RankNameCountryRacesPtsChange
1Linda SyrovatkovaCZE5523.42
2Caroline KuntzelDEN2507.4↑1
3Cecilia PampinellaITA2479.62↑1
4Iva DundovaCZE3452.25↓3
5Marta ApanasewiczPOL2404.95↓2
6Melanie LafenetreFRA1368.5NEW
7Lucie RaabCZE5302.1↓2
8Mariecarmen RiveraPUR1294.8NEW
9Anna TschirkySUI2262.6NEW
10Skadi LangbeinGER2251.4↓3

ISA recap

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Adria SUP Challenge new racing event

A new event in the SUP Alps Trophy

Photos: Uroš Kekuš Kleva

SUP enthusiasts of the NNN club (“Do something for the nature”) from Koper – Capodistria, Slovenia port town on the Adriatic coast near the Italian border, organized an Adria Sup Challenge (ASC) event, an international SUP competition on September 2nd and 3rd within the legendary SUP racing cup – SUP Alps Trophy, a competition with the longest tradition in Europe.

More than 110 participants from eight European countries and Thailand gathered in the Water Sports Center in Koper to show their sup performances on the waters of the Bay of Koper. The ASC organizing team has set interesting racing courses for the 12 km long distance race (4 laps of 3,0 km) and the 2,5km lap for technical race.

Among the participants we find well-known faces of top European sup competitors according to world rankings, winners of European sup competitions and finalists of the last ICF World Championship in Poland, Normen Weber from Germany and Hermann Huslein, Thailand.

The SUP Alps Trophy series events connects well-known tourist destinations in Austria, Germany and now also in Slovenia. This year, Adria Sup Challenge (ASC) event was accepted into the SUP Alps Trophy family as a new member. This SUP event is the only SUP Alps Trophy competition on the “sunny side of the Alps,” and the only one on the waters of Adriatic Sea. During two competition days, more than 110 sup paddlers competed in seven races on the waters of the Bay of Koper. Racing courses took place in front of the city beach filled with crowds of spectators and fans. The best elite paddlers tested their SUP skills in the longdistance race 12km, the recreational paddlers in the 3km fun race, and the kids (U12) on the 1km track.

In the men’s 12km distance race the strong international competition dictated a very sharp paddling pace from the first stroke and thus, with high temperatures and high humidity, have created difficult competition conditions for the competitors. Multiple winner of SUP competitions on Europe sup races, Normen Weber (Germany) and Hermann Huslein (Thailand), immediately took the lead and seized control of the race in their hands, who could only be followed by Vasilis Samniotis (Greece) in third place. After a fierce fight in the last turn and a long sprint to the finish, Normen Weber crossed the finish line first, ahead of Huslein and Samniotis.

In the women’s categories on 12 km long distance cours, the 16 years old Csillag Kocsis (Hungary), showed extraordinary performance, SUP skills and paddling technique and she was undoubtedly in a class of her own. An incredible performance was also shown by Naja Pinterič (Slovenia), otherwise the European junior champion in kayak, who competed for the first time at such international sup competition and for the first time in the elite category. She beat in a close finish sprint the multiple Slovenian national champion Maja Dolžan, who took the third place.

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Kids Race also found a place in the ASC event. The youngest (U12) showed all their sup knowledge and skills and they easily completed the 1000m course. There is no better view than a racing course full of youthful energy, intransigence and an enviable level of sup paddling.

Also competition in the “fun category”, where a large number of recreational paddlers tested their strength on a 3km course was set up. They showed their paddling skills and combativeness and proved that even with inflatable paddleboards is possible to be fast, very fast. After crossing the finish line and returning to shore, obvious fatigue was visible among the competitors but also big smiles on their faces. They got a huge round of applause from the spectators and other ASC competitors on the shore – all became winners of the ASC fun race.

On the second day of the ASC competition, the organizers prepared a 2.5 km lap for the technical race.

In the beginning of the racing day the men racers competed in two qualification heats on the 5km technical race course (2 laps) and after the women’s final race in the final short course race of 2.5 km (1 lap) sprint technical paddling battle. The first 5 according to places from the each qualifying group went directly to the finals + 6 paddlers by time. The ladies competed only in one race – the 5km final race, as only 15 women took part in the technical race.

Within the ASC technical race, Slovenian paddlers also competed for the titles of Slovenian national champions.

In the qualifications and in the final short sprint men’s “technical race”, sharp sports fight for positions immediately took place on the competition field of the Bay of Koper. The absolute fastest in the final, after a stunning paddling performance, was once again Normen Weber (Germany), who overtook Vasilis Samniotis from Greece and Hermann Husslein (Thailand) in a sharp extended finish sprint.

Among the girls, young Csillag Kocsis (Hungary) once again demonstrated her superiority. She crossed the finish line first with a 4:25 minute advantage. Naja Pinterič Slovenian kayaking champion and the hope of the Slovenian women’s stand up paddling, took second place again. The bronze medal was won by Penny Tsaoutou (Greece) after a sharp fight with Maja Dolžan (Slovenia).

The technical race also gave us new national champions of Slovenia.

Patrik Šime Olič (Keka, Portorož) was the fastest in the men’s category, and became the new Slovenian national champion on “home waters” of the Bay of Koper. This time, he was stronger than Luka Kožar (Supklub, Ljubljana) and Tomaž Jensterle (Supklub, Ljubljana).

Naja Pintarič (ŠD Pemupi, Brežice) is by achieving 2nd place overall in the Sup Alps Trophy technical race, also became the new national champion of Slovenia in the technical discipline. Maja Dolžan (Supklub, Ljubljana) took the second place, while Natalija Fon Boštjančič (Supklub, Ljubljana) won the bronze medal.

The Adria SUP Challenge event took place at the extraordinary location of the Water Sports Center in Žusterna and on waters of Bay of Koper.  Event location Water Sports Center in Žusterna is connected to  historic city center of Koper by the coastal promenade, a walking path among the Mediterranean greenery and a beautiful city beach, where hundreds of swimmers and spectators gathered to watch the ASC sup races. The water sports center is equipped with all the infrastructure for water activities, which enabled the ASC organizers to hold a really nice sports event. Despite worse weather forecasts and the threat of a stronger wind, the weather was “quite kind” to the organizers and paddlers, so that despite the high temperature and humidity, the sup competitors had ideal competition conditions.

In the evening, the competitors enjoyed in hospitality of the ASC organizetional team and later explored the Mediterranean vibe of the city of Koper. The Port of Koper gives the city of Koper a touristic pulse, where Cruise ships often stop on their journey around the Mediterranean. There is also a sports marina, many pleasant bars and restaurants and historical sights of Istrian architecture.

The 1st edition of Adria Sup Challenge event proved to be a superbly organized and competitively successful sports event, which places Slovenia and City of Koper on the international SUP map. Thus, the city of Koper, as a tourist and sports destination, is more and more decisively positioned alongside internationally recognized tourist destinations.

The gathered SUP Alps Trophy family and the guests of the ASC event, gave the organizers ASC TEAM a long round of applause for all their diligence, professionalism, efforts and hospitality, and they made a promise the organizers that they would definitely return to Koper for the 2nd edition of ASC sup event next year.

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ICF announces date for Stand Up Paddling World Championships

The 2023 International Canoe Federation Stand Up Paddling World Championships will be held in Pattaya, Thailand, from November 15-19.

The ICF confirmed the Thai beach destination will host the season-ending event over five days of festivities both on and off the water. The ICF will soon announce details of a series of events especially designed for recreational and amateur paddlers, which will run alongside the elite competitions for the world’s best athletes.

The ICF is set to confirm an exciting year of SUP events, with up to six events leading into the world championships and a world cup in Sarasota, Florida, the venue for the 2024 and 2026 ICF world titles.

Several of the events will offer qualification pathways for the ICF World Championships, although competitors will also be able to qualify in Pattaya. The ICF will also once again team up with the popular North American Carolina Cup event.

“We are thrilled this year to provide even more opportunities for the planet’s best stand up paddleboarders to compete in world-class events,” ICF SUP committee chair, Noemi Horvath, said.

“We are taking the sport to exciting venues on three continents, which will provide great opportunities for paddlers from all corners of the globe. And our world championships this year will be a real festival of SUP, providing events for paddlers of all levels, and a feist of activities both on and off the water.

As always our focus will be on growing the sport. Our development programs have been very successful and will once again be an important part of this year’s calendar. And we will continue to look at ways to make SUP more accessible for athletes around the world.”

The full ICF SUP calendar is set to be released later this month, and will include nomination details and any assistance the ICF will be able to offer participants.

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boot Preview F2 at the Beachworld

Also this year F2 will be present at boot 2023. The German-based company is internationally active and presents its novelties there. At the booth you can find a wide range of SUP boards, kite, wing, sails, windsurf boards and accessories. This time the focus is on the newly optimized e-fin. In addition, a test at the pool with the current E-SRFR will take place on site.

Booth F2 Fun&Function GmbH, Hall 17, 17C05, 17C11 & 17D61

The F2 E-Fin

What the pedelec does for the e-bike, the F2 does for its new e-fin. The special thing about it is that it recognizes when you start paddling. Every paddle stroke into the water is supported with a decent power boost. Of course, the F2 E-fin also has a manual mode in which the power can be regulated continuously in continuous operation. The regulator unit is designed in such a way that it can be optimally attached to the paddle while surfing and cruising or simply held in the hand. The F2 E-fin comes with a US box and slotbox adapter and can therefore be easily mounted on all types of equipment. Not only SUPs, but also surfboards, kayaks and small inflatable boats can be equipped with it, offering a faster and more power-saving ride. The F2 E-fin has an all-in design, which means no external battery or even cables, just fin and radio controller.

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E-SRFS:

We love surfing! Of course we don’t want to say goodbye to the classic surf style but our brand new F2 E-Surfer is just too tempting for us not to chase it through the North Sea. Equipped with a whopping 4.5 kW and a runtime of up to 60 minutes, our motor comes from German craftsmanship and was made with a lot of care and love for the sport.
Air into the board – start the engine – let’s go!


New Collection in our Ladyline

F2 „Tropical“

The new F2 Tropical expands from 2023, next to the “Happiness” Line our Ladylines. The F2 Tropical SUP forms the basis as a solid all-round SUP with optimal
optimal performance for the ambitious beginner to the experienced SUP rider.
The Tropical Line offers here the possibility to complete his outfit with the matching accessories such as paddle or wetsuit from the Tropical Line.

Board: 10,0‘
Length: 305 cm
Width: 80 cm
Thickness: 15 cm
Finns: 2 fix Softfinns
1 entfernbare US-Box Center Finne

Board: 10,5‘
Length: 320 cm
Width: 80 cm
Thickness: 15 cm
Finns: 2 fix Softfinns
1 removable US-Box Center Finne


Fresh Wind with the Strato + Roundsail Packet

The latest addition to our sails is the “Roundsail”, which can be perfectly combined with SUPs like the Strato. It is optimal to use the wind for you while sailing.

SUP Riding with our Glide SUP & Allround Wing Combi

The F2 GLIDE ALLROUND WING offers completely new experiences and yet is an easy entry into already familiar (SUP) terrain. Lightweight, equipped with vision windows, intuitive to use and thanks to the three sizes it can be used for any weight and skill level. In addition, it can also be used in minimal wind, which makes the new F2 GLIDE ALLROUND the perfect family companion and should not be missing in any SUP equipment. Both optically and technically, our new GLIDE SUP fits perfectly with our new WINGS. In addition, the GLIDE SUP and all other models of this series are equipped with a windsurfing option, so that both “old windsurfers” and youngsters get their money’s worth and the Stand Up Paddle repertoire can be expanded.

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SUP Alps Trophy Insider Story

Its been a while we heard a story of some paddlers taking the wrong turn. In this case our paddler(s) managed to paddle 200m in the wrong direction and still end up on podium.

Thank you Gerd Weisener for this Insider Story:

Gerd-Weisner-SUP-Racer
Gerd is passionate SUP Racer, founder of the brand light corp and head of the SUP Alps Trophy. (This man is busy.) Foto ©ICF

SUPRACE LOVERS – INSIGHTS OF THE LONGDISTANCE PRO –  2. TOURSTOP SUP ALPS TROPHY – LEGEND OF OX

The first SUP Alps Trophy tour stop, THE LAKE ROCKS at the beautiful location in Kärnten, Faaker See, has been a great success and many new faces from Slovenia, Hungary as well as some friends from Italy competed against the Austrian and German SUP racers.

The 2nd tour stop was hosted at lake Wolfgang in the beautiful town St. Gilgen and is as well a real SUP FESTIVAL – LEGEND OF OX – an iconic event. Besides many elite paddlers from Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia we have been happy to see a huge participation from Czech Republic and Poland including some of their top youngsters and legends as well as international elite paddlers like Andrey Kraytor starting for Bulgaria, paddling against Ole Schwarz and Normen Weber.

Allow me tell you some insights of what happen from my perspective in the men’s pro longdistance race:

The SUP Alps Trophy Top Ten 2022 will be a hard catch. The number of participants and quality of paddlers is getting better and better each year. This race series will be the breeding ground for future top athletes in our territory as well as the largest gathering of SUP racing enthusiasts.

At the start line we saw former Olympians in canoe sports, hungry youngsters, national champions and proven masters that have won medals in the last ICF World Championships.

The race course has been like a large tech race with many buoys. Each round was around 3,4 km in a total of 3 rounds. Start line to the first buoy has been 550m and as expected the top paddlers  as Ole Schwarz, Normen Weber and Andrej Kraytor have been at the forefront with a new face that did impress quite a lot, Manuel Lauble.

Austrian champ Christian Taucher followed with Bransislav Sramek and Hermann Husslein not far behind. In the next pack there have been many paddlers including me and it has been a big mix of new and old faces. After the 4th buoy, rock´n roll started and the 2 leading paddlers Andrey and Ole took the wrong direction forgetting about one buoy and had to take 200m extra not to get disqualified. Normen Weber and Manuel Lauble did not make that mistake.

In the field behind it has been a new and occasionally happy circumstance to find a lucky draft from Ole and Andrey to split with their usual competitors. 

My favorite new paddler in this longdistance was Manuel Lauble. He was improving most this year as did my friend and dark horse Hermann Husslein who had a fall in front of me at the first buoy and did paddle hard to finish with a strong 6th place. The podium has been earned by a clever Normen Weber, a heavily improved Manuel and a superfast Ole in 3rd.

Funny story behind Oles’ wrong turn: At night we have had dinner with Ole, Normen, Hermann and Olaf Schwarz (father) and I asked: “Ole, why didn´t you hear your father scream when you turned the wrong direction?“ Simple answer, he was paddling with earbuds, paddling with the beat. No complain it works, he is fast but 3rd.

Cheers

Gerd

P.S Excited to hear your impressions about your race – doesn´t matter fighting for top ten or top 30… and what happened in the elite women’s field ?

SUP Alps Trophy LEGEND OF OX Longdistance

SUP Alps Trophy Ranking 2022 after the 2nd Tourstop

Next Tourstop SUPALOT 18.-19.06.2022

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Armie Armstrong: SUP Athlete turned foil entrepreneur

(From the print issue #20 summer 2021)

I’m not even sure where to start with Armie Armstrong. We’ve known each other for a relatively long time. Armie came to Maui often during the summer months when SUP was just about the hottest new trend. We first met when we were paddling the Maui2Molokai SUP race. We were on our way back from Molokai to Maui after my first M2M race eight years ago. I even had Armie on the cover that year. That was the 6th issue in the fall of 2014, that memorable SUP race where cover was shot would give us enough content for a story on its own. This was a time long before wings and foils. It was a time when the world revolved around downwind racing in Hawaii and big events like the Battle of the Paddle.

Armie and I met time and time again at different events. It was typical Armie when he wanted to compete with his foilboard at Molokai2Oahu in 2017. However, he was banned from doing so. The race officials were skeptical. I only know few people who bring more enthusiasm to something than Armie. The year after, however, the organizers could no longer ignore the trend and SUP foiling was allowed at M2O. Armie was there, of course, but didn’t finish very well. But that didn’t matter, because at that time it was mainly about the pioneering performance.

Armie was back on Maui in summer so we spent a day together. That’s when the idea was born to do an interview and introduce Armie a bit closer. For those who do not know his story we have an interview where we get to meet Armie and learn more about his amazing product.

Armie is always ready for action. Left: wing skate on Maui. Right: SUP Brand in 2015, too late for SUP and too early for foil.

Aloha, Armie! Really great to see you again. It’s been a while since we last saw each other. I think it was at the 2019 Gorge Paddle Challenge when you were exhibiting your foils. One memory however that has stuck with me in particular, though, is when you tried to cross the Ka’iwi Channel with a foil back at M2O 2017, but race officials prohibited it. As I recall, that was a prototype that looked like it was made in a garage. A lot has happened since then. Tell us the story.

Yes, that was one of my first foils. It was a “high aspect” foil and I wasn’t really good enough to control it. Nowadays this foil would probably win races, but back then it was too fast and too maneuverable for my skills.

How did you end up with a foil like that and after all your brand?

Answer on next page.

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Aloha Spirit Festival APP World Tour Qualification

Aloha Spirit Festival Kicks off the APP World Tour Qualification Series as Four Athletes join the 2022 Athlete Roster

lhabela, Brazil, Tuesday 15th March: Last weekend marked the first qualification event for the 2022 APP World Tour which awarded the top two men and women at the Aloha Spirit Festival a sought-after spot on the World Racing Tour.
Who would get these four coveted spots would be decided over two races: a 10km distance race and a short-form technical race on the beach, determining who has what it takes to compete against the best in the world on Tour.
After a weekend of highly competitive racing after two years of a dormant SUP scene in Brazil due to Covid-19, experienced APP athlete, David Leão, was first to secure the men’s spot with a 1st place across both disciplines. Joining him on the podium and eventually on Tour, was 3 X Brazilian Champion, Arthur Santacreu, who put on an excellent performance over the weekend.
On the women’s side, Pan-American SUP champion, Lena Guimarães, occupied the top spot across both events securing her a deserved spot on Tour. Roseli Novloski stood alongside her, who placed second in both the distance and technical races.
David, Arthur, Lena and Roseli all occupied the top two spots on the podium across both disciplines, making them irrefutably worthy of the spots on the Tour, whilst reinforcing that there is some incredible talent coming out of Brazil. 
The APP World Tour are incredibly excited to both welcome back David Leão and initiate the newcomers on tour and where better to do it than the first event of the year in Santa Monica, California where the campaign for the 2022 World Title will begin.

Vendée Gliss is Announced as the Official European Qualifier for the 2022 APP World Tour, taking place from the 14th – 15th May

Following on from the success of the first APP Regional Qualifier in South America, Europe will be the next step in the qualification process for aspiring APP Athletes, with the well respected and celebrated Vendée Gliss event being established as the Official European Qualifier for the 2022 APP World Tour Season.

Taking place from the 14th-15th May in St Jean de Monts in the beautiful ‘Vendée’ region of France, the Vendée Gliss has long been one of the go to races in Europe given the calibre of the conditions, athletes attending and local organization. This year will be no different, and as such will once again provide the perfect proving grounds for European qualification for the Tour.

As was the case in Brazil, the Top 2 Men and Top 2 Women overall across downwind / distance and technical races, and, that are not already qualified for the Tour, will earn their places for the 2022 Season to battle it out with the best of the best on the APP World Tour.

We look forward to the energy generated at the South American Qualifier transferring over to Europe as we continue to build up to the dramatic return of the APP World Tour this summer for what will be an incredible season of action ahead.

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ICF to partner with the Carolina Cup

This is an interesting piece of news we just discovered in the feed this morning: The ICF is partnering with the Carolina Cup… I instantly had some thought going trough my mind. Didn’t the Carolina Cup partner up with the APP just a few month ago? Wasn’t the C.C. traditionally a qualifier for the APP? (Could not find anything on the APP website right now about this.)

Partnering up with races is a common business model for organizations to sanction races. The EURO TOUR for example runs entirely on this model and the APP has partnered with numerous organizers in the past and present. We see this in Germany where local races are under the umbrella of the National Canoe Federation, or in Switzerland where the Surfing Association has partnered up with the Canoe Federation creating SUP Suisse. The only organization that has not done that, and they are kicking themselves probably for not doing this is the ISA.

Now the ICF is stepping in starting to sanction races across Europe namely the ICE Race in Switzerland and now the big coup is the Carolina Cup coming in April, as well as an event in Salzburg and Budapest.

I was going to write a whole lot more but then had to decide to rather speak it into a camera:


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This is the PR that just crossed the wire:

The International Canoe Federation is excited to announce it has teamed up with one of the biggest stand up paddle events on the planet as part of an incredibly busy 2022 SUP season.

The Carolina Cup on USA’s east coast attracts hundreds of paddlers every year, and this year will also double as an ICF ranking race for both technical and long distance courses as part of the ICF world series.

Under the memorandum of understanding, athletes competing in the Carolina Cup will have a chance to pre-qualify for the main draw of this year’s ICF world championships in Gdynia, Poland, avoiding the pre-event preliminary qualifications.

Carolina Cup race director Mark Schmidt said teaming up with the ICF was the perfect fit.

With the International Canoe Federation’s long established base in paddle sports, we look forward to being the first stop on the ICF point series that qualifies for their championships,” Schmidt said.

The Carolina Cup from April 30 – May 1 will kick off the ICF’s 2022 world ranking series. Athletes will then head to Thun, Switzerland, for the opening ICF world cup, followed by events in Prague, Salzburg and Budapest.

ICF SUP co-ordinator, Hoichan Kwon, said he was proud to have the Carolina Cup as part of the ICF SUP calendar.

We have an exciting event calendar lined up for this season, and now the Carolina Cup will take it to another level,” Kwon said.

Since 2015 the Carolina Cup has rightly been considered as one of the world’s premiere SUP events. It will attract many of the world’s best paddlers, so we re thrilled to be giving these athletes an opportunity to book their tickets to our world championships.”

The SUP world cup planned for Moscow has been cancelled, but Kwon is confident a replacement location will be announced soon.

Board rental and transport services will be available at all European events.

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ICF World Cup and World Championships

Great SUP Race in Balaton Füred

The International Canoe Federation has reinforced its reputation as the major event organiser for stand up paddling with confirmation it will host three World Cup races in addition to its world championships in 2022.

The ICF provided the only world-class competition for SUP athletes in 2020 and 2021, including the record-breaking world championships in Balatonfured, Hungary, earlier this year. Athletes voted with their feet and are already preparing for next year’s ICF world titles in Gdynia, Poland.

The world cups will be held in Thun, Switzerland, in early May, in Budapest, Hungary, in mid-June, and at a soon-to-be-announced third destination in August. The second world cup in Hungary will be organised by the same team who hosted this year’s successful world titles.

The overall winners of each world cup will gain automatic qualification for the September world championships, including full travel, accommodation and entry fees.

The ICF has also announced that due to the anticipated high number of entries for the world titles in Poland, a series of world ranking events will help ease the qualification path.

The ICF is in discussion with potential hosts in Spain, Czech Republic, Austria, Greece, Ukraine and Turkey. Athletes will earn world ranking points at these events, which will help determine the start list at the world championships.

The world championships will remain open to all competitors, but world ranking points will allow top athletes to progress straight to the main draw.

Newly elected ICF President, Thomas Konietzko, said the ICF will continue to work to provide opportunities for the world’s best SUP athletes to compete.

“Already we have shown our commitment to the continued growth of stand up paddling, and these announcements today further builds on our strong relationship with the SUP community,” Konietzko said.

“As the only organiser of world-class competition in the past two years we have further cemented our partnership with SUP athletes, and it is important we continue to provide competition opportunities.

“Our role is much more than just the organiser of a once-a-year world championships. This sport is practiced around the globe for 12 months of the year, and by providing more world-class events we are opening the door for more opportunities for athletes to compete at the highest level.”

The ICF will offer board transport and rental services to all the events to make logistics easier for athletes, allowing access to top-of-the-line hard racing boards.

The International Canoe Federation is also excited to announce it will officially sanction the 2022 SUP 11 City Tour, one of the most gruelling but most popular annual stand up paddle races.

“We are thrilled the organisers of the 11 City Tour have decided to partner with us next year, and are confident this will be the start of a long and fruitful relationship,” ICF SUP co-ordinator, Hoichan Kwon, said.

“In the longer term we are looking at the possibility of hosting a SUP ultra-marathon world championships, and the 11 City Tour is a fantastic platform for a race like this.”

Full details of the ICF SUP world cup races and world ranking events will be revealed soon.

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New Starboard SUP Suits

Six new Starboard SUP Suits with high wearing comfort

The water sport stand-up paddling is also gaining in importance as an all-season sport with the right clothing. With functional techwear from Starboard, breathable, elastic and absolutely waterproof thanks to 3-layer material made in Croatia, all paddlers can now also use the golden autumn days for tours on the water and significantly extend the season. The comfort of the specially designed Starboard SUP Suits is noticeably higher than neoprene. The fit and extra features support the paddling movement. Depending on the air temperature, additional warming layers can be worn under the dry suit, comparable to ski touring clothing. Latex cuffs, taped seams and high quality zippers close 100% tight.

Due to the great success of the SUP Suits Allstar developed by Starboard Germany, three additional models are now being launched. The addition of the Blend, Sprint and HD series suits brings the Starboard portfolio to six models, covering the full range from suits for the occasional recreational paddler to suits for professional paddlers who train year-round for races and long tours. Product videos in German illustrate each feature. The new website also features helpful info such as sizing charts and a directory of retailers: www.starboard-techwear.com/

Starboard Sprint

The top model with hood and face mask for extremely cold days or bad weather.

Ultra Flex Clima Core outer fabric: Breathable, stretch, waterproof with a 20,000 mm water column.
Comfortable and waterproof collar construction.
Waterproof pocket on the thigh.
Two inside pockets (one waterproof and one open for DeepL access).
Created in 3 colors, in three color options for women.

Starboard Allstar

The bestseller of recent years, now with revised collar construction, even more waterproof.
Ultra Flex Clima Core outer fabric: breathable, stretch, waterproof with a 20,000 mm water column.
Body-hugging cut, stretch panel on the back for paddling movement.
NEW: waterproof inner pocket and an additional open pocket with DeepL access. Created in 2 colors, available in three color options for men and women, in 10 fits each.

Starboard Blend

NEU: Das Einstiegsmodell in die Starboard Techwear.

Produced in the same high quality material as Sprint and Allstar: Ultra Flex Clima Core outer material. Breathable, stretch, waterproof with a 20,000 mm water column.
One-piece back panel, allowing the chest, waist and hip area to be cut approximately one size larger.
Robust neoprene cuffs on the arm, making it suitable for SUP stations. Latex cuffs on the feet, thereby downward 100% waterproof.
Waterproof inner pocket and additional open pocket with DeepL access. Single color laid out, two color options available for men and women in 10 fits each.

Starboard HD Pro

HD stands for heavy duty, so a high functionality even with heavy use. With Cordura reinforcement on the seat and knee area for demanding use such as in white water or also for canoe paddlers and other water sports enthusiasts. Here instead of membrane a waterproof film.
Ultra Flex Clima Core outer material: breathable, stretch, waterproof with a 20,000 mm water column.
The new Starboard HD Pro is equipped with a latex cuff on the legs, arms and neck, guaranteeing 100% waterproofness. Waterproof inner pocket. Five uni fits.

Starboard HD Allstar


The best of both worlds: As tough as the HD Pro with Cordura reinforcements on the seat and knees. As comfortable as the Allstar at the neck with its intricate neoprene collar construction and waterproof front zipper.
Ultra Flex Clima Core outer fabric: breathable, stretch, waterproof with a 20,000 mm water column.
Waterproof inner pocket and additional open pocket with DeepL access. Five uni fits.

Starboard HD Element

Double layer concept with stylish jacket. The waterproofness allows – depending on the temperature – to work with base and mid layer (onion principle).
Ultra Flex Clima Core outer material: breathable, stretch, waterproof with a 20,000 mm water column.
Fitted with a latex cuff on the legs, arms and neck, guaranteeing 100% waterproofness.
With Cordura reinforcement on the seat and knees for demanding use.
Also suitable for other water sports like kiting and windsurfing.
Waterproof pocket on the thigh.
Five plain fits in one color combination.

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Virtual World Stand Up Paddling Challenge

We had brought up the topic of Virtual SUP Races again and again. It started with the idea of the M2O organizers last year. The M2O became a huge success as a virtual race and after that other SUP races followed suit with a virtual version.

The idea of a permanent, worldwide virtual SUP race series began to take root in some people’s minds. Even the APP Tour did a virtual “Speed Challenge” via Instagram and crowned the SUP Surf World Champion via Instagram videos. So why not expand it a bit and give the SUP world a platform where you can compete against each other in a serious way.

Just such an idea has now been presented to us by Austrian SUP pioneer Mario Lach:

ARE YOU READY FOR THE VIRTUAL WORLD STAND UP PADDLING CHALLENGE 2021 ?

Grab a SUP board and take part in one of the Virtual World Stand Up Paddling Challenges – No matter WHEN & WHERE – Paddle on the given distances to compete virtually against your SUP friends or improve your personal best time, training times. Directly after paddling your result will be visible in the viRACE app with ranking.

ABOUT VIRACE

viRACE is an app that for the first time allows paddlers to participate in a “virtual” event. It can be used as a compensation offer after cancellation of an event, as a training tool or simply for fun by all paddlers – live updates regarding the intermediate results of the other participants and the marked favorites are given directly to the ears via the headphones. There are also route-specific announcements for additional motivation during the challenge.

Timing, registration and tracking is handled directly via the app. In addition, there is the possibility of a GPX upload via the website https://virace.app

How does it work?

To participate in the SUP Challenge:

1. Get your self a Raceticket
2. Download the viRACE App for Android & iOS on your smartphone
3. Log in to the viRace app with your account – you create your login when you buy your race ticket
4. Pick your challenge and let’s start the race!

TIP: Take your smartphone & headphones with you on the water for your live updates – so you are always acoustically informed about your split times, as well as rankings of your friends – in addition, there are even more features!

Included in your sign up fee:

  • Access to the viRACE app with ranking & time measurement
  • Start number (printable)
  • Certificate (printable)

SAFETY & FAIRNESS
We are for safety & fairness in sports – every participant has to make sure that his health and physical constitution meets the requirements to participate in the respective virtual competitions. Virtual competitions are held according to the respective federations in the countries or the ISA & APP rules!)

More info| Mario Lach | info@supcenter-wien.at | Tel. +43 699 183 292 33

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A decade with Connor Baxter

No one has dominated the SUP sport like Connor Baxter. He was a teenager at the very beginning of the sport, back when SUP was practically all downwind racing and surfing. Connor was born into the Maui windsurfing scene just like Zane Schweitzer and Kai Lenny. The three of them practically grew up together hand in hand. Just like Annabel Anderson, Connor was declared SUP athlete of the decade by SUPracer. How has Connor experienced the last ten years? What memories have remained and what lessons has he learned? I asked Connor if he would like to write something for the Stand Up Magazin and since we all have to stay more or less at home, he spontaneously said “yes” and wrote down how he experienced the last decade of SUP.

Connors memories

Maui2Molokai 2013 (Photo: Karen Baxter)

The past ten years have been a whirlwind! If someone had told me at the age of fourteen that in ten years I would win multiple world titles, travel the world, meet so many amazing people, marry the love of my life and become a father – I would have laughed! I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime in such a short period of time…all because I fell in love with the ocean when I was young.

Growing up on Maui was one of the biggest reasons I ended up competing at the level I’m at today. Maui’s ocean conditions are constantly changing and because of this an incredible group of athletes live here. I was fortunate enough to have guys like Laird Hamliton, Dave Kalama, Robby Naish, and others as role models to look up to. I’m also extremely fortunate to have very talented friends and competitors like Zane Schweizter and Kai Lenny. We were always pushing each other and trying to one up each other everyday, which has made us into the athletes we are today. Zane is honestly the most humble, positive, and craziest kid I know! Our parents competed at the same events back in the day for windsurfing, and when we met, we instantly became best friends! We even share the same birthday, making us practically brothers! When we were just eleven and twelve years old, Zane and I were traveling the world for windsurfing, mainly to Japan, Europe and all across the USA. We had so many good times winning events, surfing river waves in the middle of cities, paddling alongside icebergs in Patagonia, and surfing man-made waves in the desert in Abu Dhabi. Along with the good times of course came some not so great times. Once we actually got stuck in Puerto Rico’s airport because of a storm. We were unaccompanied minors and Zane and I tried to break out of the room where we were being held. A few days later the storm finally passed and Zane and I were able to fly to Bonaire to compete in the windsurfing event. To this day Zane and I continue to travel, compete, and train together. It’s been a life long friendship that I am extremely grateful for.

When I first started paddling, I was mainly just going downwind chasing guys like Dave Kalama, Mark Raaphorst, Ekolu Kalama, and Livio Menelau. I was that kid chasing the older guys every day and learning from the best.

Watching and chasing them got me where I am today. My real addiction to paddling started when I was fourteen and got a taste of a victory at the Maui-to-Molokai event back in 2009. Winning this race showed me what I was truly capable of and gave me a new hunger to start taking on this new water sport. From there it was all a blur…event after event, trip after trip, and of course lots of losses and victories along the way.

left to right: Dave Kalama – Livio Menelau – Mark Raaphorst – Ekolu Kalama – Connor Baxter (Photo: Karen Baxter)

After that iconic shot of me on the podium with Ekulo and Dave beside me, things really started to take off! Events started to pop up around the world, and that’s when life on the road and competing almost every weekend began. The first big event I traveled for outside of Hawaii, was the infamous BOP in Southern California in 2009. This was a huge turning point for our sport and started a new style of racing which is actually my favorite – surf racing! That second annual BOP at Dana Point was the most exciting and entertaining event I’ve ever been to. The surf was pumping and we had a six mile course in and out of the surf with a beach run to finish off each lap. The beaches were packed with spectators and competitors, and every major SUP brand had a tent. That year I got absolutely smoked and ended up finishing 19th, but that only added fuel to my fire. Later that year in July, I crossed the Kiwi Channel for the first time and set a new record as the youngest stand up paddler to cross the channel. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, but with the support of my family I was able to do it in six hours and fifty-six minutes and finished in 89th place. That year was a year of learning and defeat. It was also the year of the birth of a future champion. After being in the atmosphere of competing on such big stages with hundreds of paddlers from around the world, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

At the first 11 City Tour ever, Zane and I went to see what it was all about, as well as to test our physical/mental strength. To be honest, all I remember from that event were the hot meals after paddling five hours every day, the free massages, and that crazy Dutch guy (Bart De Zwart). I went into that event thinking I was going to win it and quickly learned I had a lot more work to do. Going home after that event, I started to paddle with Bart more on flatter days at Kahului Harbor, instead of just going on downwinders. Bart had me meet him every morning at the harbor to do laps in the flat water. I remember getting dropped off by my mom, training for an hour or more, and then jumping on the Maui bus to go home and do some online homework. Paddling with Bart De Zwart was one of the biggest turning points in my career and a huge factor in some of my successes early on. Also just to make it clean once and for all…I learned the infamous “choke stroke” from Bart! On some of those crazy windy Maui mornings, I saw Bart choking down on his paddle to lower his wind resistance. Back then the recommended paddle height was a double shaka over your head. I was using longer paddles when I was fourteen then I am today at twenty-five. The choke stroke always felt natural to me and has won me some of my biggest victories.

SUP Showdown 2014 (Photo: Mike Jucker) left to right: Danny Ching, Kai Lenny, Connor Baxter, local beauty

Two years later, I won my first Molokai-to-Oahu. Then shortly after that I won the Battle of the Paddle in the famous battle with Jamie Mitchell and Danny Ching. The competition got harder and more serious, so I kept on adapting, training, traveling, competing. The birth of the racing side of the Stand Up World Series started in 2012 in Fiji. This was a crazy event with a small group of elite athletes and where the rivalry really started heating up between Kai and I. Kai would win an event and then I would win an event. This back and forth went on for the next five years. The Stand Up World Series was the place to be, with some of the bigger prize purses and all of the top paddlers. From my first event, till today I have supported the tour through the ups and downs. These past few years after the switch to APP things have really been going in the right direction and its been incredible to compete in events in huge cities around the world like New York, London, Osaka and Paris – all putting SUP on a bigger stage.

Of course along the way, as with any new sport there has been the Paddletics (paddling politics). Two federations have decided they should own the sport and should be the governing body. At the end of the day both federations have their points and I understand both sides, but the athletes are the ones suffering from this nonsense. At the end of the day, the ISA has been there from the beginning and organizing some of the most amazing events.

They also put SUP on the biggest platform the sport has ever seen, the Pan American Games. The racing styles ISA uses are exciting, up to date and challenging. The ICF on the other hand is newer to sport of SUP. They have only had a few World Championship events that showcased their traditional style of racing; sprints, marathon, and they even added in a technical race. That event was ran very well, and they treated the athletes at the top level.

Left Connor wins the Olukai on Maui several times his finish line crossing becomes legendary. (2016 Photo: Karin Jucker)

With the competition only rising at all events, athletes are beginning to focus more on one discipline. Things have definitely heated up over the past twelve years and the pressure to preform has only gotten more intense for me. Personally, I’ve felt this pressure at every event I compete in, from the two hundred-meter sprints to fifty-four kilometer distance races, just because I’ve won these different types of races in the past. This has definitely caught up to me in the past two years, making the motivation and the drive to win feel overwhelming at times. It wasn’t until I was back on the start line of a surf race or even a downwinder that the drive to win was back. Events where you have to just “grind it out” have never been fun for me, so I lost all motivation. I kept asking myself “why am I doing this?” at the start line. Whereas at events like the Pan American Games, ICF Worlds two-hundred-meter sprint and the APP technical sprints in Paris, I was jumping up and down because I couldn’t wait to race. Shifting focus and choosing the events I truly want to compete in has brought out a new excitement that I haven’t had since the early days of racing. This was my plan for 2020 season, but unfortunately everything has changed with the current state of the world. With the coronavirus and becoming a father, this year has been one the craziest but also most fulfilling times ever. Winning a race is cool but watching your son grow up, laugh and smile is like no other feeling in the world. This time home has really reminded me of what’s important and what I still want to achieve.

Lost Mills 2015: Is Rami Zur getting a beer shower? (Photo: Mike Jucker)

Looking forward to next year, I want to focus on the APP tour and also grow the sport back here at home in Hawaii with a downwind series. On top of that…it would be amazing to see this court case between the ICF and the ISA resolved! Stand Up Paddling is one of the few sports that brings the fresh water and salt water together and I know we have something so different and exciting that it belongs in the Olympics. Most importantly, I want to be the best father I can be for my son Trestle and take him along to all my events just like my dad did with me as a child.