World SUP Festival 2024 CANCELLED

With great surprise and sadness we have to relay the message from the organizers of the popular World SUP Festival in Spain: The World SUP Festival has been cancelled for 2024.

This event became by far the most important and biggest SUP Festival world wide. The sobering reality however is, that our industry does not stand on a solid financial foundation, as economic reasons were the decision making factor. Running SUP events profitable is a very difficult task as we have seen so many races come and go. The list goes from the Battle of the Paddle, to the PPGs, the Lost Mills, the Payette River Games and many more. All these events were not able to attract the viewership, that would have made it attractive for sponsors and advertisers to spend enough money to keep the event alive.

One of the main reasons is that the sport in it self is not mainstream enough yet and the fan base is mostly friends and family of the athletes. Times and and times again we see that the Inflatable-SUP-Weekend-Hobby-Paddler does not care about the active SUP Sport and these people are still the majority of the market.

Also not helpful is, that we are still extremely fragmented. We have multiple organizations claiming world championships and multiple tours and ranking systems. As long as we can’t unify the sport under one single umbrella organization it will remain a hard sell to sponsors that “this” event is the one that has the most significance and therefore deserves a big check.

However, this is a large topic we have been covering for a very long time. For now we say goodbye to a great event and hope by 2025 we have it back.

This is the official news release:

It has been difficult to make this decision. 

The World SUP Festival family does not deserve it. Because all of you who have participated in this event know that you are part of it, you are our great SUP family.
The reasons for not holding the fifth edition of the World SUP Festival in the following year are merely economic, there are 4 editions of an event of great magnitude and cost, where our club has assumed a great risk.
Logically, this scenario inherently brings added stress to the start-up with great uncertainty, but the club has always moved forward with the utmost enthusiasm.
In the latest edition we broke records in every sense, both in terms of participating countries, with 31 countries represented, and in international and national impact.
It has been 4 years of being one of the most relevant events worldwide, in one of the sports that, although young, is the most popular at the nautical level and surely one of the most important in our country, of course for the Valencian Community, Alicante and Santa Pola.
For our part, we hope to work with the administrations; Generalitat Valenciana, Provincial Council of Alicante and at the local level with the local administrations of Alicante and Santa Pola, in order to improve and ensure the financing options for the event, and give it the security it deserves. As well as improving brand collaborations and sponsorships.
With our sights set on 2025.
We can assure you that the enthusiasm to continue being a great event remains intact.
And with respect to our great SUP community, we only hope that you understand our decision, that it hurts us a lot not to be able to offer you the fifth edition of the event next year and that we hope to see you again in the next edition with even more strength and enthusiasm if possible.