For the sport of standup paddling, 2013 was pretty darned epic. We watched as world champions were crowned, rivalries were stoked, heroes fell to injury, paddlers set records, competitors overcame obstacles and the boundaries of our sport were once again expanded. As SUP continues to boom across our watery planet we at SUP magazine keep thinking how lucky we are to get to cover it all. Here’s a look back at the big (and not-so-big) SUP news from 2013.
German Markus Leppaenen completes the first winter descent of the Grand Canyon.
Team Australia, led by Oz-icon Jamie Mitchell, takes their second consecutive ISA World Championship.
After losing the world title race to Leco Salazar in 2012, two-time Standup World Tour (SUWT) champ Kai Lenny wins his third Sunset Pro, setting the tone for his year to come.
Brazilian Nicole Pacelli wins the first SUWT women’s contest and introduces herself to the world.
Dave Boehne and Candice Appleby win the best grassroots surf contest of the year, the Surftech Shootout. Chuck Glynn and Appleby win overall and Slater Trout takes the men’s race.
Connor Baxter starts his World Series title chase hot with a win at the Aragas Magallanes Paddle Challenge.
Marathon-man Shane Perrin gets robbed during the Everglades Challenge and still finishes the race, thanks to community support.
Danny Ching and Annabel Anderson win the Carolina Cup. This marks the second win for Ching after his victory at the Orange Bowl.
The funniest SUP video EVER is released to mixed reviews. Sarcasm, people. Sarcasm.
Zane Schweitzer, with his decidedly new-school approach, wins the Abu Dhabi Pro at a wave pool in the Middle East.
We receive the some of our favorite GoPro SUP footage of the year from New Zealand’s Daniel Kereopa for a “Rides We Love.” Holy barrel!
Bart de Zwart sets the record for the 11-Cities Tour course non-stop. And determine he’s fully committed to self-punishment.
Baxter and Anderson continue dominating on the World Series tour at Oleron, France.
SUP stars in the GoPro Games. The Village at Vail makes for some serious stadium seating.
Aussie darkhorse paddlers Terrene Black and Travis Grant win Molokai 2 Oahu. In his first SUP attempt at the channel, Danny Ching pulls out mid-channel due to injury and defending female champ Talia Gangini can’t compete due to illness.
More World Series wins from Baxter and Anderson in Chicago. Both are looking to run away with Titles.
African downwind exploration mission, the Kuzi Project, is halted by an infected spider bite.
Anderson and Lenny take wins at 2013 SUP Awards, while Laird Hamilton is honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The biggest night in paddling goes off!
Annabel Anderson wins both the Elite and Distance races at the Battle of the Paddle for the second year in a row. Lenny quiets doubters with the biggest race win of his career and the buoy turn heard round the world (check out our Winter issue, on newsstands now, for the exclusive photo sequence).
Dana Hills High School launches a SUP PE class, one of the first of its kind. We wish we were still in high school.
Brandi Baksic and Fernando Stalla win the first BOP Brazil. Stalla has to be dragged, kicking and screaming to the airport in Rio following days of celebrating.
Lenny Pulls a come-from-behind victory in Hawaii to snatch the World Series Championship from Baxter. Anderson surprises no one when she wins her title.
Our Find the Glide presented by SIC winner is sent to discover a new downwind run in Mexico.
Lenny wins his third SUWT title with a win in France and marks his most dominant year to date. Who will challenge him next year?
Ching and Lina Augaitis win Paddle Royal, the last big race of the year.
Did we miss anything? Feel free to sound off, below.