After one of the most exciting years on the Standup World Series, the Finals on the North Shore of Oahu provided the perfect ending to the 2014 season, with pounding surf and inspiring performances throughout. Standup World Series racers battled with every stroke for two days in Sprint and Long Distance races, competing for the last of the points towards the overall World Rankings. In the end, Connor Baxter of Maui and Lina Augaitis of Vancouver were named 2014 Standup World Series Champions. Checkout the 2014 Standup World Series Rankings finalized below.
Photo: Waterman League
Make sure to tune into the NBC Special from the Standup World Series Finals scheduled to air on November 23, 2014 at 12:30pm EST.
For more information, visit: WatermanLeague.com
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The 2014 SUP racing season hasn’t ended yet, as the Third Annual Chattajack 31 returns to Chattanooga, Tenn. this Saturday, October 25. With a couple hundred participants already registered for the 31.5-mile event, the competition will be heavy as competitors race down the Tennessee River on SUP, prone paddle boards, surf skis, kayaks and outrigger canoes.
Chattajack 31 competitors will take off in Chattanooga to the beat of the Howard High School drumline, lining the banks of the Tennessee River. Competitors will be racing downstream past Lookout Mountain and Moccasin Bend before racing through the Tennessee River Gorge. The 31.5-mile race will test competitors’ endurance, with the finish at Hale’s Bar Marina in Nickajack Lake, where guitarist Mike Seal will be performing at the Awards Ceremony.
The Third Annual Chattajack 31 is scheduled for this Saturday, October 25. | Photo courtesy of Chattajack.com
In addition to the race, the weekend will include a pre-race clinic on Friday afternoon with Larry Cain, 1984 Olympic canoe gold medalist. The clinic will cover SUP technique, race preparation and training, as well as how to choose the right equipment for different length races. OnIt Pro will also be providing board tune-ups with their Xtreme Creme and Blue Goo.
Stay tuned to SUPtheMag.com for upcoming coverage of this event, presented by SIC Maui.
For more information, visit: Chattajack.com
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A few weeks back, the 2014 Standup World Series culminated on Oahu’s North Shore with the Finals at Turtle Bay Resort. The weekend of racing was another one for the books, as local Hawaiian paddlers Halie Harrison and Zane Schweitzer took the Sprints, while Maui’s Kai Lenny and Fiona Wylde of Oregon took the Distance Race. The World Series also announced Canadian Lina Augaitis and Maui’s Connor Baxter as 2014 Standup World Series Champions. But, what happens beyond all the racing? Standup World Series competitor Noa Ginella of Oahu gives us the inside look at the Standup World Series Finals and what really goes on off the water.
For more information on the Standup World Series, visit: WatermanLeague.com
For more videos, click here.
Peru Paradise from Fanatic International on Vimeo.
Kai Bates and Bernd Roediger are in the ocean all the time. When they were in Orange County for the Battle of the Paddle this year we ran into them all over the place and they were always salty, or about to get that way. It shows in their surfing.
When these groms went to Peru this year, they made the most of it. From this edit, it looked liked they hardly got out of the water except to sleep and go to other spots. The way it should be.
For more video click here.
Photo: Jason Hall
When it comes to how we should eat, nutritionists, scientists and the diets they influence tend to move in circles with what’s “good” and “bad” for us. And fat has gotten a pretty rough shake in the dietary roundabout. In the 1970s and 1980s, as heart disease rates continued to rise, the so-called ‘experts’ aimed at saturated fat and singled out eggs as artery cloggers. With the American Heart Association and others going to war, per person, egg consumption fell from 320 a year in 1967 to 233 a year in 1991. And even some recent research seems biased by the old anti-egg stance, with one now infamous 2012 study headline screaming, “Eggs are as bad for you as smoking.”
And it’s not just eggs that have come under fire for supposedly being ‘unhealthy.’ In the 90s, as the low fat craze began, coconut oil was vilified for its high saturated fat content, as were butter and other full fat dairy products. But years later, when people started analyzing disease stats and other data from the ‘low fat = not fat’ years they realized something: reducing fat intake did not reduce obesity rates. And in fact, some of the artificial substance (those ingredients that you can’t pronounce) in low fat or fat free products did more harm than saturated fat. The link between saturated fat intake and heart disease is also now in question.
When it comes to sports performance, there’s also been a long and sometimes very bitter debate over fat intake. The Paleo Diet advocates, “moderate to higher amounts of fat, but with increased quantities of healthful omega-3 and monounsaturated fats” rather than fat from “fatty meats,” processed foods or high quantities of dairy products. The body can be taught to burn fat more efficiently to provide long-lasting fuel for exercise, advocates of the Paleo and ketogenic (high fat, low carb diet) approaches believe, a position supported by some recent studies. This should be of interest to paddlers, as protein and fat can provide longer-lasting energy for downwinders and other long sessions than the fast-digesting carbohydrates needed for short sprints.
So what are we to think about fat now, after years of conflicting evidence and hype? Certainly, it can’t just be a fat free for all, as it’s clear that highly processed fatty foods are indeed bad for your health. But not all fat is created equal, and it’s fair to say that many of us could use more of certain types of ‘healthy’ fats in our diet, so let’s jump into some suggestions for fueling with fat.
Photo: Trevor Clark
We’re not big fans of promoting this or that diet, but the Mediterranean diet consistently delivers when it comes to overall health, wellbeing and longevity. One of the reasons is olive oil, which a recent report indicates is central in the Mediterranean diet’s ability to reverse the harmful effects of metabolic syndrome. One of the most prevalent forms of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), olive oil is proven to reduce overall cholesterol and harmful LDL levels, and may also contribute to better insulin control. Olive oil also contains vitamins E and K and the anti-inflammatory oleocanthal, which some studies have shown is more effective than ibuprofen, and certainly kinder on the liver. Plus it tastes great on everything from salads to roasted vegetables. Look for the extra virgin olive, which is the cold pressed and least processed form of Greece, Italy and Spain’s favorite oil.
Coconut water is arguably overrated (at least the highly processed kind), but in just about any other form—whole, shredded, or oil—it’s nutritional gold. The knock on coconut used to be that it’s high in saturated fat. True, but the variety found in coconut is nature’s richest source of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). These can not only raise metabolic rate, increase satiety and enhance thyroid function, but may also have a positive impact on brain function. There are a million and one MCT supplements out there, but why not go straight to the source with coconut?
Another central component of the Mediterranean diet, fish provides omega 3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation, decrease cortisol levels, improve skin elasticity, and perhaps even increase strength gains. It’s best to choose wild-caught fish when possible, as it contains less heavy metals and other pollutants. Also, look for your seafood to come from sustainable catches in areas that aren’t being overfished (the blue Marine Stewardship Council label is a solid indicator). Not a fish fan? Then you can get omega 3s from grass-fed beef (see below), fish oil capsules (on our list of must-have supplements), chia or flax seeds.
One of the great things about nuts is that there are so many to choose from to suit your taste and texture preferences. While all nuts are high in heart-healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, each variety has its own health benefits. Walnuts are king when it comes to omega 3 content, which can balance out the omega 6s in nuts, which may cause inflammation if consumed in excess. Brazil nuts are a rich source of selenium, a mineral that promotes healthy liver function and may have cancer-fighting properties. Cashews provide a lot of iron, which assists in blood oxygen transport, and zinc, which may reduce the duration of colds.
With the exception of eggs, few foods have come under greater fire in the cyclical War on Fat than meat and dairy. And while it’s best to avoid giant blocks of cheese, fatty cuts of meat and highly processed varieties (pink slime burger, anyone?), such flak is largely undeserved when it comes to consuming moderate amounts of grass-fed dairy products and meat. There’s a reason that entrepreneur/author/mad scientist Dave Asprey puts Kerrygold grass-fed butter in his wildly popular Bulletproof Coffee. It’s rich in omega 3 fatty acids (see the entry on fish, above), increases cancer-fighting CLA levels and contains vitamin k2, which actually prevents arteriosclerosis. And, only grass-fed dairy products contain beta carotene—the vision-boosting good stuff that carrots are famous for. Grass-fed beef is also higher in omega 3s, and contains four times more vitamin E than meat from feedlot cattle. If your meat and dairy are also organic, you’re limiting exposure to health-harming pesticides and herbicides as well.
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Zane Schweitzer and Huntington Beach are quite a match for each other. Schweitzer’s fast, explosive surfing makes the strange and unpredictable bowls, ramps and shoulders look like the ultimate SUP playground. This guy just keeps getting better.
More videos here.
Izzi Gomez stunned the SUP world this year, taking big wins on the Standup World Tour. After showing her impressive wave riding skills throughout the year, the 14-year-old SUP shredder took the World Title in Huntington Beach. Oh, and did we mention she was also voted #1 Female Paddler of the Year at the 2014 SUP Awards presented by Tommy Bahama? Yeah, Gomez is on a roll.
There are countless ‘how to SUP‘ videos on the web, but the one above, filmed by Saltwater Family, has to be the cutest out there. The pint-sized instructor, Kiara Goold, has been in the water since birth, so it only makes sense that at the ripe age of four, she takes to teaching. Watch and learn as the young Bora Bora native takes you through the basics.
More Kiara Goold vidoes here.
Lina took her first BOP Title this year in the Distance race. Photo courtesy of SIC Maui.
Canadian racer Lina Augaitis has been a dominant force in the SUP racing world this year. She’s been victorious at some of SUP’s most competitive events, including Puerto Rico’s Paddle Royale, the Orange Bowl, the ISA World Championships, and Lost Mills, as well as on the Standup World Series, where she won in Abu Dhabi and Germany.
With the recent Battle of the Paddle and Standup World Series Finals held within a week of each other, you’d think Augaitis might lose some steam competing in high profile events back to back. But, it turns out, the Canadian excels when the pressure to compete is on. So, after competing in BOP and taking the Distance Title, the exhausted Augaitis caught a plane to Oahu and competed in the Standup World Series Finals, whereafter she was named 2014 Standup World Series Champion. We caught up with Augaitis to find out what it’s like to be the first Canadian to take away a BOP title and World Series Title, all in a single week. —SC
Lina, after taking the Distance Title at Battle of the Paddle. Photo: OnIt Pro
How does it feel to take the Battle of the Paddle Long Distance Title?
In that one race, I feel like my year has really come together. I actually had greater pressure put on myself for the Distance race over the Elite race, as it is the kind of race that I have excelled in for the last year. I am beyond excited to have won the distance race especially with such a terrible start through the waves. Winning a BOP race is a dream come true for me, as it is considered one of—if not the biggest—race weekend in the world of SUP. So [I’m] still riding a high on cloud nine.
You’re the first Canadian to take a title at BOP. What does that mean to you?
I am so proud to be Canadian. Being the first Canadian to take a BOP title is huge for me and for Canada. We have such talented athletes and I am really excited to put Canada on the map in the SUP world. We are a smaller SUP community, but a proud and supportive one and I love it. I hope this win can show people that SUP is firing around the world and that it takes hard work, a supportive community, determination, and the ability to dream big, and success can be there.
On her way to a win at Lost Mills. Photo: Philipp Schachten
How did you feel going into BOP’s Distance race after the way the Elite race played out?
I was riding a huge high from my performance in the Elite course race. I definitely went into a different place out there and pulled off something really exciting for me. There were some penalties and such, and it caused a stir and definitely hit me as well. By the morning, I had gone through a whirlwind of emotions. Luckily, I am surrounded by amazing people who support, guide, and teach me so many valuable lessons in life, and, with this knowledge, I was able to focus on what needed to be done on the distance race, and it paid off.
2014 Standup World Series Champions: Lina Augaitis and Connor Baxter. Photo: Waterman League
What’s it like to be called a world champion?
It feels pretty amazing and unbelievable at the same time to be called a world champion. My first experience was after the ISA gold in the distance race. That was just the coolest feeling to hold the Canadian flag while listening to our anthem play because of me. Then, BOP, while it is not called a world championships it certainly feels like one. Now, the World Series Title. Ahhh… It really does feel like a dream and I rather no one pinch me yet as I don’t need to wake up anytime soon.
Being a world champion is something I have dreamed of since I was a 6-year-old competitive gymnast. After numerous close calls in different sports I kind of thought that dream was just going to be a dream for the rest of my life. And here I am now…Amazing! The thing that keeps me going is that feeling that I can inspire and motivate others—that I can teach others what I have learned so they too can find the highest success in their passions and talents, whatever it may be. I have learned to never ever give up until the end because you never know what can happen. I think that’s the motto of my year too.
The 2014 Battle of the Paddle Distance Champion seconds after taking the win. Photo: Will Taylor
After your BOP win, and then knowing you were in the running for the World Title, where were you mentally?
BOP took a lot out of me. It was not only a very physical weekend, but so emotional too (in a very good way). But I have never been so drained after a weekend of racing—and I have done a lot of racing this year. I think the combination of the lead up to the BOP, extra training, extra emotions, then the weekend just going so well, I don’t think I slept at all for a couple of days just from pure adrenaline still rushing through me.
To be honest, the thought of racing the following weekend for a world championship title was rather daunting to me. Even as the weekend approached I tried to get in “race mode” but it was hard. I was done. I felt done physically and mentally. Those two days at Turtle Bay would be tough if you’re feeling on top of the world and even tougher when you’re trying to kick yourself into gear because you want the title you have been working for all year. Luckily, I’m competitive and when I hit the water I turn it on. But, off the water, it was a mental struggle the entire weekend. I was tired, but I wanted it.
After Day 1 I thought I lost the title. It wasn’t my day. On Day 2, I was racing just to race, but things were working out for me and in the Finals I felt like I had nothing to lose as I really didn’t think I had the title. I think that kind of saved me. I managed to cross in second and at the same time, Angie (who’s my closest competitor for the title) experienced her share of bad luck when her plug ripped out of her board causing her to lose her board. So, it was a bittersweet finish to a long season. I can say now though that I am ready for a little rest and am very glad I pushed through until the very end. It was so worth it and I learned a lot too.
Lina taking top honors at the Standup World Series’ Camp David World Cup of SUP. Photo: HOCH ZWEI, Joern Pollex/ Waterman League
What are you looking to accomplish next?
The next two months are for figuring out my goals for 2015. I surpassed so many of my goals and expectations this year that it kind of threw me off, so I have a lot of reassessing to do. You can very likely expect me racing. How many and where and which ones I’m not sure of yet—let’s keep that one a surprise for now.
I want to thank all the amazing people who believed in me, especially during the times where I struggled in believing in myself. This year has been full of success and growth as an athlete and person, and just a whole lot of fun. Taking the leap of faith to leave my job a year ago, I never imagined I would experience and accomplish as much as I did in a single year.
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Battling at the 2014 Battle of the Paddle. Kai Lenny and Connor Baxter. Photo: Tom Servais
Last week I penned an opinion piece regarding Kai Lenny and Connor Baxter going head-to-head on “The Wave” during the 2014 Battle of the Paddle and the controversy that followed. The response from readers has varied. In the process of writing the article I spoke with Baxter, Danny Ching, Barrett Tester and contacted Lenny about the incident to get as clear a picture as possible—I was also on the water’s edge and watched it all go down. After the article was released, Lenny responded as well. We’re now publishing both Lenny and Baxter’s responses (including a video Baxter released after the piece was published) in full.
Basically, how much bumping is too much?
In every major sport there is some form of “rubbing is racing” and truthfully it can go over the line like at BOP this year. Hopefully we never have to have that happen again and in a perfect world we wouldn’t need rules. I think it will be great to have rules preventing any foul play to occur in the future!
Do you think there needs to be rules in place for that sort of thing?
Honestly, I don’t think there need to be rules and everyone should play fair, but that’s not going to happen. I would prefer to keep it gentleman–like in every race–but when you get pushed up against a wall you have to push back, otherwise that person will continue doing it. You can’t expect to punch someone in the face and not get hit back, that’s obvious.
Looking back at that specific wave would you have done anything differently?
Here is my perspective on what happened and why I reacted the way I did. I chose my line on the wave without the intention of pushing Connor or the other racers, off of the wave. I saw where the chicane was and began to head straight for the center, that’s called going for the racing line. I wasn’t even near touching Connor’s rail as you can see in every video and photo taken. He decided because I wasn’t bowing down to him that he would rather take me out of the race than paddle against me. That is just fact. You can look back to a couple of weeks previous at the Huntington Beach Pro when I was caught completely off guard and he pushed myself and Casper (Steinfath) off a wave so he could secure a win. So after that incident I told myself that if that ever happens again I am going to push back. After he attempted to make me fall, where I nearly ran into Danny Ching, I reacted by turning back towards the chicane so I wouldn’t have to run from down the beach and then Connor popped a wheelie and turned, landing directly onto my board and I fell forward. If he is taking me down, I felt he should be coming with me. This did not affect anyone else besides the two of us and by the time we both made it to the beach Danny was already hitting the water after he ran the chicane.
And overall, was there anything that you learned from the race that you’ll take with you to future races?
What I have learned is that I am so grateful to have my family, all of my friends and amazing sponsors who witnessed and saw all the video, photos and did not judge me. Hopefully, this does not have to happen again. I am very grateful to surrounded my the best people!
Go to 2:15 to hear what Baxter has to say about “The Wave.”
Basically, how much bumping is too much?
What I (did) was too much for sure but I had a good reason to because Kai was pushing me north of the beach run.
Do you think there needs to be rules in place for that sort of thing?
For sure there needs to be rules and what we did made everyone realize we need rules.
Looking back at that specific wave would you have done anything differently?
If I could go back I wish I could notice Kai jumping off his board and grabbing my handle so I could of avoid that.
And overall, was there anything that you learned from the race that you’ll take with you to future races?
Every race I learn something new and this race I learn that playing Kai’s game is never the right thing to do. So next time I will try something different.
For a full analysis of the incident, click here.
Earlier this year, we posted a video of what appears to be a standup paddler intentionally paddling over a manatee. Not cool. Manatees are protected by two federal laws: The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973. They’re also protected by the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978.
So, what do you do in the event that manatees charge at you like torpedoes during a leisurely paddle? Like the standup paddlers in the video above, it’s probably best to stop paddling and let them pass. But really, you should always keep an eye out for what’s in surrounding water. And just avoid the sea cows altogether. It is the law.
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Readers voted Rincón, Puerto Rico as the #1 Paddle Town in our 2014 Paddle Town Battle. | Photo: Angelo Cordero
With over 15,000 residents and more than eight miles of coastline, Rincón is a seaside paradise, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea. Known as the “Town of Beautiful Sunsets” or “The Surfing Capital,” the quaint town of Rincón is a lot more than that.
For standup paddling, the north side offers strong trade winds, perfect for an afternoon downwind session. You can also paddle flat water on the south side over the Tres Palmas Marine Reserve and, if you’re lucky, enjoy a paddle with manatees, dolphins or sea turtles. The marine life is beautiful and abundant, so make sure you take your snorkeling gear with you! A bar-hopping paddle tour is always a possibility with lots of world-class bars, hotels and restaurants right along the coastline, where you can enjoy fresh seafood, great steaks and sip on exotic rum drinks served in coconuts.
Puerto Rican cuisine is also out of this world. If you want to understand any culture, go try their food. From very rustic to sophisticated, try pinchos, empanadillas, rice & beans and mofongo, just a few of the local favorites. And don’t worry about the calories, a good paddle will take care of that!
Photo: Angelo Cordero
Every spring Rincón is the host of one of the biggest SUP races in the Caribbean. The Rincón Beachboy Paddle Race draws hundreds of competitors from all over the world and thousands of spectators to enjoy what we call the “Biggest SUP Party with a Race.” It’s the one event you don’t want to miss.
And every winter, surfers from around the world are drawn to Rincón for a chance to catch the wave of their life. Many SUP surfing spots in Rincón are not for the faint of heart. With powerful Atlantic waves and many reef breaks you need to be in tip-top shape and very experienced to venture out at many spots. Luckily, there are a large variety of spots that can offer more manageable conditions. If you are planning a paddle surf trip to Rincón we recommend following surf etiquette and steering away from crowds. There are plenty of surf shops, surf schools and rentals available.
Come down to Rincón, we’ll take care of you. In Rincón, mi casa es tu casa.
—Tito Mendez is one of the organizers of the Rincón Beachboy.
This article originally ran in our Summer 2014 Issue as part of the “Paddle Town Battle” feature.
The Paddle Town Battle was simple in concept: pick the best standup towns in North America and let you, dear readers, vote to decide the ultimate SUP city on our Facebook page.
But what makes a good place to live and paddle? Is it access to the water? Is it a nice place to live? Is it the people? We debated. There were so many questions to answer that we formed categories: proximity to types of paddling (ocean surfing, whitewater, flatwater, downwind, river surfing), community (races, shops, people), off-the-water amenities (breweries, eateries, yoga studios) and influence (what role this place has played in the sport). Then you spoke loudly and proudly. You told us why your town or city was the best place to be a standup paddler. In the end, the people of Puerto Rico rallied around beautiful and diverse Rincón to put it at the top of the bracket. We let the locals tell you why their town made our Top 10.
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After Saturday’s 13-mile Long Distance race along Oahu’s North Shore, Standup World Series competitors returned to Turtle Bay for a full day of sprint racing. The North Shore provided challenging conditions for Sunday’s event, with 8- to 12-foot sets rolling into the Sprints course throughout the day.
With a torn ligament and sprained right foot, Zane Schweitzer capped his successful year of World Series racing by taking another win: the Standup World Series Finals Sprints. After battling Saturday’s Long Distance Champion Kai Lenny for the entire sprints final, it came down to a drop-in bomb, followed by a stroke-for-stroke battle and photo finish, with Schweitzer taking the coveted win.
Local Oahu paddler Halie Harrison took the Finals Sprints win for the ladies, ahead of a tough field that included Lina Augaitis, Angie Jackson and Saturday’s Long Distance Champion Fiona Wylde.
2014 SUWS Finals Champ Halie Harrison with Fiona Wylde and Sonni Hönscheid. Photo: Waterman League
The 2014 Standup World Series Finals event culminated with Kai Lenny and Halie Harrison taking the overall event wins.
With Connor Baxter named the 2014 Standup World Series Men’s Champion back at September’s Huntington Beach event, it all came down to the Finals event for the women, where Lina Augaitis was crowned the 2014 Women’s Standup World Series Champion.
Stay tuned to SUPtheMag.com for an interview with the 2014 Women’s Standup World Series Champion, Lina Augaitis, coming soon.
For more information, visit: WatermanLeague.com
Click here for more Event Coverage presented by SIC Maui.
Kai Lenny and Fiona Wylde came out victorious from Saturday’s Long Distance race at the 2014 Standup World Series Finals on Oahu. With heavy surf along Oahu’s fabled North Shore, competitors battled the conditions as well as one another for 13 miles from Turtle Bay Resort to the finish line at Haleiwa.
2014 Standup World Series Finals Long Distance Champion Kai Lenny. Photo: Waterman League
With the Men’s SUWS Title already secured by Connor Baxter in Huntington, the boys battled for top finishes to count towards event rankings as well as the overall World Series Rankings. Local paddler Riggs Napoleon came in second to Lenny after an impressive race where he took down Mo Freitas, Jake Jensen and numerous other top racers.
On the women’s side, with the Title still up for grabs, Angie Jackson and Sonni Hönscheid rounded out the second and third places behind Wylde, overtaking strong racers including Halie Harrison, Talia Gangini and Lina Augaitis. Check out 2014 Standup World Series Long Distance race results below.
2014 Standup World Series Finals Long Distance Champion Fiona Wylde. Photo: Waterman League
Behind the scenes at the 2014 SUP Awards. Photo: JP Van Swae
The thing that makes the SUP Awards so special is that everyone is there—minus Laird (inside sources say he was busy inventing another sport last Thursday). That night the greater standup community is not racing, not surfing, not paddling, they’re just hanging out with each other, having a good time eating free food and drinking free alcohol. As a journalist, it’s a great time to watch everyone mingle. What did we learn? Well, after four cold ones from Kona Brewing Co., everything starts to get interesting.
Connor Baxter owns a collared shirt. It’s true. We have photographic evidence. The Most T-shirts Worn to SUP Awards for the Most Consecutive Years award winner finally gave up his reign tonight by wearing a button-up shirt. With a collar. We can’t confirm if he has more than just that one.
Caio Vaz is the most stoked-est. The first Brazilian male to break into the SUP Awards, Vaz was unusually smiley—even for himself. Seriously, the guy always has a grin on his face whether he’s winning Standup World Tour events, free-surfing in Indonesia or just hanging on the beach with his family. When I asked him if he’d thought about racing in the BOP he gave me a “hell no” look and told me he was going to surf in Mexico for a few days. Then he smiled.
Mickey Muñoz lives the good life. He’s is one of the happiest guys you’ll see. He was truly stoked to win the Lifetime Achievement award, even more stoked to get sandwiched between Izzi Gomez and Annabel Anderson backstage for a photo op and even more stoked than that to get to surf Salt Creek alone all weekend as he “refereed” the Battle of the Paddle. The spoils of being a living legend.
Izzi Gomez is still fourteen. She’s taller, more well-spoken and surfing better than ever. She’s also a World Champion and the Top Female at the SUP Awards. And somehow that doesn’t make her any older. She giggled her way through the crowd like the teenager she is after winning, enjoying the limelight and thanking everyone profusely. She’s loving every moment.
Booze gets people drunk. Strange how that works. With Kona beers flowing, cocktails making the rounds and even a Glenfiddich scotch tasting table, the volume of the crowd was turned up this year. Hoots and hollers were a dime a dozen as everybody loosened up and cheered each other on. There were even some attempts at heckling. Awesome.
Dave Boehne is too funny. Boehne’s skits this year were a gamble, one that worked out pretty well according to the level of laughter in the ballroom. However, some of the jokes therein floated above the crowds’ collective heads. It could have been the booze but we watched those videos many times and they’re pitch-perfect. Boehne is ahead of his time as a comedian.
Brazil is here to stay. Not only are Brazilians killing it on the Standup World Tour but they’ve got the love of the fans too, with Vaz and Nicole Pacelli taking top spots in Top Male and Female categories. They’re talented surfers, as good-looking as models and excited to be on the world stage. We’re happy they’re here.
Expedition guys have a lot to say. Remember last year when Justin Riney interrupted his Florida expedition and gave a speech that lasted 15 minutes? Will Schmidt didn’t do that but he gave a long, layered speech explaining how SUP saved his life after battling with anxiety and depression as a military veteran and why that motivates him to do long-distance paddles. I heard many people say it was a highlight of their evening. My theory is that they’ve spent so much time on the water alone that they’re excited to have a room full of people to talk to. It makes sense.
And once again we were kicked out of the Casino San Clemente and sent across the street to dive into the fine establishment that is Knuckleheads. And once again, there were hardly any athletes there while we toasted to another year. So responsible.
Until next year …
Last year’s Four Konas Deep.
Full results here.
Photo: Will Taylor
Last year, Candice Appleby faced a long road after hand surgery. Her results weren’t up to her standards and she didn’t see the top of the podium at the Battle of the Paddle for two years. But that all changed last week when she sealed her fifth BOP title at Salt Creek, capping a fantastic comeback season. Here, she gives us the inside scoop on taking back her title for the sixth time, competing on a new course, and training groms to challenge her.–Shari Coble
How was this win different than years past?
It meant a lot more to me after coming back from injuries and a rough 18 months. The level of the competition has been growing so much that it definitely meant a lot because it was the culmination of all the hard work, the trials and tribulations, and all the obstacles and support I had. I feel like I really did earn it. And all the good things I’ve tried do and try to put back out into the world, I feel like it all kind of came back to me.
Take us through the race.
They started our race with one of the biggest sets of the day. I didn’t think they’d start us with the set pumping. There were lots of waves to get over and I popped over a bunch, but I’d fall on my board, and then I fell off once. In that first lap, I was fifth or sixth with Jenny [Kalmbach] right with me.
I wasn’t entertaining any bad thoughts even for a second. My mentality was was just pure positivity with eyes on the prize.
In the second lap, I was trying to get out front. Lina was right behind me, going for it. I think Annabel had a couple board lengths and I thought, ‘Don’t let her get away.’ I couldn’t draft or anything.
As we headed toward the last black buoy I saw Annabel veer north to catch a wave. The way she angled was sort of opposite of where you were supposed to go to round the buoy. Then, she missed it. I yelled, ‘You missed the buoy! You missed the buoy!’
I don’t know if she heard me or not, but Lina yelled, ‘I saw it!’
It almost looked like Annabel hesitated for a minute, like she thought about going back but didn’t. From my perspective—from what I saw in her body language—it looked like she hesitated, then kept going.
I caught a wave and kind of passed Annabel. Then, we both hit the beach and chicane. We came out for the third lap and I got out in front, but she got on me. She drafted me the entire third lap. We’d made it out over the waves clean and so did Lina. There were a bunch of waves that came through after and cleaned a bunch of girls out, separating third and fourth by a lot.
We came in from the outside buoy to catch a wave, and where I was, there was a weird side angle bump. So, I’m about to catch it, but braced because I lost my balance with the bump. I overcompensated and almost fell, so I braced again and had to go onto my butt as I’m dropping into the wave. Then, I had to roll onto my belly and get back on my tail so my board wouldn’t pearl, so I rode that whole wave out on my stomach.
We hit the chicane for the last run and Annabel was ahead. We came out and Annabel hit the water before me, but I saw a bunch of waves coming, so I stayed standing on the bottom. I got on my board but saw another wave, hopped off, grabbed the handle and went under. Annabel was under too, but I climbed back on my board quicker and started paddling.
I heard the announcer say, ‘And she fell off again.’ The crowd went crazy. When I heard that, I thought, ‘Go now!’
That last lap, I put my head down and paddled. I looked back once after the first buoy. From there, it was no looking back. I just paddled with my heart.
Aaron Napoleon gave me a pep talk the night before and told me, ‘If you want to win this thing, you gotta paddle with your heart.’ I heard that in my mind the whole time.
Coming in, Annabel was a couple board lengths behind. I caught a bump and thought, ‘I’m not claiming this. I’m not going to screw this wave up.’ Never did I think I had it in the bag. I told myself, ‘This is my race,’ and ‘I’m winning it,’ but I wasn’t going to get comfortable. I rode that wave into shore, did a little paddle pump and ran up the beach.
It was so rad. Everyone was freaking out. I was freaking out. Check out her victory wave here.
Photo: Joe Carberry
What does it mean to you to beat your rival and defend your home turf?
It feels really good to win and get my BOP crown back, but at the end of the day, it is my job. I don’t want to be one of those football players that gets a touchdown and does cartwheels on the field.
The emotion in the moment is there and I think that’s a culmination of all the hard work and hard times I’ve had. But what means more to me is all the people that supported me. Seeing the emotions of my friends, family, and sponsors, my community and the SUP community, and how much it meant to them, that’s really what feels good.
What’s this win a result of?
I don’t think there’s one thing I can pinpoint. But, two weeks before the Battle, I came home from the Standup World Tour event where I lost to Izzi, and was super bummed to not make the final. I was genuinely happy for her to win the World Title, but I’ve worked really hard in surfing and just haven’t had that great of a year. I was bummed out talking to Anthony and at the same time was opening up a thank you card from a grom I coach. I was thinking, ‘When’s it going to be my time again? I’m working super hard. I’m giving back.’
The card had a devotional in it that said, ‘A generous person will prosper. Those who refresh others will be refreshed.’ That hit me so hard. The next day at Huntington, I won the sprints and distance race, and now, the Battle. I think what goes around comes back around. And it was a culmination of hard work, dedication and God giving back to me from what I’ve been putting out.
Earlier this year, you said you were trying to make a comeback. Do you feel you achieved that with this win?
Everyone’s gotten a lot better and a couple years ago I’d win everything. I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to win everything, but I’ve learned I don’t have to win everything to be me or to be great. I do feel like the Battle of the Paddle is the biggest thing—it’s the Superbowl of our sport—so I feel like I achieved it, but I also know I have a lot of room to grow and improve.
I have some goals I haven’t achieved yet and I’m by no means going to be complacent in the fact that I’ve won the Battle of the Paddle six times. I know I can still improve athletically and in racing, and I’m going to keep working on doing my best, improving every day and with every race. So, yes, I feel I’ve achieved a comeback, but I still have quite a few more things I want to accomplish.
Where’s your focus now?
After winning, I feel even more fired up to paddle harder and train more. I trained hard, but I battled smaller injuries this summer besides my hand. I sprained my ankle in Abu Dhabi and couldn’t run. Lots of little wear and tear things happened, so I’ll take October off. I’ll just surf, do yoga and get healthy.
I’m working on planning my season for next year and setting up training programs. I’ll spend time on the North Shore in November and get caught up with some rest time, working on my surfing and putting together a girls surf movie with SUP the Mag.
Tell us what it’s like to be in your position as a top athlete but also a mentor to kids that are becoming your competition as well as top athletes themselves.
I love it. It’s so fun to see them improve and yeah, they’re my competition now. It’s funny because some people wonder why I do it and ask me why I’m training them to beat me.
At the end of the day, I measure my success not just on things I’m able to accomplish, but on how many other people I’m able to help become successful. I think that’s what its really supposed to be about—sharing things with people and helping others along the way. Winning is great, but that’s my job. I feel like my purpose is really to help others.
More from the 2014 Battle of the Paddle here.
2014 SUP Champions Tour winners Danny Ching and Annabel Anderson. Photo: Brian Munce
The inaugural season for the The SUP Champions Tour has come and gone with Annabel Anderson and Danny Ching taking overall titles. The Tour released a presser yesterday. Here’s the gist:
Six months ago several of the top male (Travis Grant, Connor Baxter, Danny Ching, George Cronsteadt, Lincoln Dews, Jamie Mitchell, Casper Steinfath, Chase Kosterlitz, Matt Becker, Chuck Patterson and many more), and female sup racers (Annabel Anderson, Jenny Kalmbach, Lina Augaitis and others) sat down with the goal to unify professional SUP racing around the world.
There are currently at least three entities that claim to crown a world champion: the WPA, World Series, and ISA. However, none of them have the support of all, or even most, of the athletes. And all are restricted to a particular board class and racing style.
The Champions Tour athletes wanted to support the biggest and best events (in the sport), events we felt deserved our support. (And we posed these questions to our panel): Does bringing top competitors to an event help grow the sport? When professional paddlers show up to events, does it help grow the event and make it better? Where do athletes rank at the end of the year based off race results at the best events, against the best racers?
The Champions Tour picked seven races that encompass a wide range of styles and board classes. The men were scored for their top five races and women for their top four results. Here are the seven:
Carolina Cup, Graveyard elite result, winner Danny Ching
Olukai Ho’olaule’a, line honors, winner Connor Batxer
Lost Mills, distance race, winner Eric Terrian
Ultimate SUP Showdown, race side final result, winner Kai Lenny
Gorge Paddle Challenge, combined 2 day result, winner Connor Baxter
BOP elite, line honors, winner Kai Lenny
BOP distance, 14′ elite division, winner Danny Ching
The tie breaker this year was a count back to next best result (sixth result for men, fifth for women) to reward consistent finishes.
So that’s the meat of it. Here’s where the racers that made enough starts to qualify ended up:
1 Danny Ching
2 Travis Grant
3 Connor Baxter
4 Georges Cronsteadt
5 Kai Lenny
6 Jake Jensen
7 Chase Kosterlitz
8 Eric Terrien
9 Slater Trout
10 Beau O’Brian
1 Annabel Anderson
2 Lina Augaitis
3 Sonni Honscheid
4 Candice Appleby
5 Jenny Kalmbach
6 Angela Jackson
7 Fiona Wylde
8 Andrea Moller
9 Kelsa Gabehart
10 Talia Decoite
A quick takeaway before we get into more analysis for the upcoming season: The Champions Tour was a really solid first stab at trying to unify a severely segmented sport. Think about all the events out there, all the genres, all the types of paddling festivals. The task of following all of them makes our collective heads spin here at the magazine. The events the Champions Tour picked are without a doubt, some of the best races on the planet. And the paddlers that support them some of the best athletes.
That said, there are also some quality events on circuits like the Standup World Series–which boasts an extremely international, and extremely young, group of athletes that follow it’s tour–that shouldn’t be set out to pasture or disregarded.
The Champions Tour has real legs, especially with paddlers like Ching and Anderson–two of this young sport’s all-time greats–lending their names to it. The events are solid and stand alone, without the tour, and the intentions of the CT’s panel also seem to be in the right place. Our only hope is for some sort unification to occur on some level. Because the truth of the matter? There are now simply too many talented paddlers out there willing to chase the best races in the sport. The time for a unified front is now.
To read more about the Champions Tour and see this year’s results go to SupChampionsTour.com.
Connor Baxter and Kai Lenny weren’t so friendly after this year’s Battle of the Paddle. Emphasis on battle. Photo: Jason Kenworthy
If you were at the 2014 Battle of the Paddle Elite Race last Saturday at Salt Creek Beach, or if you read a recap or talked to anybody about it, you inevitably heard about “The Wave,” where now-two-time champ Kai Lenny and 2011 winner Connor Baxter played an aggressive game of bumper boards until they both went down. Lenny was able to regain his composure and go on to win the race. The beach was alive with chatter. Was it fair? Do there need to be rules in place for this sort of thing? Who’s at fault?
Now that we’ve received press releases from every conceivable source on the matter, read page upon page of forum posts and heard all sorts of industry insiders opine on the hot topic, here’s our take:
An episode of this magnitude has been brewing for some time. Baxter and Lenny have been at the forefront of racing for a couple of years now and there’s a lot of insider talk about how these two go at it in competition. It finally came to a head at the biggest event of the year.
Video by Joe Carberry
Click here for more angles.
So when these two top contenders found themselves on the same wave (with Danny Ching behind them) in the lead pack on the second lap of the final, there was a lot on the line. After reviewing the video time and again there are some clear facts: First, Lenny is riding high in the pocket, taking prime real estate on the wave and driving Baxter off, which would have cost him precious seconds. Second, Baxter does two cutbacks, one where his board cuts under Lenny’s nose and they both keep riding (check the link above), and another where he stomps his nose on top of Lenny’s (see video). Third, on that second, much more aggressive cutback, Lenny goes off balance and in the process of falling, jumps forward and grabs Baxter’s rail handle, taking Baxter down with him. Lenny went on to win the race. Baxter was reportedly hit in the head by Lenny’s board, was a little disoriented and wasn’t able to get back to the lead pack.
Now, a lot of the discussion we’ve been reading and hearing takes sides onto who was right and who was wrong. We’re not going there. As far as SUP magazine is concerned, both played dirty and both of them paid the price by going down. It’s hard to blame either in that position. Many of us would have reacted the same way.
And think about it: athletes bend and break the rules in sports all the time. Think of penalties in a football game, interference calls in pro surfing, slide tackles in soccer. As my high school football coach used to say, “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.” That’s why there are referees.
Baxter and Lenny are arguably two of the top athletes in our sport right now, but people want them to be golden boys: nice, friendly guys. Just two paddlers that grew up on Maui together. And, at the heart of it, they are really great dudes.
But that’s not the way it works. The stakes have gotten way too high. We can’t expect there to be no grappling and bending of the rules in the midst of the most important, and intense, paddling competition on the planet. These guys want to win for themselves, for their sponsors and for the their fans.
It’s so easy to argue that this kind of episode is great for the sport. Here we all are, six days later, still talking about “The Wave.” Great rivalries are great for sports. Where would pro surfing be without Slater and Irons, basketball without Magic and Bird, boxing without Ali and Frazier, tennis without Agassi and Sampras? It’s a reality of competitive sports: friendship is on the back-burner when you’re on the bleeding edge. And from here on out in SUP, that’s the way it’ll be. We’re in a new era. Rivalries bring more viewers, more players, more money and more recognition. Standup has entered the big leagues.
When we asked Lenny about it right after the race, he said, “That’s why the call it the Battle of the Paddle. Me and Connor have been rubbing boards a lot this season. We were on that wave just going at it and he put his board on top of mine and I fell on his board and it stopped him and everything went crazy. I guess that’s racing.”
Exactly. Pretty solid PR statement from a guy who’d just crossed the finish line after battling back from third to take the title (another sign of a top athlete). We reached out to Lenny for further comment and haven’t heard back.
This “spicy exchange,” as we called it on our Facebook page the day after the race, is probably going to bring change from race organizers with new rules and regulations as Baxter noted: “What I (did) was too much for sure but I had a good reason to because Kai was pushing me north of the beach run,” he wrote to us in an email. “There needs to be rules and what we did made everyone realize we need rules.”
But no protests were filed in the fifteen-minute allowance period. Lenny stood atop the podium for the second year in a row.
“You can’t change results now, you can’t take money away,” Ching said. “I think (Rainbow is) gonna get it right (going forward). We’ve always had the gray area ‘Rubbing is racing,’ but we went over the line and now we need rules. It’s the time where officials have to draw a line.”
Event director Barrett Tester reiterated that sentiment.
“After reviewing the video the next day, it’s obviously clear that both athletes conduct themselves in poor fashion,” Tester said. “We see that no doubt, but we’re not changing our rules (they allow for claims to be made for only 15 minutes after the race). They know we’re going to look a lot closer next year.”
Yes, this incident will probably bring new rules to the forefront. But the physicality of the Battle of the Paddle is what makes it so great. We’re never going to judge two young athletes for something we would do in the same situation. And regardless, top competitors will always find a way to gain an advantage in the heat of competition which almost always means bending the rules. Winning, that’s what elite sports are all about. And mark our words: this rivalry between Connor Baxter and Kai Lenny will only make the sport better, and more closely followed by the masses, for years to come. –Will Taylor
Read Connor’s and Kai’s reactions here.
Check out the full Elite Race recap here.
Active 360’s Paul Hyman, Phil Sayers and Emily Yoon organized the inaugural Standup for the Cure UK event in London, on September 12, 2014, in partnership with Judie and Rob Vivian. With the support of Active 360’s merry band of volunteer race marshals, yoga and pilates instructors, the whole event was a huge success.
Alice at Alibi generously provided delicious drinks, which quenched the thirst of the standup paddlers, and the Jobe Paddleboards team was in full force with a fleet of demo boards for participants to try.
British SUP Champion Joanne Hamilton-Vale shared racing tips and gave an SUP demonstration before racing against Judie and Emily (giving both a sweet starting time advantage!)
Natalie from Breakthrough Breast Cancer, a charity UK partner with Susan G Komen, shared important data regarding breast cancer, including the fact that 50,000 women in the UK will be diagnosed this year and 12,000 will die from the disease. Encouragingly, she explained that 30 minutes of exercise every day can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 20 percent, giving us all the great incentive to SUP more.
Jordanna from the CrewRoom was on-site with a great display of SUP clothes including a great Standup for the Cure pink SUP jersey in a breathable bamboo and charcoal fabric.
The happy and sunny day was filled with laughter and hugs as participants took to the water while sharing how breast cancer had touched them and their families. New friendships were forged when the day was capped by a magical SUP tour of London’s waterways as the group of pink paddlers navigated through Regents Park to the London Zoo and back, lighting up the waterways with their headlights and luminous wrist bands while the sun set.
“We laughed, we cried and some of us fell in!” said Kristiana Thomas, an SUP yoga instructor.
“Thank you to everyone who joined us for this special first event and we look forward to paddling together next year on the Serpentine in Hyde Park to once again, ‘Have Fun and Save Lives’,” said Standup for the Cure Founder, Judie Vivian.
“I was proud to be asked by Judie to help develop this great event in London and found working with her very inspiring and motivating,” said Paul Hyman of Active 360. “A great team came together for the event, which made it fun and good to be part of. I’m looking forward to up scaling the event next year with the involvement of many people in the British and Worldwide SUP community”
For more information, visit: Standup-for-the-cure.org
Click here for more Event Coverage presented by SIC Maui.
The Island to Island Waterman Relay returns to California’s Channel Islands on Saturday, October 11, 2014.
The relay race takes three-man teams from Santa Barbara Island to The Isthmus at Catalina Island, for a total distance of 29 nautical miles. The event includes 14-foot SUP, prone paddle board, surf ski, and OC-1, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting City of Hope in Los Angeles.
More on the Island to Island Waterman Relay here.
Click here for more Event Coverage presented by SIC Maui.
Photos by JP Van Swae
The 2014 SUP Awards presented by Tommy Bahama was a night to remember. Together with industry pros, SUP magazine celebrated the top performances, breakthrough athletes, expeditions, philanthropic efforts, and movies from the past year. Take a look at the memories from the historic night at the 2014 SUP Awards presented by Tommy Bahama.
More from the 2014 SUP Awards presented by Tommy Bahama here.
This summer, SUP magazine took a journey to Oregon. We picked up pro paddlers Morgan Hoesterey and Matt Becker as well as Managing Editor Will Taylor’s home town buddies Luke Martinez and Dave Lacey and paddled 60 miles down the south coast of the state. The trip was four days and three nights, with the crew on the beach along the way.
We experienced many types of conditions: wind over 30 knots, smothering fog, blinding sun, large swell, pretty much everything but the rain the state is famous for. There were bruised egos, noodle limbs and chapped skin, but every night there were countless stories to be told around the fire.
Here’s Part Four of the series, the finale.
Look for the full feature in our Fall Issue, on newsstands now.
Luke Martinez comes in from 60 miles down the Oregon Coast. Photo: Aaron Schmidt
For information on paddling in the area, contact Lacey South Coast Tours, LLC.
The Standup World Series Finals hit Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore this weekend, October 10 – 12, 2014. The annual event will showcase some of the top competitors from around the globe competing in World Series Sprints and a Long Distance race, with female athletes battling to secure the World Title and male athletes fighting for the event win.
With the World Title already secured by Maui’s Connor Baxter at the recent Huntington Beach Pro Grand Slam, Baxter will have to dig deep to take the event win over recent BOP Champion and rival Kai Lenny, as well as 2013 Finals Champion and second place BOP finisher Jake Jensen. Both Lenny and Jensen will carry momentum from last weekend’s event into the Finals and fight to maintain their second and third place rankings in the World Series.
Photo: Hank Foto/Waterman League
Currently ranked fourth in the World Series is European Cup Champion Zane Schweitzer, who’s been having an incredible year, followed by Mo Freitas who finished in Huntington with a solid second place. Casper Steinfath is also looking to wrap up a great year with a top finish in the Finals to secure his sixth place ranking ahead of Leonard Nika, Kody Kerbox, Eric Terrien, and Arthur Arutkin, who round out the top ten in the Men’s Standup World Series Rankings.
Meanwhile, Lina Augaitis and Angie Jackson will be fighting for the women’s World Series Title, as the two have strong leads over the rest of the field, and only a small margin to separate their first and second place World Rankings. Augaitis will carry the momentum from her top finishes last weekend at BOP (where she won the Long Distance and placed third in the Elite), but in order to maintain their leads, both Jackson and Augaitis will have to hold off a tough international field as well as local dark horses, including Mariko Strickland, Rachel Bruntsch, Halie Harrison, Vanina Walsh, and Talia Decoite.
Building excitement for the Finals weekend, Robby Naish and team riders will be featured in a special Talk Story at Turtle Bay Resort’s Surfer the Bar. Talk Story with Robby and Team Naish will be held Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 8 p.m. with a live stream available at WatermanLeague.com.
In addition to the Finals, the weekend will also feature a Na Kama Kai Youth Clinic for North and East shores kids on Saturday, followed by a Na Kama Kai U16 Sprint Race on Sunday morning to showcase and celebrate youth participation in the sport.
Stay tuned to SUPtheMag.com to catch all the action out of the 2014 Standup World Series Finals, with event coverage presented by SIC Maui.
Click here for more on the Standup World Series.
Words By Phil White
There’s no doubt that Shane Perrin is one of the top endurance paddlers out there. He’s completed some of the most grueling paddle races on the planet and achieved impressive marathon-paddling goals most people would never consider attempting. And, over the weekend of September 27, he added another long distance achievement to his list of SUP feats, setting a new record for miles paddled in 24 hours. Last year, Perrin posted a record of 95.6 miles, and this time around he was determined to break 100.
After his record setting performance at St. Louis Valley Park’s Simpson Lake last spring, Perrin talked with Casey Gotcher from SUP Gladiator fins about how he could add another few miles to his next attempt. Gotcher suggested that a longer course would help, as Simpson Lake’s loop only allowed Perrin to 1.2 miles, which meant a lot of time lost on frequent turns. Gotcher suggested Austin’s Ladybird Lake, which offered Perrin a longer loop of just over 10 miles from the launch point at Austin Paddlesports’ dock.
The only challenge, other than the sheer physical toll of a non-stop 24-hour paddle: Austin is a 13-hour drive from Perrin’s St. Louis home and he couldn’t leave until after work on Friday night. So, in true Perrin style, he overlooked the extra challenge, and after catching a couple of hours of shuteye early Saturday morning, was somehow ready to go.
With the extra length of the course, Perrin wanted to use an unlimited board instead of the 14-footer he paddled to last year’s record. But his custom-made craft wasn’t ready in time, so he borrowed one of Gotcher’s Dave Boehe-shaped unlimited boards. Though he had no time to test it, the bigger board helped him set a new record of 101 miles. In addition to breaking the 100-mile mark, Perrin also raised money for Charity: Water through a worldwide 24-hour relay event coordinated by Jen and Nick Yates of Live Love SUP.
“I just wanted to break 100 miles, so I’m happy with the result,” Perrin said. “I really think I can push the record beyond 110 though, particularly as I’m planning to have more time with my own custom unlimited board before next year’s attempt.”
Another thing that will aid Perrin’s attempt to further push the boundaries of SUP endurance is that he’s planning to focus full time on the sport in 2015. This will mean continuing his show for Stoke Radio and expanding the number and variety of classes offered at SUP St. Louis, which Perrin has steered to rapid growth in the past few years. “Women are really fueling our business right now,” Perrin says. “It’s not SUP technique classes they’re signing up for, but also SUP yoga and fitness. It’s great to see the scene really taking off in the Midwest and I’m excited about where we’ll go next.”
Perrin will also look to new challenges in SUP distance racing. His last remaining goal for this year is to be competitive at fellow endurance ace Ben Friberg’s Chattajack 31 Mile SUP/Kayak Race, at the end of October. As Perrin’s exploits make this a “short” race for him, he says that he’ll refocus his training for the next few weeks on “cranking out higher power output.”
Next year, Perrin will take another crack at the 24-hour record and is planning to head back to the US Virgin Islands for more island hopping between St. Croix and St. John. Then comes the big one in 2016: the 1,200-mile (yep, you read that correctly!) Florida Ultimate Challenge. “The logistical challenge is just as big as the physical one,” Perrin says. “I’m not sure yet how I’ll handle a 40-mile portage as well as all those open ocean miles, but I can’t wait to give it a try.”
The 2014 SUP Awards presented by Tommy Bahama kicked off the biggest weekend in SUP last Thursday–and did it in style. The who’s-who of the standup world were in town and ready to celebrate our wonderful sport. They hugged, they laughed, they caught up, they cheered, they had a good time. It’s a fun night, one we look forward to every year. Check out the photos from the night and watch the video of the action. See you next year!
More 2014 SUP Awards coverage here.
The 2014 Battle of the Paddle was the most exciting year yet, with the toughest conditions in the event’s history. Past champions Kai Lenny, Candice Appleby and Danny Ching repeated wins, while Lina Augaitis took top honors for the first time. Check out the video highlights above by Matty Schweitzer.
View the Distance Race recap here.
Click here to view the Elite Race recap.
View BOP photos here.
For more information, visit: BattleofthePaddle.com
Click here for more Event Coverage presented by SIC Maui.
Talk about a marriage proposal gone wrong. On the evening of Sunday, October 5, 2014, with hundreds of beach-goers lining the shore of San Diego’s Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Eric Barretto was flying high, proposing to his girlfriend during their sunset hot air balloon ride. But all of a sudden, the romantic moment turned disastrous when the hot air balloon took an abrupt turn toward the ocean.
The Panda Air Bear Balloon Flights pilot told NBC San Diego he thought the best course of action would be to let winds push the hot air balloon west to the water so onshore winds could push them back.
Instead, the hot air balloon took a plunge into the Pacific, directly into the crowded surf lineup. Standup paddlers surfing nearby paddled over to aid the hot air balloon, which continued to take dips into the water.
With the help of the standup paddlers, surfers, and lifeguards, the hot air balloon and its passengers were able to get to shore safely.
“It’s unforgettable. That’s all I can say,” Barretto told NBC San Diego. “I don’t know if we’ll do it again.”
Click here for more SUP videos.
Salt Creek Beach was SUP central last weekend with the annual Rainbow Sandals Gerry Lopez Battle of the Paddle. Hot weather and a south swell provided challenging conditions with plenty of carnage in each event. Kai Lenny and Candice Appleby took top honors in Saturday’s Elite Final, while Danny Ching and Lina Augaitis were victorious in Sunday’s Long Distance race.
More on Saturday’s Elite Race here.
Check out Sunday’s recap here.
Click here for more Event Coverage presented by SIC Maui.
Canadian Lina Augaitis won her first Battle of the Paddle Distance Race crown while Danny Ching took his seventh (including both Hawaii and California BOPs) today. Both the athletes took third in their respective Elite Race categories yesterday.
Augaitis came around the last buoy far behind defending distance champ Annabel Anderson, the clear favorite to win the event. But a solid six-foot set rolled through as the Kiwi made her way toward the finish line, wiping her out and breaking her leash. The reigning champ had a good 100 yards to swim to get to the sand and Augaitis took full advantage, paddling farther north to avoid the waves and hopping of cleanly in the shore break and running in for the win.
“S!@# happens,” Anderson said. “S!@# happened yesterday and s!@# happened today.”
Augaitis was all smiles.
“It’s been a great weekend for me,” Augaitis said. “I couldn’t ask for a better outcome.”
SUP Awards Female Breakthrough Performer Fiona Wylde capped off her stellar weekend with a third place result after her fourth yesterday.
“I’m so happy,” she said. “I didn’t think I could do it but I pulled through.”
Ching was unchallenged on his 14-footer as he came into the beach cleanly and jogged up for a clear victory.
“This is my sixth or seventh win,” Ching said, trying to remember exactly how many times he’s won this race. “It feels awesome.”
Distance unlimited master Rob Rojas also came in unchallenged by competitors but took a big wipeout to finish his race, as he did at the start as well. It clearly didn’t faze him.
Casper Steinfath won in the 12’6″ division.
For Day One, Elite Race photos and recap, click here.
1. Danny Ching (1:17:35)
2. Beau O’Brian (01:19:12)
3. Georges Cronsteadt (1:19:14)
4. Chase Kosterlitz (1:19:32)
5. Fernando Stalla (1:19:43
6. Eric Terrien (1:19:45)
7. Titouan Puyo (1:19:45)
8. Mo Freitas (1:19:55)
9. Martin Lerourneur (1:20:18)
10. Niuhiti Buillard (1:20:21)
1. Lina Augaitis (1:26:07)
2. Annabel Anderson (1:27:00)
3. Fiona Wylde (1:28:06)
4. Sonni Hönscheid (1:28:20)
5. Shae Foudy (1:29:16)
6. Shannon Bell (1:31:11)
7. April Zilg ( (1:32:55)
8. Sondra Purser (1:34:47)
9. Coline Guesdon (1:34:57)
10. Kelsa Gabehart (1:34:57)
Kai Lenny and Candice Appleby fought through the toughest SUP competitors in the world and the biggest, burliest waves the Battle of the Paddle has ever seen to win 2014 Elite Race crowns.
“Pinch me,” Appleby said, still breathless from crossing the finish line for her fifth Battle of the Paddle title.
“When I ran through, I couldn’t believe it,” Lenny said of his repeat victory. “It’s surreal.”
Both the men’s and women’s final heats lived up to the hype.
First up were the women, who didn’t have any qualifying heats today.
Annabel Anderson and Appleby were neck and neck the entire race, trading leads through the pumping four- to six-foot surf. Anderson, the two-time, BOP winner, made some uncharacteristic mistakes, missing a wave that let Appleby catch up to her for the run through the chicane. Punching out through the surf, both women used their ocean knowledge to pause on the inside before hammering through the big whitewash walls. On the last wave of the set, Anderson slipped and fell pulling some kelp off her board, giving the lead to Appleby, who never gave it up.
“It’s part of racing,” Anderson said. “Sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t, but we have a spectacular new venue and the skill level just keeps going higher and higher. I’m a 100 percent happy with this outcome.”
Appleby’s fifth BOP win has to feel all the sweeter since she sat out the 2013 Battle with an injured hand that required surgery.
“I’ve gotten a lot stronger mentally having had injuries and having some time off,” Appleby said through a grin. “Winning’s the easy part. It’s learning to lose.”
Canadian Lina Augaitis staged her biggest SUP performance yet, finishing third*. The relative newcomer doesn’t have as much ocean experience as the other top finishers, which makes her finish all the more impressive. With a little more time in the waves she’s going to be a major threat to win this race in the future.
“I had such a long race season so I was starting to feel a little run down,” Augaitis said. “This is the most perfect way to finish (the season). I can’t even believe it.”
The men’s action was as dramatic as it gets, as everyone on the beach was treated to a display of the current state of racing. All eyes were on Connor Baxter and Lenny as the two have been had increasingly intense battles as the season has drawn on.
For anyone that didn’t know what the term “rubbing is racing” meant before today, they did after the men’s final (see above). On the second lap, Danny Ching, Jake Jensen, Baxter and Lenny were all riding a medium sized wave toward the chicane when Baxter, who was just on the shoulder in front of Lenny, ripped a cutback and planted his board right on Lenny’s bow after Lenny took the high line to force him off the wave. Lenny fell and grabbed at Connor’s board. Both racers subsequently wiped out.
The crowd whispered at the physicality, ooing and awing as one of the most confrontational dramas in the event’s history played out before them.
“That’s why the call it the Battle of the Paddle,” Lenny said after. “Me and Connor have been rubbing boards a lot this season. We were on that wave just going at it and he put his board on top of mine and I fell on his board and it stopped him and everything went crazy. I guess that’s racing.”
In the melee, Ching took the lead with Jensen right on his tail. Lenny was able to weather the wipeout and hold onto the third spot as they moved into their next lap. Baxter dropped back a handful of places at that point.
Ching pulled the draft train through the final lap. He tried to catch a little bump to separate from Jensen and Lenny on the final stretch toward the finish line but missed it as it rolled under him. The Australian and the Hawaiian caught the next one, with all three top finishers on the same wave. But it was Lenny that was closest to the line. Ching took off running but lost his footing, and his paddle, leaving Lenny to hit the line first, with Jensen close behind and Ching after.
“If you’re good enough to be in that position, I don’t feel bad at all,” Ching said. “It was a great race, it wasn’t perfect.”
That wasn’t Ching’s only heroic performance today. In his qualifying heat he let everyone know his intentions when he got off to a healthy start during the first lap. After hitting the water again, though, Ching crested a smaller wave on the way out and snapped his board in two. His caddy was quick to act and got him on his replacement quickly. Ching was able to fight back from 23rd to finish second in that heat.
The breakout performance was from our dark horse pick, Australian Jake Jensen, who had the muscle and wave know-how to hang with the top guys in the world throughout the whole race for a second place finish.
“I put everything I had into it,” Jensen said. “I was up there with the two best paddlers in the world. I’m over the moon.”
As much as the SUP superstars were the main attraction, Salt Creek Beach certainly upped the level of drama throughout the day. Boards and paddles were broken, arms were flailing and everyone took their fair share of licks but all the racers were raving.
“I’m stoked to race here at Salt Creek,” Michael Tavares said. “It’s way more entertaining here.”
The action continues at Salt Creek Beach tomorrow with the Distance Race.
1. Kai Lenny (41:41)
2. Jake Jensen (41:50)
3. Danny Ching (41:54)
4. Lincoln Dews (42:24)
5. Connor Baxter (42:27)
6. Mo Freitas (42:28)
7. Kelly Margetts (42:31)
8. Eric Terrien (42:32)
9. Slater Trout (43:00)
10. Jayden Jensen (43:19)
11. Travis Grant (43:32)
12. Casper Steinfath (43:52)
13. Riggs Napoleon (43:52)
14. Zane Schweitzer (43:53)
15. Letourneur Martin (44:08)
16. Kody Kerbox (44:08)
17. Ryan Helm (44:36)
18. Georges Cronsteadt (44:49)
19. Kai Bates (45:03)
20. Greg Closier (45:12)
Women**Since this story was reported the results for the women’s Elite Race were amended. See below.**
1. Candice Appleby
2. Lina Augaitis
3. Annabel Anderson
4. Fiona Wylde
5. Jenny Kalmbach
6. Angela Jackson
7. Karla Gilbert
8. Sonni Hönscheid
9. Sondra Purser
10. Talia Decoite
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