Nearly 400 paddlers came together in the UK this past weekend for fun, racing, and claiming a new Guinness World Record. The Neilson SUP Armada Festival was held in Bewl Water, located about 50 miles southeast of London. The festival featured something for everyone including racing, SUP yoga, clinics, kids races, and much more. The day culminated with the attendees setting a new Guinness World Record for 390 paddlers participating in the “Largest Parade of Paddleboarders”. Get a glimpse at all the fun and revelry with these exciting highlights.
Watch a man and his dog ride a tidal bore for over a mile to claim a Guinness World Record.
More SUP world records.
Remember the name, Luiz Diniz. While you may have never heard of him, this Brazilian SUP surfer can flat-out rip. In his debut video, Diniz proves his talent by cranking torque-laden turns, aerials, 360s and more. So sit back and enjoy one of the best SUP surf edits of the year and keep your eye on this rising star.
Check out fellow Brazilian Nicole Pacelli’s latest year of big wave SUP surfing.
For other ultra-talented SUP shredders from Brazil, watch the Vaz brothers in action.
Four years ago, co-founders Keith Lovgren and Josh Harper decided they wanted to team up and do something bigger than themselves. To help individuals and families facing extraordinary challenges find a sense of normalcy, fun, and inspiration through the magic of surfing. Together they started the non-profit organization, Waves of Impact with the goal of giving both children and veterans facing disabilities the chance to ride waves using the stable platforms of standup paddleboards. In the past few years, Lovgren and Harper have already given over 1400 kids and veterans the opportunity to experience the thrill of surfing, all completely free of charge. SUP Magazine sat down with Lovegren to discuss the inspiration for Waves of Impact and what the future holds. – Jack Haworth
SUP: What has it been like to help give these children with special needs a chance to surf?
Lovegren: For us it’s not so much special needs, but rather kids with special challenges. I have challenges, you have challenges, and they have challenges. To us they’re kids like any other kids. I think that is why we have been so successful in the past, because there is no pity party going on. It’s all about the kids and having fun in the ocean.
SUP: What is a typical day at camp like for participants?
Lovegren: We team them up with two volunteers and take them out on standup paddleboards in the gentle whitewash. The kids surf for about 30 minutes and then we present them with a gold medal and tell them they did a great job. It’s really magical to see someone riding a wave for the first time. I still remember my first wave.
SUP: What impact does being in the water make on the kids?
Lovegren: We’re careful not to say this is surf therapy but rather we’re just showing them a great day at the beach. A lot of these kids have sensory overload issues and we think being in the ocean alleviates some of that. Team sports aren’t setup for these kids because it’s too competitive but surfing on a paddleboard is really fun and falling off is too.
SUP: What’s it like to work with the veterans in your camp?
Lovegren: They are way more hands-off than the kids and we’re careful to not over-help them. The only limitations they have are the ones they set for themselves. Sometimes it’ll be a wave we don’t want to push them into, but they’re just like, ‘No, let’s go.’ It’s very inspiring.
SUP: How has standup paddleboards made surfing more accessible for both kids and veterans?
Lovegren: Paddleboards allow participants to have a more stable platform and from the first couple waves, they are able to stand up and get the thrill of riding the wave. It has completely revolutionized things and allows people that would have never had a chance to ride a wave, to feel that thrill.
SUP: What do you hope is the lasting impact of this camp?
Lovegren: Kids with disabilities often get left behind. So I want them to know that there is this great community of other people in the same situation. It’s very inexpensive and even if you don’t go surfing, look how much fun your child has playing in the water or in the sand.
SUP: What are your plans for the future with Waves of Impact ?
Lovegren: I don’t think we will feel like our work is done until we open up registration for camp and it takes a week to fill up, as opposed to a few minutes. We want to get as many kids and people on the water as we can.
More information about Waves of Impact.
Other examples of paddlers who #standupforothers.
Inspirational paddler overcomes loss of arm to compete in SUP’s biggest races.
Standup paddlers and whales just seem to have a natural attraction to each other. At least, that seems to be the case with recent videos of paddlers coming face-to-face with these giant mammals. However, perhaps no encounter caught on camera has been nearly as harrowing as this latest example. Paddler Viviana Guzman was out for a paddle in Half Moon Bay, CA when a humpback whale launched out of the water inches from her board. Thankfully, both the whale and Guzman were unharmed in this must-see encounter.
One paddler’s close encounter with two orca whales.
More SUP wildlife encounters caught on camera.
Rugged cliffs, breathtaking architecture and the dazzling blue water of the Ligurian Sea makes Noli, Italy a world-class destination. This past weekend, SUP racers got to experience this gem first-hand when stop 11 of the Euro Tour rolled through the Italian Riviera.
It was the Tour’s first venture into Noli and it attracted a talented and diverse field of top European SUP racers. High temperatures resulted in a challenging race, but the competitors were able to use a few downwind stretches to their advantage.
Italian Leo Nika was able to claim his fourth victory of the season, outlasting fellow countryman Paolo Marconi who came home second. Meanwhile, Susak Molinero claimed victory in the women’s division over Frenchwoman Amandine Chazot.
Check out the sights and sounds of the spectacular event with this slick video recap. Three stops remain in the 2016 Euro Tour season, with paddlers heading to Marotta, Italy this weekend for The Adriatic Crown. Stay tuned to Supthemag.com for all your Euro Tour updates.
Get to know race winner, Susak Molinero.
More Euro Tour coverage.
That broad tongue of exceptionally warm equatorial ocean water that licked the western coast of North America, known simply as El Nino, was especially kind to Southern California over the 2015-16 season. Most specifically, where I’m concerned, at least, along the shores of Malibu, where summer water temps broke all records—75 degrees, at one point—and as early February, I was still paddling in trunks. Mid-winter, mind you, the water having dipped down to what I’d call chilly yet not cold. On this particular day I found myself cruising past a middle-aged surfer on conventional equipment, who sat on his board, the water up to his sternum. Middle-aged, I guessed, because covered as he was from head to toe in neoprene, from his five-mil booties to his hood, his exact age was hard to determine. But he looked up at me as I paddled by, his cheeks scrunched by the tight hood, his expression not altogether jovial.
“Don’t you ever get cold?” he asked.
I glanced down. “Cold?” I thought. Sure, I’ve been cold. Real cold.
Rigged out in rubber just like him, except much thicker and with gloves, too. I remember paddling out at the fabulous point break of Olafsfjord in Iceland, only a few miles south of the Arctic Circle. Air temps below freezing, snow covering the granite flanks of the fjord right down to the water’s edge. At the time I’d hardly ever standup paddled wearing a full wetsuit, let alone a 6/5/4 mil with thick booties, gloves and a hood. But the waves were so good—and the lineup so empty—that all I’d thought about was getting out there as quickly as possible. I wrestled into the neoprene armor, grabbed my board and paddle, clambered over the rocks and headed out. Sort of.
First thing, paddling with thick gloves on and no wax on the paddle. Discovering, as rows of powerful, frigid whitewater approached, that my rubbery hands would not obey my will, but would slide up and down the slippery shaft in a manner considered obscene in different circumstances. Second revelation: booties really stick to deck pads. As I struggled to get a grip on my paddle, I also tried to step back toward the tail, anticipating, should I ever achieve purchase on the carbon fiber shaft, paddling over the sweep of frosty foam. Tried to step back, being the operative term. Now I found my feet stuck to the deck as if to flypaper—I couldn’t slide forward or back.
There I was, three rows of 38-degree whitewater bearing down, standing stationary with my feet glued to my board, a stick of what might as well been black licorice in my hands, thinking, in one of those bright flashes of memory, of a trip to Costa Rica when it was so hot that I couldn’t keep the wax from melting on my board.
Then the ice weasels came, hundreds of sharp teeth gnashing at the exposed skin of my face. Or at least that’s what it felt like when I came up from my dunking. Had I been able to breath I would have certainly gasped. As it was, I simply gazed about stupidly, as if wondering, “What was it like, being alive?” The next wave hit—by now I was outside my body, musing, abstractedly, over a line from Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim.
“Only once in all that time he had again the glimpse of the earnestness in the anger of the sea. That truth is not so often made apparent as people might think. There are many shades in the danger of adventures and gales, and it is only now and then that there appears on the face of facts a sinister violence of intention…”
When you start recalling passages from century-old literature you know you’re cold. Yet somehow I’d crawled back up onto my board, risen to my feet, gingerly clutched my paddle and began making progress out into deeper water beyond the shoulder of the perfectly peeling swells. There I stood, my legs quivering like a new-born reindeer (the analogy perfectly appropriate considering the backdrop) sucking in great draughts of frigid, albeit heat-giving, oxygen, feeling consciousness seep back into my outraged nervous system. And I hadn’t even caught a wave yet.
So yeah, buddy, I’ve been cold. But standing there I couldn’t find the words suitable to express just how wonderful it was to be paddling in the middle of winter with the sun on my bare back, me in my trunks, he in his full suit, booties and hood. So I just smiled.
“One of us is crazy,” I said.
Story originally published in SUP magazine’s 2016 Skills Guide
For SUP yogis, the days of practicing within the confines of a yoga studio are now a distant memory. Instead of staring at four walls in a stuffy room, these flexible athletes can exercise their mind, body, and spirit while floating on nature’s most calming element: water. In this video, SUP yogi Lindsay Lambert proves that the clear water, pine trees, and fresh air of Oregon make for a perfect yoga session.
Another peaceful SUP yoga session to calm the mind.
Three SUP yoga poses to build strength.
In June 2015, many athletes competing at the Payette River Games were amazed that an adaptive paddler was overcoming his devastating injuries to compete in the open division. Then, when Jonas Letieri won his heat, they were astonished. While navigating the challenging features of Kelly’s Whitewater Park, Letieiri–who lost his hands and forearms in an electrical accident–displayed a preternatural calm and balance that enabled him to keep standing when those around him were being forced to their knees or thrown from their boards.
Since then, Letieri has made it clear that his Payette performance was no fluke. He is not only a force to be reckoned with when racing against other adaptive athletes, but also against the sport’s top competition. In his native Brazil, Jonas finished second at the Brazilian Triple Crown event and claimed fourth-place in the 2016 King and Queen of the Sea.
This summer, Letieri is staying with SoCal waterman extraordinaire, Anthony Vela, so that he can enter more US races. Letieri recently showed his stuff at the 2016 Salt Lake Tahoe race, claiming fourth place in the 12’ 6’’ division and winning the event’s Most Awesome Award for the racer with the best attitude. All that despite still coming to grips with the effects of altitude change.
Next up was the Tommy Bahama Paddleboard Race and Ocean Festival, where he braved cold and windy conditions to complete the PaddleCross course and 5.5-mile distance race. Now, Letieiri has his sights set on even bigger goals, including becoming the first adaptive athlete to compete in the men’s SUP relay division of the Molokai2Oahu Paddleboard World Championships.
“Anthony and I had just spent a wonderful day surfing at San Onofre last summer and Molokai came up,” said Letieiri. “I shared my respect for the race and how incredible it must feel to complete it, and he replied, ‘Well why don’t we do it and you can find out.’”
Since making the decision to go after the most prestigious channel crossing in SUP, Letieri has been working hard on and off the water to prepare himself physically and mentally for the 32-mile journey across the Channel of Bones.
“I’m lucky enough to have some great downwind runs close to my home in Brazil, so I’ve done a lot of these longer paddles to build up my endurance,” Letieri said.
He has also worked hard on his land-based fitness back in Brazil this winter and more recently with Vela and his training group in SoCal. Letieri combines running and cycling with balance exercises so he’ll be more stable while paddling amidst powerful currents and crosswinds between the Hawaiian islands. In addition to his exemplary work ethic and ever-improving conditioning, Jonas’ emphasis on torso rotation also makes his technique very efficient. This should serve him well in the latter stages of his Hawaiian odyssey from Molokai 2 Oahu.
“Whenever I’m trying to teach a new paddler the proper mechanics and core activation, and they say it’s impossible to paddle by not using your arms, I show them Jonas,” said Dave Boehne, who has spent a lot of time paddling with Letieri in California the past two summers. “He does the unthinkable.”
Once Letieri and Vela make history with their Molokai2Oahu performance, Letieri will turn his attention to the biggest remaining event on the competitive SUP calendar: The Pacific Paddle Games.
“I’ve been working with my coach in Brazil on a lot of SUP Cross and coming in and out of the surf,” Letieri said. “Anthony is also helping me train hard for the different distances. All the best paddlers in the world will be at PPG and it will be an honor to be out there with them.”
For many in the tightknit SUP community, the honor will be all theirs.
“Jonas is an awesome inspiration,” Boehne said. “Not only is he breaking boundaries and doing things people can’t fathom being possible, it’s his personality and attitude that are constantly reminding me how to live life.”
Learn more about Jonas’ incredible life and paddling career.
One paddler’s journey from the Special Olympics to the Carolina Cup.
This past weekend, paddlers from around the world came together for the epic Maui 2 Molokai downwind race. Known as one of the world’s best downwind courses, the 27-mile race took racers across the Pailolo Channel and into the Kalohi Channel, tracking Molokai’s south shore. Maui’s Connor Baxter claimed the top spot with a time just under three hours, closely followed by Australian Travis Grant. As for the women, Devin Blish took the victory over other top ladies, Terrene Black and Annabel Anderson. So enjoy some highlights and hear from the athletes who competed in this legendary event.
More downwinding videos.
Check out footage of Josh Riccio cruising on the Maui to Molokai run.
Focus SUP Hawaii is excited about the recent hiring of Shain Logeais as its Director of Sales.
With the growth in sales and distribution the need was there for a strong director of sales to handle and support the growing demand for the Focus SUP Hawaii line of SUP boards.
Shain will oversee the entire domestic sales program and certain international markets.
Working with our East Coast distributors Red Dog and sales manager Bill Stecchi, and managing the expansion of our sales team.
“The SUP market is a very competitive and fast growing, Shain is the perfect fit for us both with his excellent sales skills and his undying love of the outdoor lifestyle industry” says Jacob Benzvi CEO of Focus SUP Hawaii.
Shain has spent many years in the outdoor industry and the last three and a half years as Kialoa Paddles director of sales.
“It was an important decision, and I found that the Focus SUP Hawaii brand and foundation are both strong and stable. We have a lot of exciting things in our future” says Shain.
Come introduce yourself to Shain at Outdoor Retailer next month and Surf Expo in September!
About Focus SUP Hawaii
Focus SUP Hawaii was founded in 2008 to design, manufacture and distribute a diverse range of stand up paddleboards that are technically superior, and performance motivated.
Focus SUP Hawaii boards are designed in Hawaii and sold worldwide. Since its humble beginnings Focus SUP has evolved into a leading SUP manufacturer with four lines including FOCUS SUP HAWAII, PAT RAWSON SUP, SURF DIVA, BODY GLOVE SUP and the new PRIME PADDLEBOARDS.
With its tagline “Your Life, Your SUP” the purpose of Focus SUP Hawaii is to bring the best and most diverse variety of standup paddleboards to the marketplace.
Today, members of the Focus SUP Hawaii family include Mo Freitas, one of the world’s leading riders and top North Shore Hawaii shaper/designer, Pat Rawson.
Focus SUP Hawaii has worldwide distribution, including: USA, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Europe and Japan
To find more information visit their website
For three years in a row, Team Australia has taken home the gold at the ISA World SUP and Paddleboarding Championships, an Olympic -style event featuring an international cast of some of the very best in the sport. No team from the United States has ever won.
Last year the US SUP Team, led by world-class athletes like Izzi Gomez, Danny Ching, Candice Appleby, Sean Poynter and Jack Bark, defied the odds to beat out Team Australia, which dominated the competition for three straight years prior. Filmmaker Brent Deal was there to catch the dramatic battle from all angles and, here he weaves together the personal and passionate moments that molded this group of highly competitive individuals into a winning team. Come watch the USA team reach for glory as they attempt to bring home gold in this inspirational documentary. Director Brent Deal and the US SUP Team will be onsite for a Q&A after the screening.
Let’s face it: standup paddleboards, while fantastic in the environment, are hardly fantastic for the environment. Foam, fiberglass and apoxy resin—the materials used to make most paddleboards, aren’t exactly the most biodegradable or least toxic materials in the landfill. As a community at large, paddlers tend to be an environmentally mindful bread; we have a number of members who use their equipment to improve the natural world. But when we come across an outfit like Lambrecht Surfboards—a crew that hand-shapes artisan SUPs using reclaimed wood, masterful craftsmanship and minimal footprint, we tip our caps. Besides, if this doesn’t make you want to sell your gas-guzzler, move to the boondocks and spend your days in nature fine-tuning your woodworking skills, maybe you’re better fit for water skiing.
Meet another environmental SUP craftsman.
People making a positive impact using standup paddleboards
Jamie Mitchell is a master of pushing sports to their limit: winning Molokai 2 Oahu an unprecedented and unbeatable 10 times, scratching into the biggest waves ever paddled into and now, reviving his survivor-style race format for The Waterman’s Festival, presented by the Quiksilver Waterman Collection. The event, to be held on August 14 at Huntington Beach, has a little something for everything, from lifeguards to swimmers, from the best standup paddlers in the world to first-timers, from prone paddlers to spectators. And there’s a $30,000 prize purse. Interested? We got Mitchell on the phone to get the scoop. —WT
How is everything going for the event?
It’s good. It should be fun and it’s purely about putting together a great event for the athletes, making them stoked and making the spectators stoked. Just running a great event with the goal of having everyone walk away with a smile on their face.
Break down the survivor race?
It’s basically a knockout format. Each heat we knock out 10 people, with a three- to five-minute break until the next heat until we get it down to a final race of 10. This year there will be a little bit of a tweak with a points system. The first ones were successful but the top guys didn’t have to expend much energy until the last race or two. The points mean they have to try to win every race and they can’t just cruise through a race and get 6th or 7th in early heats. These guys are going to be drained and beaten up by the time they make it to the final race, there is no faking it or cruising through conserving energy. You have to try and win every race to try and win the overall day.
What about other events throughout the day?
This day is for a lot of people who like the water, like swimmers or triathletes, who have not seen a paddleboard race. We want to involve them and have them stay for the day, and potentially add new people to the sport. There will be a one-mile swim to kick it off, a five-mile age group SUP and prone race, a swimming survivor race, the SUP survivor race (men and women), the 10’6” (prone) survivor and finally a dash for cash.
Why did you pick Huntington Beach?
It’s the middle of summer, it’s a nice big beach, there’s plenty of parking and it’s iconic. It’s a good fit and hopefully there’s a lot of foot traffic.
Why is it important to share your culture in Australia of lifesaving and racing here in the United States?
It’s about the lifestyle, whether it’s prone paddling or SUP or swimming. I grew up swimming and paddling and lifesaving for many years on the Gold Coast and I’ve seen lots of people cross over and try different sports. I think that’s a great way to bring people together. I’m looking forward to having all the different athletes on the beach at one time and hopefully getting outside their comfort zone, maybe the standup paddlers try the swim or the (prone) 10’ 6” or vice versa.
What’s behind the open board class?
I grew up doing open water prone races and the unlimited was just that: you make the fastest board you want to get across the line first, no restrictions. Pretty simple. Some guys are smaller and want a 12’6” and some are bigger and want a 14’. I just really want the athletes to be comfortable.
Any confirmed athletes?
Connor Baxter, Casper Steinfath, Fernando Stalla, Michael Booth, Travis Grant and a many others have shown interest. I think we will see a lot of the top SUP guys there.
Hopefully everyone comes down to support event. SUP racing is in an interesting place right now and these specialty style events could be where the sport is heading at this time. It’s exciting for the athletes and spectators.
Registration is now open for the 10th Anniversary of SEA Paddle NYC, a 25-mile race from the Brooklyn Bridge to Chelsea Piers Marina to benefit autism. The event, happening August 19 and 20, boasts a $30,000 prize-purse to be divided among the winners—the largest in its decade-long history—and will host some of the world’s top paddlers (Kai Lenny not excluded). The event is the primary fundraiser for the Surfer’s Environmental Alliance, which over the years has raised over $2.35 million for environmental preservation and numerous autism non-profits through paddlers’ support. In 2013, it was honored as the SUP Awards Top Philanthropic Effort. This year’s event is gearing up to be the best yet.
Register for SEA Paddle NYC
SEA Paddle NYC at SUP Awards
For river paddlers Nikki Gregg and Luke Hopkins, if there’s a challenging river worth paddling, they’ll be there. In this latest video, the duo take on the rapids of the Ottawa River. Beautiful scenery and challenging rapids made for one exciting day on the water.
Nikki Gregg takes on the Cumberland River.
Radical footage of Luke Hopkins shredding on the world’s finest standing wave, Skookumchuck.
Let’s just be honest with ourselves, most of us do not actually enjoy going to the gym. Between that dude who never wears deodorant, the screaming power lifter, and the guy who thinks the gym is for catching Pokemon Go characters, it can be a frustrating experience. In our humble opinion we find the best place to get that muscle burn is in the great outdoors.
Such is the case in Latvia, where are group of paddlers got together for a unique full-body fitness routine. Using SUP boards as platforms, this group performed a range of bodyweight exercises that challenged both their fitness and balance, while also allowing them to calm their minds in nature. So take note of the core-building exercises in this video, then head out to your local waterway and enjoy working out in a gym where the membership is always free.
For more SUP fitness ideas.
Bolster your shoulders with this quick 10 minute routine.
The Seventh Annual Tyler’s Dam That Cancer fundraising event, hosted by Flatwater Foundation on Monday in Austin, Texas, was an enormous success for both the paddling and cancer communities. With generous involvement from a number of participants, the fundraiser exceeded its goal of half a million dollars, raising $515,000 to help fund critical mental health programs for people affected by cancer.
This year was the biggest year yet, with 160 participants paddling the 21-mile journey on standup paddle boards from Mansfield Dam to Tom Miller Dam. The event culminated in a riverside celebration on the LCRA Lawn, where paddlers were welcomed to shore.
Party-goers enjoyed live entertainment by DJ Abe the Assassin, food and drinks by sponsors including NadaMoo!, Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, KCCO Beer and Mighty Swell Cocktails, a live auction and raffle, with 100 percent of donations and proceeds going to The Flatwater Foundation to continue their mission to provide mental health services to those affected by cancer.
More Tyler’s Dam That Cancer and other SUP Award Philanthropic Effort nominees
About Flatwater Foundation
At first glance, downwinding may not appear to be so difficult. You just paddle with the wind at your back, right? Well, not quite. Large wind swells come from all different angles and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can easily find yourself in a world of trouble.
One man who certainly does not have that problem is Josh Riccio. Growing up in Maui has allowed him to get plenty of experience completing downwinders, including the famed Maliko Run. To get a glimpse of downwinding done right, check out this POV video of Josh masterfully gliding from bump to bump on the legendary run.
Check out Josh downwinding from Maui to Molokai.
Everything you need to know about the world famous Maliko Run.
Welcome to the inaugural entry of the Plastic Tides environmental column.
Plastic Tides is a nonprofit supported by a dedicated team of paddlers and adventure conservationists with a shared love for watersports and a deep concern for the natural world. The organization was conceived during our time at Cornell University studying sustainability. As we transitioned into the real world, we aimed to combine our passion for watersports, science and adventure to affect positive social change and drive environmental conservation.
Plastic pollution became our focus, and Plastic Tides as we know it came to life during our expedition around Bermuda in June 2014. This was our first self-supported SUP research expedition. Over the course of eleven days, we circumnavigated the island to inspire our followers and ourselves to take action. Along the way we collected water samples in collaboration with Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation and The Plastic Ocean Project. We also filmed an educational mini-series about our journey and connected with local students about ocean plastic pollution in a novel and exciting way.
After returning home to Ithaca, New York, we knew we needed to develop a local presence and drive changed in the place we call home. The issue of plastic microbeads entering our waterways came to the forefront of our attention, and would become our primary focus for the next year and a half.
In November 2014 we set out to standup paddle 240 miles of the Erie Canal from Ithaca to the state capital, collecting samples and carrying our message about the dangers of microbeads along the way. Despite battling hypothermia brought on by intense conditions from the infamous polar vortex, we completed our research and proved the existence of microbeads in our waterways. The expedition drew statewide attention to the problem, and catalyzed Senator Gillibrand’s commitment to addressing it on a national level.
After this initial success, the microbead battle escalated for almost a year and remained the focus of multiple paddling research expeditions before our network of fellow activists achieved decisive local and national victories in November and December of last year.
In May 2015 our quarrel with microbeads brought us back to Bermuda where we worked with local environmental groups to launch the Beat the Bead Bermuda campaign. To kickoff the initiative we paddled a grueling, nonstop fifty-mile circumnavigation of the island. We pushed off at 6 pm and paddled through the night, transforming into SUP Zombies (yes, it is possible to fall asleep “standing up”), and arriving back at Aquarium where we had started 20 hours before. That trip became the inspiration for innaugural Devil’s Isle SUP Challenge, a race and fundraiser for local children that proved hugely successful last May.
Now that you’ve become acquainted with who we are and what we do you might be wondering what to expect from our column. Over the past two years we have become self-educated experts in the fields of plastic pollution and how to use SUP to bring about change, inspire others to take action, and spread the word. In the coming months we’ll share stories from our own past, current, and future expeditions, initiatives, and events, including our insight and advice for SUP expeditioning and the exploits of our ambassadors. We’ll also talk of plastic pollution within the culture and industry of SUP, and bring you updates from other inspirational paddle wielding eco warriors. Stay tuned!
Don’t ride the plastic tide!
Relive the inaugural Devil’s Isle SUP Challenge
More Plastic Tides
For Oahu’s Keali’i Mamala, when the surf’s up, he goes. Mamala made several trips between Oahu and Maui this past winter when massive El Niño swells hit the famed big wave break, Jaws. In this edit, we find jaw-dropping footage of his incredible rides from those trips. The fearless Hawaiian paddled into waves that would make most of us shudder, and then proved why he’s one of standup paddling’s best big wave surfers. Enjoy.
Epic footage of SUP surfing massive swells during this past winter in Jaws.
Watch Brazilian Nicole Pacelli take on a monster at Jaws.
They say three is a magic number and that sentiment certainly rings true in this latest SUP surfing edit. Three of the best–Geoff Breen, Roger “Dogman” Saunders, and Jackson Close–all share the spotlight in this highlight reel of textbook SUP surfing. With perfect overhead swell and paddles at the ready, this trio charges hard and tosses plenty of spray in their wake. So quit reading this and hit that play button…you’re welcome.
More footage of Jackson Close shredding with authority.
The Dogman takes it easy and SUP surfs a couch chair.
We recently explored how growing participation in SUP river racing is pushing the sport’s distance boundaries. In this SUP magazine exclusive, world champion Lina Augaitis shares her experiences of taking on the daunting Yukon River Quest, with her husband and baby in tow. —Phil White
Was I ready? Yes and no. I was stressed for days before the start wondering if I was bringing the right gear, clothes and food. The weather really changes throughout the 444 mile course. I would have few chances to breastfeed Tav during the race, so I figured out how to use a breast pump and paddle at the same time – but would it work?
We had a beautiful day to start the race. I was at the front with Bart [de Zwart] and Norm [Hann] for a while and eventually found my place amongst the SUPs, which was about fifth or sixth. We paddled on the river for about three hours before entering Lake Laberge and got lucky with the conditions. First there was a slight headwind, followed by no wind, a slight side/headwind again and then a nice downwind to finish off the 37 miles of lake paddling. After arriving at the checkpoint at 10:15 pm I got off my board to pee and put on some warmer clothes for the night. I also pumped for the first time.
The next 30 miles is a wonderful part of the river with quick flow and amazing scenery. For a while I paddled amongst other boats and eventually caught up to Andre [Le Geyt] on his SUP. Then I took a different route around an island and didn’t see any other paddlers for hours.
During the mandatory seven hour break at Carmacks I had a different experience from my fellow racers. I held my son, Tav, after he’d had lots of milk and showered puke all over the clothes I was going to wear for the second half of the race. Before leaving Carmacks again on minimal sleep, I ate some pasta, fed Tav, brushed my teeth, and got my food organized for the 217 mile second stage.
I left at 10 pm and my first challenge was to get through Five Finger Rapids. Though it was smaller than when I did the YRQ in 2011, I still went through on my knees. That night was cold and lonely. It was the beginning of a maze of islands and I was starting to get annoyed that I was alone for so long. I didn’t have anyone to push me so it got tougher to paddle hard.
The next significant moment was likely the most memorable part of the race – in a slightly frightening way. It was 1:30 am when I got to where the White and Yukon rivers join. I was on my own and my GPS had stopped working. I’d just downed a 5 Hour Energy and in my exhausted yet caffeinated state was having trouble distinguishing between reality and hallucinations. I imagined yellow canoes and saw Gold Rush era people posing on the shore banks, all while I was trying to keep paddling. Then a yellow Voyager canoe appeared and I sprinted for it like I was at Lost Mills. I was so scared of being alone again that I didn’t eat or drink. I just paddled hard toward that boat.
When they finally disappeared I sat down and cried. At the next checkpoint a volunteer told me it’d take another eight hours to get to the finish in Dawson City and I almost lost it. But I had no choice but to keep going and so got back on my board. When I saw cheering friends and family at the finish line what I’d accomplished hit home: 60 hours on the river, the first woman to finish the race – plus seven pumpings for Tay!
What a journey, what an experience. I proved to myself I can make decisions out in the wild on moving water. In the end, the whole family survived the challenges that come with a mom wanting to paddle the Yukon River Quest and taking her six-month old along. And if we can do that, we can do anything!
Located in the South Pacific is the French island of New Caledonia. Palm trees line the scenic shoreline that is surrounded by crystal clear waters covering a huge barrier reef filled with marine life. For standup paddlers, there are few more beautiful places to paddle. In this latest video, renowned paddler Nikki Gregg highlights the attractions of the island, including the burgeoning downwinding SUP scene. So hit play and check out this epic SUP destination.
More SUP destinations.
For more epic downwinding action, check out the gallery from our Maui Dream Retreat.
Standup paddling with your pup onboard might be a fun bonding experience. But, it can also be a dangerous—or even devastating—event if an emergency arises and you’re unprepared and unable to ensure your pet’s safety. While the U.S. Coast Guard requires recreational vessels to ‘have a wearable life jacket for each person aboard,’ and, California Law requires life vests be worn by those under the age of 13 when aboard a watercraft 26-feet or less, unfortunately, there aren’t any life vest requirements for dogs or other pets.
Although there’s no law in place to protect our fur children, four-legged friends deserve the same attention to water safety as any human. There are lots of options for canine life vests, and it’s best to refer to one of the many sizing and weight charts provided by makers of canine floatation devices (CFD) to make the best decision when shopping for your pet. It’s also imperative to make sure your dog can swim prior to paddling out—which means testing them first in calmer shallow was with supervision, of course—and that you’ve talked to your veterinarian about any potential health issues that might further their risk of potential injury. When taking your pup to SUP, be a responsible guardian and have a proper life vest that will help keep your dog water-safe, like the ones we’ve found below. You can’t predict an accident, but you can prevent them sometimes, and be prepared when one occurs. —Shari Coble
A quality adjustable CFD option, this vest by NRS offers five adjustment points (four across the sides and one over the shoulder) and three NRS buckles to securely fasten the vest around your dog so he or she will be snug and properly outfitted to remain on the water’s surface. The grab handle on the top of the vest/pet’s back aids in easy retrieval, and the leash ring allows the CFD to double as a walking harness, but can also be used to attach a light, information tag, or reflector. The NRS CFD features flotation around the neck and under the chin as well as across the back, where two strips of reflective tape help further visibility. There’s also a zippered pocket to store a leash, snacks, or a small toy. Don’t worry about wear and tear, NRS used some of their toughest patented material to make this the first and last CFD you’ll ever need for your pooch.
US Coast Guard approved, RC Pets’ Canine Life Jacket is a best-selling item—and for good reason: there’s a low-profile handle on the back for easy-grabbing, reflective piping along the back and sides, as well as a D-ring leash clip, too. The only color option is bright orange, which helps with easy visibility if in the water, and the design—an ergonomic fit—allows dogs to walk and swim naturally. The NBR foam within is environmentally-friendly, and, there are adjustable straps around the neck and waist, to modify sizing and ensure a comfortable-fitting vest that won’t your pup won’t slip out of when trying to stay afloat.
$45 – $56 (price varies by size), rcpets.com
Buyers of this CFD rave about it’s ability to keep pups of all shapes and sizes higher up in the water, as well as its ability to self-correct so the dog’s head stays above the surface. Available in red and yellow, the vest by Ruffwear is built with abrasion-resistant material, and is adjustable with two straps at the telescoping neck, as well as two straps on the rib cage. Reflective piping across the top back and sides allow you to easily spot your furry friend, while the handle on the top back makes grabbing your pup almost effortless.
More gear here.
Since 1947, Imua Family Services has been working with children with special needs and living out their mission of “empowering families and their children to reach their full potential.” Forty years ago, the Maui-based non-profit added their popular summer program, Camp Imua, a week-long summer camp for volunteers and children with special abilities. These days, the operation is supported largely by fundraising efforts at Bluesmith’s Paddle Imua, one of Maui’s most prestigious downwind paddle races held annually at the Maliko Run.
We got the chance to sit down with executive director, Dean Wong, and hear about the fun activities the camp offers, the amazing volunteers that are the backbone of the organization and the organization’s annual fundraising race, Paddle Imua.
SUP: What is Camp Imua all about?
Dean Wong: The camp provides a week of solid respite for the families and caregivers of special needs children. Being the caregiver or parent of a child with special needs is a 365 days a year, 24/7 job. You don’t have the luxury of leaving your child with a sitter or on his or her own. Many of the children who come to camp don’t get to experience sleepovers or nights away from home, so camp provides huge growth and independence opportunities for them.
Camp Imua is not about therapy. It’s meant to feel like a camp that any typical child would attend. It’s full of activities like campfires, arts and crafts, surfing, kayaking, canoeing, helicopter rides, horseback riding, dance nights and a talent show. The idea is to structure the camp so that every child, no matter their ability level, is able to participate in these activities.
Who are your volunteers?
Our volunteers are mostly high school students or returning college students (this is uniquely important because children want to hang with peers, not a bunch of adults). These students are grouped into care teams of two or three per team and are given leadership and skills training before being assigned campers. They are responsible to care for a child 24/7 while at camp, with the support of our staff and nurses. What starts out as a camper and caregiver team soon turns into a group of friends who care for each other.
What has been your most rewarding experience working with Camp Imua?
Seeing the relationships develop. In a typical high school setting, some of these kids would never have paid attention to the children in special needs classrooms. But after a young person experiences Camp Imua, they will never dismiss a person with special needs again. In fact, they will find themselves going the extra mile to include them – as it should be.
What has been the overall reaction from your campers?
The campers look forward to the experience all year and can’t wait to come to camp again. The last day of Camp Imua is filled with tears of joy and sadness that the experience has come to a close. It’s a beautiful thing.
How could someone get involved?
Sign up to volunteer at Camp Imua; that’s the best way to learn what we’re about first-hand. Or be a paddler or a sponsor at Bluesmiths Paddle Imua, to ensure camp always happens.
How are you funded?
Bluesmiths Paddle Imua has become our biggest success for fundraising. The ocean sports enthusiasts who come each year to paddle out for children with special needs has become our greatest support system, as well as the many sponsors who get involved. We also apply annually to various family foundations and grants, such as Maui United Way, to support Camp Imua.
Tell us more about Paddle Imua.
Bluesmiths Paddle Imua just celebrated its fifth year of the annual race. This one-of-a-kind, mission-based race follows the renowned Maliko downwind run and directly benefits Imua Family Services’ Camp Imua program. Categories include SUP, one-person outrigger canoe, two-person outrigger canoe, prone paddleboard, and surf ski. At the finish line, we celebrate with an ohana festival, complete with a luau and beer garden, great prizes and giveaways until sunset.
Full recap and gallery from last year’s Paddle Imua
More info about Imua Family Services and Camp Imua.
While this may come as news to some, Israel has developed quite the enthusiastic SUP scene over the past few years. This is especially the case when it comes to SUP racing. For proof, just check out highlights from a recent SUP competition that was held on Lake TLV in the city of Tel Aviv. The Zazik Race Pro attracted a sizable number of both competitors and spectators–not to mention Australian pro SUP racer Trevor Tunnington. While you may not be able to understand the narrator of this video, the smiles and cheers of the competitors speak for themselves–a good time was had by all.
Get to know Australian SUP racer Trevor Tunnington.
Mo Freitas explores the waters of Israel.
Hawaii gave us some great footage last winter. El Niño-fueled swells rocked the islands and gave both SUP surfers and surfers alike their fair share of monstrous waves. For North Shore phenom Mo Freitas, this past winter was his nirvana. Shredding pumping waves on both his shortboard and paddleboard, young Mo was charging all winter long. In this newly released edit, he shares a few highlights from his winter to remember.
A day in the life with Mo Freitas.
Another SUP surfing edit of Mo in Hawaii.
The Yukon River Quest is well-known in paddlesports as the gnarliest and most grueling race of the year.
This revered competition usually takes between two and three days to finish as athletes–traditionally in either canoes or kayaks–paddle 444 miles through the Canadian wilderness on the Yukon River. It’s not for the faint of heart and prior to this year, standup paddleboards were not even allowed.
However, that all changed this year when organizers made an exception to allow SUP–a move that attracted top expedition paddlers including Bart de Zwart, Lina Augaitis and Joanne Hamilton-Vale. Yet with SUP expected to be the slowest of all the crafts, many traditionalists were highly skeptical about the move.
Unfazed by the doubters, 11 standup paddleboarders set out last Wednesday with one goal in mind–finish the race. Three days later and after only a combined 10 hours of mandatory rest, all but two achieved that goal and proved SUP belongs in the legendary competition.
For the majority of the race, the lead SUP pack featured a three-man dead heat between Bart de Zwart, Norm Hann and Jason Bennett. Paddling for more than 24 straight hours at times, the trio continued to push each other until the closing hours of the race.
With only a couple hours until the finish, de Zwart finally made his move to burst ahead and open up a gap. He managed to maintain this gap to the finish, becoming the inaugural SUP champion with a time of 54 hours and 41 minutes. Hann and Bennett would cross the line together only 15 minutes later.
Making this accomplishment even more impressive is the fact that de Zwart finished 26th out of 93 total entries which also included solo, two-person or four-person canoes or kayaks. In a race where many folks questioned whether SUP should even be allowed, to beat two-thirds of the field is a perfect way to silence the critics.
Arguably the grittiest performance came from top female SUP finisher and new mom, Lina Augaitis. Despite delivering her first child only six months ago and still managing to breastfeed during the rest stops, this supermom crossed the finish line with a time of 60 hours and 22 minutes. Not only impressive athletically, her determination serves as an inspiration to moms everywhere.
However, for all the triumphs the Yukon River Quest also delivered a few heartbreaks. Most notably with Joanne Hamilton-Vale, who was forced to retire early due to extreme illness caused by drinking river water. In addition, fellow standup paddler Tony Bain was forced to retire around the 186-mile mark.
Despite the hardships of some, the Yukon River Quest could be considered a big step forward for our sport. These 11 SUP pioneers pushed the limits of what was thought to be possible and proved standup paddlers can not only hold their own, but rather compete at a high level in one of the most extreme paddling competitions on the planet.
After this year’s trial run for SUP, we look forward to seeing which paddlers take on the 444-mile challenge next year.—Jack Haworth
Learn what drives standup paddling’s most extreme endurance athletes.
Exclusive interview legendary expedition paddler Bart de Zwart.
July 5th marks a monumental day in the watersports community. It’s the day the first-ever bikini was sighted seventy years ago. Since its invention, this classic piece of women’s swimwear has experienced both celebration and criticism. Today’s styles are varied and include classic cuts, one-pieces, active wear, and even retro pieces that date back to earlier times. In honor of National Bikini Day, we thought it only fitting to explore the evolution of women’s swimwear throughout the ages.
At the turn of the century, women showed up to the beach fully clothed, then stepped into a dressing room on wheels to change into their bathing costumes. The costumes were essentially a conservative dress, complete with weights sewn into the bottom to prevent the skirt from flying up.
In 1913, Carl Janzten introduced a form-fitting two-piece suit to enhance athletic performance. The full-coverage suits were essentially shorts and a T-shirt or tank, but the transition was quit revolutionary.
One-piece swimsuits continued to dominate, but a backless cut was introduced, marking a huge change stylistically.
World War II called for fabric rationing, thus sparking the appearance of two-piece suits that revealed a sliver of skin at the waistline.
On July 5, 1946, French engineer Louis Rèard designed the world’s first bikini. He claimed that it was smaller than the world’s smallest swimsuit and was the first suit to reveal the belly button.
The suit was named after a nuclear test site–Bikini Atoll–because Rèard believed his design would be as explosive as a bomb. Rèard had to hire a nude dancer to model his design because nobody else wanted to be seen in his suit.
A few individuals sported the bikini, but one-pieces continued to reign throughout the 50s. Many countries banned the bikini and many considered it sinful to wear.
By the 1960s, the bikini became commonplace and was the swimsuit of choice. In 1962, Ursula Andress appeared in the James Bond film, Dr. No, sporting a homemade bikini. In 1964, Sports Illustrated launched its first swimsuit issue. The bikini, it seemed, was finally accepted.
The 70s were decorated with high-cut bottoms and low-coverage tops. Designers jumped on the more accepting times and released a wide variety of barely-there suits.
Neon colors and high-cut bottoms dominated the scene throughout the 80s. The G-string made its first appearance in Brazil during the later end of the decade.
Bikinis remained immensely popular during the 90s, but additional styles like the tankini, adjustable bra-style tops, and the classic Baywatch red, one-piece monopolized the water.
These days, bikinis come in too many styles to keep track of. There are strapless tops, cheeky bottoms, monokinis, athletic styles, high-waisted bottoms, and eco-friendly suits. You name it and your local SUP shop has it. It’s a beautiful time to be a paddler.
The bikini has come so far since its debut in 1946 and like everything, it will continue to evolve for years to come. Will suits become more geared towards athletes? Will we see the return of a style from a previous era? Or will we be introduced to a new style entirely? Only time will tell.
Happy National Bikini Day! Now get out and paddle.
Sustainable swimwear that’s perfect for any SUP woman.
Bikinis are just one of many reasons to date a paddler.
Two paddlers got the experience of a lifetime earlier this year while paddleboarding off the coast of Tahuna Beach in New Zealand. The duo came across two orca whales that came within inches of their inflatable SUPs. Unperturbed, the paddler kept the camera rolling and captured the entire encounter on film for the rest of us to enjoy.
Harrowing video of an orca stalking a paddleboarder.
More videos of animal encounters via SUP.
America. What’s like it?
From Puget Sound, where you can SUP surf a freighter wake, paddle with orcas and ski in the same day, to the Florida Keys, where you can paddle with manatees in the morning, shelter a squall for lunch and beach for sundown between mangroves, America is truly the land, and water, of opportunity.
Today we celebrate the freedom to explore that opportunity. We celebrate by running rivers, lounging around lakes and harnessing oceans. We celebrate with road trips down well-paved highways, rock tunes on truck radios, boards on racks and beds full of camping gear (don’t forget the paddles and pooches). We celebrate federal holidays on long weekends, barbequed food, beach bonfires and—don’t mind if I do—ice cold Bud Lights. We celebrate paddling in some of earth’s most magnificent marvels, without ever leaving our backyard.
This is a great lifestyle in a great sport in a great country in a great world. What’s more to celebrate?
In case you forgot, 2015 gave us one of the finest SUP movies ever created. The film aptly named, The SUP Movie, showed the world just how radical standup paddleboarding can be with an all-star cast including Kai Lenny, Izzi Gomez, Sean Poynter and many others. To top it all off, the folks from Poor Boyz Productions ended up taking home top honors in the Movie of the Year category at the 2015 SUP Awards. To sum it up, it was a damn good movie. While it has been available on iTunes for purchase since last year, the film will now be available to everyone for free courtesy of Red Bull TV. So watch this epic trailer to get stoked and then watch the full film in all its SUP-glory.
Watch the filmmakers accept their Movie of the Year award during last year’s SUP Awards.
Get ready for one of the next big SUP films with this thrilling new trailer.
Enjoy the trailer for Chasing Gold that relives the US SUP team’s triumph in the 2015 ISAs.
Muskegon, Michigan. – June 09, 2016 – After five successful years, Standup for the Cure, alongside its national sponsor, Ambry Genetics, and new local presenting sponsor, Mercy Health, announce Standup for the Cure, Muskegon to benefit the Michigan Affiliate of Susan G. Komen,. The team, led by National Event Director Dan Van Dyck, will be hosting the event at Harbour Towne Beach on beautiful Muskegon Lake on July 09, 2016 as the third location in a series of nationwide events aimed at expanding Standup for the Cure’s mission to raise money and awareness for early breast cancer detection, research, treatment and education.
“Standup for the Cure’s focus is to introduce non-paddlers to the healthy lifestyle of standup paddling, while building a supportive community bound by the desire to rid the world of breast cancer,” stated Event Director Dan Van Dyck.
The Standup for the Cure Event features instruction from top international paddleboard experts as well as breast cancer screening, live music, and a health and fitness expo. Attendees will also enjoy a great festival with catered lunch and beverages. Ambry Genetics, Standup for the Cure’s national sponsor, leads the visionary family of partners which includes Mercy Health (Presenting Sponsor) West Marine Products (Gold Sponsor), Maui Jim (Gold Sponsor), KL Outdoor (Local Gold Sponsor) and Cobian Footwear.
“We were thrilled with the success of Standup for the Cure and hope to beat last year’s attendance of 500+ participants and over $65,000 raised” said Jennifer Jurgens, Executive Director of the Michigan Affiliate of Susan G. Komen and breast cancer survivor. “Accurate and timely screening is vital for identifying breast cancer at an early stage and we know that breast cancer is most treatable when found early. Between the programs we’ll fund with the money raised and the exams happening right on site, this event really is a lifesaver! We’re honored that Standup for the Cure has chosen Muskegon for one of its national stops.” Online Registration is now open at Http://StandupMuskegon.org.
In support of the fight against breast cancer, participants can sign up as a team or individual through the Crowdrise website. Find more details and info on our site, or via Twitter at @StandUp4TheCure, and on Facebook @StandUpfortheCure.
About Standup for the Cure
Standup for the Cure is a non-profit, 501c3 formed for the express purpose of raising funds and awareness for early breast cancer detection, research and treatment. Founded in 2011, Standup for the Cure is fully supported by generous donations from their presenting and title partners and a host of Vendors and Volunteers who take part each year. Standup for the Cure has now raised over $720,000 for local affiliates of Susan G. Komen including their most recent donation of $85,000 to the Orange County Affiliate from the Newport Beach, CA SUFTC.
About Susan G. Komen Michigan
Komen Michigan is an independent, local non-profit organization that is dedicated to combating breast cancer. 75 percent of the organization’s net proceeds go towards programs and funding grants to local hospitals and community organizations that provide breast health education, screenings, diagnostics and survivorship programs for underserved men and women in Michigan.
The remaining 25 percent of net proceeds funds global, leading-edge research focused on the prevention of, and cures for, breast cancer. Komen Michigan’s mission is to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality of care for all, and energizing science to find the cures. For more information call 616-752-8262 or visit www.komenmichigan.org.
About Susan G. Komen
Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $889 million in research and provided $1.95 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at ww5.komen.org/social.
SAN CLEMENTE, California – The mission with the new and patented F.A.S.T. (Foot Actuated Steering Technology) was to revolutionize the same steering that SIC created in the beginning. The new system is focused on durability, reliability, serviceability and flexibility.
“This year one exciting thing that we are coming out with is the new Foot Actuated Steering Technology, which is an improvement on our current steering system,” said Mark Raaphorst, SIC Founder and Master Shaper. “After all the long hours of design, research and development, FAST takes controlling and navigating your paddleboard to the next level.”
It features a hot-swappable tiller arm that can quickly and easily be swapped for goofy or regular footed paddlers. To improve on the safety features we minimized the mechanical components, changed cables to push-rods and added multiple fail-over systems should you encounter a problem with the system on the beach or at sea. Of course it also needed to perform as well or better than the original system, which is hard to do. However, after more than 2.5 years of development we are confident that we exceeded all of the key design and performance requirements. We are stoked and we’re sure you will be too.
“After three years of intense development and testing, we are proud to be releasing our all new FAST Steering system for 2016,” said Jeff Baillargeon, SIC Brand Manager. “Innovation is at heart of what we do at SIC and the new FAST steering system is something that will change the way we paddle forever. This is a revolution in design that is bigger than just downwinding. Steering assisted paddling will change the way we tour on lakes, float down river and tour the coast. I am proud of the work that our team put into this design.”
F.A.S.T. Models Available in 2017
Bullet 17.0 V2
Bullet 14.0 V2
FX Tour 14.0
FX Tour 12.6
Contact your local retailers to get your hands on this new F.A.S.T. system from your O’hana at SIC.
About SIC Maui
SIC is the stand up paddling industry’s premiere manufacturer of high quality, race proven stand up paddleboards and accessories. Founded on the island of Maui and cultivated on a legacy of world class open ocean racing, SIC is an authentic stand up paddle board maker proud to lay claim to a heritage of designing the most winning board share together with out team of elite athletes, brand ambassadors and customers around the globe. Five Star Performance is our motto and we wear it with pride each day through our commitment to extending the SIC experience on and off the water to our growing family. SIC is committed to delivering the very best paddling can offer; for any condition, discipline or ability level.
This year, liberty lovers have three days to commemorate the historic day for the U.S.—and what better way is there to celebrate our patriotism than spending a day paddling freely in the great American outdoors? Independence Day SUP events are offered across the nation, with festivities running on both Sunday and the holiday, offering activities for kids and families in addition to SUP racing and Fourth of July celebrations. Get out there, have fun and enjoy the holiday a little bit more by checking out a SUP event near you. —Shari Coble
A variety of SUP events for elite and amateur (or what the event labels as ‘casual’) standup paddlers, the Liberty Paddle Games are a perfect way for the entire family to get in some friendly competition the day before the holiday. Events are appropriately held on Poulsbo’s Liberty Bay and include time trials, sprints, tandem races, a finless race and more, with a point system that will leave one elite and one amateur paddler to claim the coveted division trophy—and bragging rights.
Post-paddle, pig out in true American fashion with the Sluys Poulsbo Bakery Pie Eating Contest, kicking off at 4:30 p.m. for $5 per person (must be over the age of 18). End the day the way our forefathers would have wanted—enjoying fireworks on the Fjord at Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park downtown.
Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Event Fee: $10
An event that celebrates the 4th of July and raises money for loon–a type of aquatic bird–protection, Stand Up 4 Loons offers SUP racing for beginners to intermediates and a kayak race too. The SUP sprint racing is a total of .3 miles for beginners and .4 miles for intermediates, while the short course is a quick race too, with distances of .45 miles for beginners, and .6 miles for intermediates. Kayakers will race 1.8 miles around Happy Island and winners of each event will receive trophies.
Time: 8:00 a.m.
Event Fee: $20 pre-register $30
Time: 8:00 a.m. check-in at race start locations; 10:00 a.m. SUP long course start; 11:15 a.m. SUP short course start
Grab your groms, friends, and family for a point-to-point race along Oahu’s iconic North Shore, with an epic finish at breathtaking Waimea Bay. Open for OC1, OC2, OC4 (mixed crews only) prone and standup paddle boards, the Hui O He’e Nalu Independence Day Race offers a four-mile short course for paddle boarders and four-man canoes, and the seven-mile long course for paddle boarders, OC1 and OC2. Long course races start at Turtle Bay Resort, while short course races take off from Sunset Beach, with shuttle returns included. Paddle board divisions offered include individual, SUPSquatch, Parent/Child Tandem (SUP and prone), as well as age divisions for Stock, 14’, and Unlimited board classes. Post-race, catch a shuttle back to Turtle Bay Resort for fun-filled celebrations on-site including Eat the Street food truck extravaganza, food and drinks from KeNui Kitchen, the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival, and topped off with a night of fireworks and an afterparty at Surfer, The Bar.
Event Fee: $30 – $40
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Join family and friends of Standup Paddle Jacksonville (SUP Jax) for a two-hour fun paddle around the pristine marshes of Dutton Island Preserve. Get some exercise in before the fireworks while also meeting some new SUP buddies as you look for wildlife and enjoy the scenic surroundings of the preserve. However, SUP Jax requires that you are either an experienced paddler or have had at least one class with them prior to participating in the Freedom Paddle.
Event Fee: $10 with personal board; $55 +tax with rental board/kayak
Time: 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Four active events with three different sports, all packed into the morning hours of Independence Day is what can be expected at the 38th Annual Valparaiso Duathlon and Paddleboard Race. Events including a SUP race, the free one-mile Family Fun Run, a 5k walk, and the Duathlon–which consists of a 5k run and 200m swim. Standup paddlers racing in the 3.2 kilometer race will start at Lincoln Park and race to Tom’s Bayou before returning for a fun finish in front of the spectators at Lincoln Park. Board classes include race boards and SUP surfboards, with prizes for top three male and female winners of each category. SUP racers must be over 12 years old to compete. In addition, there will be kids’ activities on-site at Lincoln Park including a waterslide, bounce house and train rides; there’s also a sandy beach, swimming zone, and shaded picnic areas to relax and play at for the day. At dusk, the Twin Cities Fireworks Show over Boggy Bayou will be going off, so you can hang around for the entire day.
Event Fee: $25 per event (excluding $0 fee for Family Run)
More SUP events to help you get your paddle fix this month.
When Shane Perrin showed up as the lone SUP board among dozens of canoes and kayaks at the start line of the MR 340 in 2010, everyone thought he was nuts. OK, the dragon boaters were kind of kooky, but a standup paddler going 340 miles down the Missouri River? No way. Then Perrin finished 34th out of 117 solo entrants and nobody was laughing anymore.
After breaking a barrier in that race, Perrin’s sponsors encouraged the St. Louis resident to take on even bigger challenges. First up was La Ruta Maya through the jungles of Belize. Then came the Texas Water Safari, which even Perrin underestimated before getting caught up in its myriad obstacles.
“The MR 340 is no joke and I love the race, but the Texas Water Safari is 10 times harder,” he said. “There’s debris in the water, you finish up with an ocean crossing and there are a lot of long portages.”
Despite several setbacks, Perrin became the first standup paddler to conquer the course. He then returned to set a new best mark at the MR 340, completed the Everglades Challenge, and set two world records for most flatwater miles paddled in 24 hours. Not to mention, some ultra-marathon charity paddles with Nate Dub and Nathan Woods.
Though he would like to reclaim his solo SUP record in the future, Perrin is taking on a bigger challenge in this year’s MR 340 – literally. Rather than going at it alone, he’s part of the first four-person SUP team to enter the race and is custom building an 18-foot-long, 58-inch board to accommodate himself, Nathan Woods, Jericho LeFort and Dale Sanders. Last year, Sanders became the oldest person to paddle the entire Mississippi River from source-to-sea, completing it at the age of 82 and raising money for juvenile diabetes research along the way. Now 83, he will soon become the oldest competitor in the history of the MR 340.
The team jokes about being a band of misfits, as Perrin survived a kidney transplant, Woods came back from losing part of his leg and according to Perrin, “Dale says he’s just old.” They have even given themselves the nickname “The Gens” to signify their multi-generational makeup – Woods in his 30s, Perrin his 40s, LeFort his 50s and Sanders his 80s.
“I’m most excited for my teammates to experience a race like this,” Perrin said. “I’m also looking forward to seeing if Bart or Nate Dub can break the solo record and would love to compete against them next year. It’d be great if we could have half a dozen men and women taking aim at the record each summer. That’s what’s going to push SUP endurance racing forward.”
Bart de Zwart is another SUP distance pioneer who’s redefining what’s possible in distance river racing and standup paddling expeditions. This summer, de Zwart is paddling an average of 191 miles per race as he sets his sights on the planet’s most grueling challenges. As with the ultra-contests that Perrin has set benchmarks for, many of the races de Zwart is targeting have traditionally featured canoeists, kayakers and just about every other watersports discipline except SUP. But de Zwart is determined to show that standup belongs, and is taking on the 444-mile Yukon River Quest next week, before recovering and reloading for the MR 340 next month.
Lina Augaitis is also taking a crack at the Yukon River Quest (YQR), as part of her competitive comeback following the birth of her first child–Tav–in late 2015. In 2011, she also became one of the first women to compete in the YRQ on a SUP. No matter what the leaderboard shows at the end, it’s the unique experience of racing through hundreds of miles of unspoiled wilderness that will make all those strokes worthwhile.
“The Yukon River is rich in history and beauty,” she said. “It’s remote and wild and to me this is why it’s so attractive. I enjoy being up and about in nature at odd times of the day like 3 a.m. while the rest of the world is sleeping, and seeing and experiencing what many people never will. The best part is making it through to the end and being a better, more confident person for it.”
An inside look into Lina Augaitis’ road back to racing after having a baby.
Shane Perrin’s epic 535-mile SUP odyssey.
Single-bamboo drifting. It’s a serious sport to many in Southern China’s Guizhou Province, one of rich tradition and longtime heritage for its practitioners. According to our research, it originated around a hundred years ago in China’s Red River Basin, where residents would cut and float bamboo to travel through the region’s many massive rivers and long stretches of flatwater. Still used by some for transportation, bamboo drifting has also evolved into one of the beloved sports of the Guizhou Province.
All we know is, that’s the narrowest race board we’ve ever seen. And are you sure those paddles are regulation size?
For more traditional SUP boards, meet legendary shaper Joe Bark and his son, Jack.
It’s no secret that Giorgio Gomez and Dave Boehne are two of SUP surfing’s finest. The two are regularly featured in countless edits of them pushing progressive SUP surfing to the limit. While those videos are no doubt impressive, this latest edit captures the duo perfecting everything from torque-filled turns to aerials–all in slow motion. The slo mo effect gives the rest of us the unique opportunity to see exactly how they execute these eye-popping maneuvers. So hit that play button and prepare to go to school from two of the best.
Giorgio Gomez rips at Sunset.
Dave Boehne doin’ what he does best…shredding.
Saltwater seems to run through Tarryn King’s veins. A water woman to the core, the South African has a background in shortboarding and is a champion longboarder, so, naturally, she’s excelled quickly since picking up SUP surfing. A two-time member of South Africa’s National SUP Team at the ISA WSUPPC and wife to fellow competitive paddle surfer Tom King, Tarryn travels and trains with her husband—and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Here, the Cape Town native shares details about her longboarding and SUP surfing-focused workouts, as well as her diet, favorite gear, and how SUP affects her marriage. —Shari Coble
SUP: In addition to competing in SUP, you’re an accomplished competitive longboarder; how do you balance the two sports?
TK: It used to be pretty easy to mix it up and I seemed to surf my longboard and my SUP quite regularly, but, recently, my SUP has become first choice and my longboard is kind of collecting dust in the garage. I still try and get my toes on the nose every now and again, but SUP has taken over.
Do you have a single workout to help strengthen both your SUP surfing and longboarding performance?
Practice makes perfect! The more you get in the water and the more you surf the better you will get. That being said, I workout with a personal trainer three times a week, often doing strengthening and some light weights, along with bursts of cardio. I also try to get on my race board twice a week for a bit of flatwater training. In the summertime at home, we have some of the best wind in the world and our downwinders are EPIC, so summertime we could do anything from five to eight downwinders a week.
Tell us about your diet.
During the week I usually stick to a pretty healthy diet. I have a healthy breakfast every morning: either scrambled egg with avocado, or, a superfood smoothie. Lunch is always different: salad, avocado on rice cakes or a sandwich. Dinner is some meat and veggies. I’m a sucker for chocolate and eat plenty of it.
How do you see the female side of the SUP scene evolving in South Africa?
It is amazing to see the amount of ladies we are getting in the water these days. We run an all ladies SUP group once a week from our SUP store Xpression on the Beach, ‘the Wahines.’ Some days we have 25 super stoked ladies at a time! On the competitive side, we only have a handful of ladies doing contests, but there are a couple of young girls who are really ripping, so that’s always a good sign. Keep paddling, ladies, and keep sharing the stoke!
You travel and compete with your husband, Tom; how do you think your involvement in SUP as a competitive couple has affected your relationship?
Wow, it is so unbelievably special to share with each other. I wouldn’t want to do this without him. It has given us the most incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Tom is an extremely good waterman and excels in everything he does. He has a lot of knowledge in the ocean and has taught me almost everything I know when it comes to being out there in the big blue. He coaches me in and out of the water. He wakes up at 5am to come and film me surf before work, and, is always giving the best advice. I would never be able to compete at a world-class level without his coaching and always encouraging me to try my hardest! Traveling and training with him has made our relationship as strong as can be.
Round two of the Standup World Series went off this past weekend in Scharbeutz, Germany with the Mercedes-Benz SUP World Cup. After a six week break following the tour’s first stop in Japan, the paddlers were chomping at the bit to get back in the water. The action did not disappoint as the men’s and women’s races saw tight racing during both the sprint and long distance races–which were held on separate days. With an enthusiastic crowd cheering them on, it was Connor Baxter and German hometown hero Sonni Hönscheid who came out on top with the overall victories. So check out the action from the final day of competition in this awesome highlight video.
Recap of round one of the Standup World Series in Japan.
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