Video | Hundreds Attend First-Ever South Korean SUP Championship

Hundreds Attend First-Ever South Korea SUP Championship

SUP keeps expanding with SurfOcean Cup, South Korea’s first SUP championship

Standup paddling is a pastime in the infant stages of existence, growing with gang-buster momentum and showing no sign of slowing soon. Its growth as both a leisure activity and a competitive sport continues exponentially year by year, and young SUP communities small and large, in cities, states and countries worldwide, are bleeping on the SUP mag radar constantly.

The sport’s popularity is an effect of its ease and accessibility; standup paddling has virtually no learning curve and it can be done in all places with even a small amount of water. As a result, SUP societies of all shapes and sizes manifest all over, even in the less likely locales. All a person needs to standup paddle is a board, a paddle, some good ol’ fashioned H2O and a will to have fun and explore (along with appropriate safety equipment, of course).

Case and point: South Korea’s first-ever SUP championship, the SurfOcean Cup 1st Korea SUP Championship, which took place in late-September on the Han River in Seoul. The competition attracted a relatively large collection of paddlers, nearly 100 competitors in total from across the country, and even some from the U.S. and Canada. The event offered a structure similar to many modern SUP racing comps, offering both sprint and distance races in elite and open divisions, along with a communal relay race.

The first-ever South Korean SUP championship is brings comfort to us patriots at SUP the mag. It assures us that our sport is alive and thriving, healthy, hardy and growing all the time. SurfOcean Cup joins the long list of young, grass roots SUP events that continue to sprout around the world, adding variety to the collective culture of our community at large. From Detroit, Michigan, to Loch Ness, Scotland, and now to Seoul, South Korea—community-by-community, SUP is making its mark all over the world. And obviously, we’re not alone in the belief that there’s strong possibility, potential, and dare we say, probability, that in due time, standup’s culture will be a dominant presence in every waterway. Who knows—maybe Kim Jong-un will be the next to embrace standup (which he’ll undoubtedly prefer to basketball) and we’ll see the a new SUP Championship next year in North Korea. Hey, if there’s anything on earth capable of inspire such an event, it’s SUP.

Check out our annual SUP calendar to find out about other SUP events coming up this year.

Learn about other SUP events—large and small—by following our exclusive event coverage, which delivers event previews, summaries, galleries and recaps for major competitions and festivals.

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