Word on the Water | Where Will SUP Be In Five Years?
Word on the Water is our chance to pick the brains of the SUP community for insight on the state of SUP—past, present and future. For every issue, we ask a handful of standup paddlers from all walks of life to muse on a topic related to the sport. The result is an amalgam of perspectives and musings that we publish and share with the community at large in hopes of inspiring thought and dialog about our favorite pastime.
For our Winter 2015 issue—on newsstands now—we asked a group of spectators at the 2015 U.S. Open of SUP in Huntington Beach to share their thoughts on the future of SUP, specifically, where will SUP be in five years?
Hometown: Jupiter, Florida
Occupation: Full-time SUP mom to Giorgio and Izzi Gomez
Board design is going to get smaller and smaller and we'll see it move more toward a shortboard style. Everybody will own a standup paddleboard because anyone can do it. Hopefully we'll see it make its way into the Olympics and into the Pan American Games.
Kalani and Kainoa Delarole
Hometown: North Shore, Oahu
Occupation: Elementary school students
Kalani: It looks like it's going to be big. Guys are going to be really good, and maybe they're going to make better tricks, like an air backflip 360.
Kainoa: I think there are going to be different boards. Maybe wooden ones.
Hometown: Sayulita, Mexico
Occupation: Professional standup paddler
In five years I see it becoming one of the main watersports—catching up to shortboard surfing. Professionally, it's going to become very serious. As a professional athlete, it's going to be hard years to stay on the top.
Hometown: Hermosa Beach, California
Lakes and oceans will be full of standup paddlers. I think every surfer will have some sort of standup paddleboard in their quiver. The current generation of surfers in their 30s and 40s are going to start moving over to standup and there will be another boom.
Hometown: São Paulo, Brazil
Occupation: Pharmaceutical Company Director
The equipment will become cheaper and more young people and even older people will start practicing more. In Brazil, it is popular to practice in rivers and small lakes. This is good because you can have the sport in countries where not everyone has contact with the ocean.
Heather Nicole Wilcox
Hometown: New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Occupation: Residential Contractor
Surfing is on the table to be in the Olympics in Japan, so I'm hoping that in five years standup will be there as well. SUP surfing, open-ocean racing, flatwater racing—any of it has potential to make the Olympics.
What else have you heard on the water?