The 2018 Pacific Paddle Games presented by Salt Life is standup paddling’s most competitive race of the year. Need proof?

Held at iconic Doheny State Beach on October 6-7, the event features a festival-like atmosphere with fitness zones, demo zones and race opportunities for every type of paddler — yes, even those without raceboards. But what really sets this race apart is that #PPG2018 is one of last major SUP races of the year, meaning all championship roads go through Doheny.

There’s a quite a few of them too — the APP, IPL and WPA all count points from #PPG2018 in their championship rankings. Suffice it to say, the pressure cooker will be on for the world’s best paddlers. To cut through the alphabet soup of these three different acronyms, let’s explore what each series entails — including one that’s up for grabs for the open division.

APP – Association of Paddlesurf Professionals

Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt

This is the original SUP championship tour. Started in 2010 as the Stand Up World Tour and Series, CEO Tristan Boxford rebranded the series in 2017 as the APP World Tour.

Last year, it was Connor Baxter and Terrene Black who took home the APP World Tour Racing titles. This year, the tour features four high-profile stops at major cities including London, New York, San Francisco and Paris. While the London and New York events will have already taken place, #PPG2018 is sandwiched right in the middle of the season.

While #PPG2018 is not an official stop on the APP World Tour for 2018, athletes will still be able to accrue points from this event towards the 2018 Professional World Titles on the APP World Tour. So what’s that mean exactly? Put simply, this one counts.

IPL – International Paddle League

Photo: JP Van Swae

This is the new kid on the block. Although similar ideas have made waves in the past, the IPL is the brainchild of SUP Racer’s Chris Parker and race veteran Kelly Margetts, and essentially takes all of the biggest races in standup paddling (Carolina Cup, Euro Tour, Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge, etc.) and unifies them under one championship umbrella.

There’s plenty of races still to go but as things stand currently, Michael Booth and Sonni Hönscheid are leading the point standings. By the time the crew heads to Doheny State Beach, #PPG2018 will represent the last chance for fellow competitors to steal away the inaugural championship. Again, #PPG2018 is not an official event on the tour, but will be counted as honorary points toward the 2018 IPL championship.

WPA – World Paddle Association

Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt

While the other championship series are generally more focused on the professional paddlers, the WPA will also be crowning a champion at #PPG2018…and it could be you! That’s right, the new Salt Life Cup Open Champion Award will be based on results from the Pacific Paddle Games and the Open Technical race only.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up today, get training and you may just be walking away with some serious hardware on October 6-7.

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