To recognize standup paddling’s growing community of philanthropic enthusiasts, year after year at SUP Awards we honor the industry’s most valiant social contributions with the award for Top Philanthropic Effort. In 2017 the competition is stiffer than ever, so for this year’s SUP Awards presented by Salt Life we’re consulting a panel of industry experts to determine a winner. To help make that decision easier, we narrowed the list down to ten organizations leading the social charge for SUP and while they can’t all win the year’s Top Philanthropic Effort award, they all deserve the recognition. Here are the nominees.


Standup for the Cure

This two-times SUP Awards Top Philanthropic Effort Winner that brings together thousands of paddlers around the world to fight against breast cancer, one sea of pink at a time.



The Butterfly Effect

2017 marks the 11th anniversary for The Butterfly Effect, the recipient of last year’s SUP Awards Top Philanthropic Effort award. Since founder Tatiana Howard started the event, they’ve gotten thousands of women on the water in 18 countries. The Butterfly Effect is a non-competitive event that encourages women to get on the water. They provide clinics (yoga, stroke, etc.) and then go on a downwind run. No men, no pressure to compete, just a lot of women doing a lot of good for others.


Tyler’s Dam That Cancer

Tyler's Dam That Cancer is a 21-mile paddle event that raises money for mental support of cancer patients, survivors and their families. It’s 8th annual event, held in 2017, raised more than $650,000 for the Flatwater Foundation, an Austin-based nonprofit dedicated to providing those in the community diagnosed with cancer as well as their families and loved ones with access to mental health therapy and family support.


Ocean of Hope

Ocean of Hope is a grassroots group of paddlers who train and race to raise awareness and money for the Sarcoma Alliance. Its series of ocean races are held each year in which athletes – both paddleboard and outrigger – compete and raise funds for The Sarcoma Alliance, a peer-to-peer network that facilitates positive relationships between individuals affected by sarcoma.


Paddle Second Chance

Paddle Second Chance is a Millville, Delaware-based event benefitting Operation Second Chance, a non-profit committed to serving wounded veterans recovering in the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and working to transition back into civilian life. Every June, Paddle Second Chance features five-mile and 2.5-mile fun paddles and works to get new paddlers into the sport. In 2014 Second Chance provided financial assistance in many ways including mortgage payments for 35 families around the country and airline arrangement for 111 individuals.


Racers line up before an iconic backdrop on the only beach in Manhattan for the 2017 SEA Paddle NYC. Photo courtesy of @codyrryan/CLIF Bar

SEA Paddle NYC

SEA Paddle NYC is a 25-mile SUP race around Manhattan to raise funds for autism and to protect our waters through the Surfers' Environmental Alliance. The Surfers’ Environmental Alliance is an entity committed to the preservation and protection of the environmental and cultural elements inherent to the sport of surfing. Their goals are achieved through grassroots efforts, community involvement, education, and humanitarian efforts like SEA Paddle NYC.


Paddle For Humanity

Recipient of the Top Philanthropic Effort award at the innaugural SUP Awards, the Paddle for Humanity has extended to five races and continued its giving ways. 20 percent of each paid entry fee goes to the organization racers select at registrations. Plus net event proceeds are divided among these organizations: Best Day Foundation, Keep Paddlin, Love146, LUNGevity, Navy SEAL Foundation, Ocean of Hope Campaign of the Sarcoma Alliance and Surfrider Foundation.


The crew behind the camp behind the race behind the charity. Camp Imua’s proud staff of volunteers, we commend you. Photo: Bryan Berkowitz

Paddle IMUA

During Paddle IMUA, participants take on Maui's infamous Maliko Run to raise money for the island's special needs children. With paddlers racing Maui's iconic Maliko Run, Paddle Imua benefits Camp Imua, a Maui tradition started in 1976 that brings children with special needs together for a week of recreational activities and a chance to connect with others. Activities include arts and crafts, games, helicopters rides and general fun. In 2016, more than 200 male and female standup paddlers took to the water to raise fund for the benefit of Maui's children with special needs and Camp Imua.


Hamptons Paddle and Party For Pink

In three years, this event has raised over 5 million dollars in the fight against breast cancer at its annual charity paddle and fundraising gala.


Next National SUP Day

Next National SUP Day brings the paddling community together to fight cystic fibrosis, a diseases that afflicts 30,000 people in the US alone.


More SUP Philanthropy