User login

A New SUP WT by The Paddle League in 2018

Standup paddling has a new league and a new championship tour for 2018. Meet The Paddle League, an organization who’s mission is to “build a better, brighter and more sustainable future for standup paddling that benefits all of the sport's stakeholders.” Rather than trying to reinvent the sport or create new events, The Paddle League World Tour will, “collaborate with top independent events that have helped build the sport.”

The Tour will feature an international series consisting of nine races, plus several “Regional Tours” that will include about two dozen grassroots events. The points system will be interlinked, with the goal of making SUP racing as inclusive as possible.

The League is the brainchild of veteran paddler Kelly Margetts, Capital SUP’s Brian Meyer and SUP Racer’s Chris Parker, who have all worked in collaboration with both independent events and the Paddlers' Collective-a group of top athletes--aligned to help grow the sport.

The organizers are hoping to not only provide a more unified tour for both pro and amateur paddlers, but also to help each race grow with new sponsorship and added media exposure.

The points system for the Paddle League will be based on SUP Racer’s current World Rankings. This system ranks paddlers based on how they perform in races, with high-profile events such as the Carolina Cup and the Gorge Paddle Challenge having more weight (and points) than smaller or lesser-known events.

In addition to the eight major events that will be worth 100 points, the World Tour will also feature two “Specialty Events”--the Olukai Ho’olaule’a and 11-City Tour, worth 60 points each--which were chosen for their extreme or unique attributes (the use of unlimited boards at OluKai Ho’o and the sheer physical challenge of the 11-City Tour). And although the Pacific Paddle Games presented by Salt Life will not be part of the Tour and remain an independently managed event, the Paddle League will apply a points ranking to the race.

At this early stage, the Paddle League is already gaining initial support from the SUP industry. 64 of the world's best paddlers have voiced their support and many have worked closely with organizers to help formulate this new international series.

For those hoping to watch the World Tour races unfold from the comfort of their couch, you’re in luck. Each of the events on the World Tour (except OluKai and 11 Cities) will feature a full live webcast hosted by Chris Parker along with regular special guests that will include Dave Kalama and other SUP experts.