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Denmark Will Host the 2017 ISA World Championship of SUP and Paddleboarding

It’s official: Denmark will host the ISA World Championship of SUP and Paddleboarding in 2017.

The decision, passed down by International Surfing Association (ISA) officials earlier today, may come as a surprise to many in the industry. Let’s face it: Denmark’s popular stigma, while honorable, doesn’t exactly fit the bill most would expect for the World Championships of standup paddling. Cold, rainy and waveless is what most of the world might associate with the northern European nation.

But last December, Denmark’s SUP poster boy, ISA Vice President Casper “The Viking” Steinfath collaborated with the Danish government to release the above video and announced its campaign to host the 2017 ISA World Championship of SUP and Paddleboarding. In doing so it became the first nation ever to seek candidacy for the event. And to be frank, at the time it seemed like a long shot. The ISA Worlds traditionally take place in warm-water climates and surf hubs. It was held in Sayulita, Mexico the past two years and it’s going to Fiji this November. Never has it been hosted by a European nation, and Denmark’s proposal, offering the waterways of Copenhagen for racing and the shores of Klitmøller, aka Cold Hawaii, as a venue for the surf contest, hardly fit the bill of a tropical surf paradise. But despite popular misconception and severe underrating, Denmark is actually a paddler’s gem.

And with its proximity to so many other nations, it’s a logistical dream for ISA organizers. All in all it seems to make great sense, albeit a little colder than your usual ISA Worlds environment.

This November, the 2016 ISA Worlds is slated to go down in Fiji, and while the water there is certainly dreamy, the same can’t be said for the logistics. More nations will be able to participate in the 2017 event and a more thorough infrastructure will be easier to create. But with the Denmark event still over a year away, we have a lot to look forward to in the lead-up to the event, and a lot of opportunity for change. But hey, as it stands, we’re pretty stoked on the decision.