Fastest-Growing Segment of Surfing to be on Display at Inaugural Event in Peru

Posted - News Posted for ISA News.

Australian Justin Holland will be showing was he’s capable of at Lima’s waves of La Pampilla. Photo: Surfing Australia

Top SUP and Paddleboard Competitors From Around the World to Compete in Miraflores

ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship
February 19 to 25, 2012
Miraflores, Lima, Peru

StandUp Paddling (SUP) has spawned an industry within the surfing industry – and a level of excitement not seen since the introduction of Simon Anderson’s “thruster” fin set-up. The enthusiasm surrounding SUP, and its further implementation into the wave-riding tribe is part of why the ISA and its president, Fernando Aguerre, wanted to create the ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship.

The SUP population is growing exponentially; people have come to realize that any body of water could suit the big boards and paddles. While the surfing side of SUPing continues to push the envelope on any preconceived performance limitations, the racing aspect of SUPs has also attracted a new group of people to board-riding. The two disciplines will be on display for the inaugural event beginning February 19, 2012 in the waters off Lima, Peru.

“SUP is a part of our sport that’s easy to learn, but difficult to master,” said Aguerre, who’s been riding SUPs for nearly four years. “Just like surfing, it has roots in the ancient history of our sport. It was a functional activity, used for fishing and physical activity, and then later you had the Waikiki Beach Boys using it to work with tourists while they learned to surf. Now, it’s becoming mainstream and further expanding the wave-riding and board-riding community. You have people riding SUPs all over the world, from Lake Tahoe to the Red Sea. I’m excited that the ISA is bringing the best that the SUP community has to offer to one place, in Peru.”

Following the resurgence of SUP less than a decade ago, by the likes of Hawaiians Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama, the discipline has been modernized, and the sport has evolved beyond riding waves to flat-water racing on oceans and lakes, and tackling river rapids.

“It’s a wonderful sport that you can do with or without waves, alone or with many people,” Aguerre said. “Pairing SUP with paddleboard racing seemed like a natural fit; both have ancient roots and have a place in our board-riding world.”

Over 140 athletes from 17 countries will make the trip to Peru to compete on SUPs and paddleboards. The event will stretch six days and include SUP surfing and racing, and paddleboard races, which will include sprint courses and marathon distances.

The event begins on Sunday, February 19 with the traditional ISA Opening Ceremony, the Parade of Nations and the Sands of the World Ceremony.

Aside from the ISA World StandUp Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championship, the ISA will also host the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in Panama in April, as well as the ISA World Surfing Games, the ISA World Bodyboard Championship, and the ISA World Masters Surfing Championship.

The event will be webcasted live on www.isawsuppc.com beginning February 19 until the final day, February 25.