September 22, 2012
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

Battle Of The Paddle 2012 Webcast: There Isn’t One (And Why That’s A Good Thing…)

UPDATE: Check out the complete Battle of the Paddle 2012 RESULTS


We’re only one week out from the 2012 Battle of the Paddle at Dana Point, California. SUP race fans are started to getting excited as the year’s biggest stand up paddle race approaches. But among all the talk about board class changes and who’s gonna win the race, one thing slipped through; there’s no webcast this year

This is the 5th annual Battle of the Paddle and one of the biggest drawcards in previous years has been the Battle of the Paddle webcast, at least for international SUP fans who can’t make it to Dana Point.

But this year there’s no webcast. Why? Few reasons…

According to the organisers, webcast viewer numbers have been good, but they’ve also been fairly static, i.e. they haven’t been increasing too much year after year. The Battle of the Paddle webcast also hasn’t been attracting outside fans; it’s catered purely to the hardcore SUP enthusiasts. It’s not helping to grow the sport as fast as the race organisers want it to.

The Battle of the Paddle is the sport’s leading event. It was the first ever big SUP race and still sets the agenda for all other events to follow. Rainbow Sandals and the event organisers realise this and want to use this event to drive the sport of SUP racing forward.

So for that reason, the webcast has been dropped for the 2012 Battle of the Paddle. But in it’s place is something even cooler… something that could do a lot more to boost the sport’s broader appeal.

The Battle of the Paddle is scrapping the webcast in favour of a fully-fledged TV production. They’re hiring an expert team of production professionals from one of California’s leading cable sports channels. The whole event, especially the Elite Race, will be filmed from every angle and edited into a slick TV package, ready for the masses (or at least that’s the idea).

Event director Barrett Tester summed it up by saying: “It’s taking one step back to go two steps forward.”

So even though it won’t satisfy the hardcore BoP fans across the world, who stay up to all hours just to watch the Elite Race live, the webcast’s replacement is hopefully a step forward for the event and for the sport of SUP racing in general.

I agree; it sucks that there’s no webcast to watch. Totally. However I get the feeling it’s a “short-term pain/long-term gain” kinda thing.

It would have been great to see both; a webcast for the hardcore fans and then a slick TV package for a more mainstream audience. But if the organisers had to pick just one (keep in mind both of them cost a lot of money), it was probably time to try something different.

No word yet on when/where the Battle of the Paddle will be shown on cable or TV, but the organisers are promising something a lot more spectacular than the BoP webcast from years gone by.

But for those who still want to follow the event live, don’t despair, we’re going to try and keep you covered as much as possible: will be covering the Battle of the Paddle LIVE. We’ll give you all the big updates throughout the weekend, plus keep you posted with turn-by-turn, “CoverItLive” style commentary and pics from the Elite Race on Saturday.

No, it won’t be a webcast, but hopefully it’s still gonna be worth staying up for.