August 29, 2022
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

SUP Racer is for sale.

Mallorca is beautiful in April. Too early for tourists but just in time for sunshine, the island offers a relaxing ambience in spring.

I first visited the Mediterranean nearly 10 years ago for the inaugural Port Adriano SUP Race. In early 2013, SUP Racer was barely a year old while the sport itself was still in its infancy across Europe. Back then we were paddling boards that would look antiquated today, half the field were still on 12’6 and one of 2022’s top performers, Duna Gordillo, was just nine years old.

In other words: SUP racing was still young. But like the wildflowers on the mountains of Mallorca’s rugged west coast, the sport was beginning to blossom.

Quite fittingly, this was also when and where I decided SUP Racer would be my full-time job.

In the years since there have been countless travels, events and adventures around the world as we watched our sport develop in all its rollercoaster-like glory. Europe grew into the center of the SUP universe, the kids from Mallorca are now winning world titles, and SUP Racer became one of the leading voices in the community.

But now, all grown up, it’s time for a new beginning. I believe there are many great stories from the world of SUP racing still to be told, and that SUP Racer has a lot left to contribute, however this platform needs a new Boss Man (or Boss Woman) to enter its next era.

So far that reason, SUP Racer is for sale.

Since it all began in late 2011, I’m eternally grateful for the amazing lifestyle and beautiful human connections the world of SUP has given me, and I’m proud of what SUP Racer has given back to the world of SUP.

This humble blog has helped shape many community decisions, elevate great events and highlight talented new paddlers. From the original race calendar to the first ever world rankings to the interviews, insights and race highlights, I believe SUP Racer has had an impact. It’s never been perfect but always been passionate. That passion is still there, it just feels different now.

I was in my 20s when I started SUP Racer. Traveling the world for “work” was a dream come true, and it’s a time in my life I’d never change. But now I’m almost 40 and have other priorities. I still love to paddle, and I still get excited when I see the world’s best standing on the start line, but I’m done living out of a backpack. I also want to focus on my new project telling stories about the ultra-marathons I’ve fallen in love with.

So I’m looking for someone (or a collective) who wants to be the new leader and ensure SUP Racer continues contributing to our sport for another decade to come. I won’t be disappearing entirely, but it’s time to hand over the reins so a new reign can begin. It’s not easy letting go of something that’s defined almost a third of your life, but it’s because I care so much about our community (and SUP Racer’s standing within it) that I want to see someone else carry the torch instead of letting the flame flicker and die.

As you may have noticed, SUP Racer has been on ice the past couple of months while I’ve tossed up ideas for how to keep it afloat (and it was already in the fridge for a year before that). With the World Champs and 11 City Tour fast approaching, now feels like the right time to exit limbo and move forward.

If you’ve ever wanted to be a voice in our community, if you’ve ever wanted travel & paddle, be part of incredible events around the world, have your finger on the pulse and contribute to the future of the sport, let’s chat.

It goes without saying that the ideal buyer must be passionate about our sport. I have no desire to sell for money alone — I want to see SUP Racer in safe hands. You don’t need to travel the world living out of a backpack in order to run this platform (though that’s certainly an option) but you do need to dedicate serious time to it.

At first, I considered selling to one of the federations that desperately need a louder voice. I even thought it might bring a little unity to the sport by aligning a couple of major pillars. Indeed, “The ICF should buy it” was the first response from several industry experts when I canvassed their opinions, and I agree it would make sense in some ways.

But federations have their own way of doing things (read: they don’t like spending money), and instead I believe the right buyer is someone that has a love for the sport, a firm opinion to share and a bit of business savvy to boot (I would also like to see SUP Racer retain its stubbornly “independent” voice). I do have a model for how SUP Racer can be more financially sustainable (at its peak, this website and social media comfortably earned me $80k a year), but it won’t be a full-time money-maker again without a lot of dedication.

I’m also well aware that SUP Racer is essentially me. So depending on the deal we agree upon, I’d like to stay on for another 6-12 months contributing content while you gradually assume control. A transition period. After that, I’d be happy to retain the “editor-at-large” title and file the odd field report, but I’m definitely looking for someone who eventually wants to be in the driver’s seat.

Alternatively, if you have the funds & passion but not the desire to write or produce content, I do have some talented contributors lined up who want to be part of any future team.

The asking price is modest. If I put SUP Racer on the market five years ago – when the sport was in its golden era, money was being thrown around and SUP Racer was updated twice daily – there’d be another zero attached. But for now I’m simply looking to help fund my new passion project (the long-promised, much-delayed “Ultra Paddle League”) and keep the lights on during the SUP Racer transition. There’s also a small debt I owe a few organisers for missed events that I want to make right.

The sale of SUP Racer includes the website, 10 years of content (more than 3,000 blog posts) plus the valuable Instagram account (36,000 followers) and Facebook page (46,000). You get the entire platform, which is one of the largest and most-engaged in the entire world of paddling. You’re buying more than a website and social media accounts — with SUP Racer you’re buying a voice (“influence” if you will).

I believe the future of our sport is bright. When I look at the youth coming through I see a new generation ready to carry stand up paddling forward. Now it’s time for someone else to carry SUP Racer forward. The new wave.

If you have an opinion about the future of our sport and want a large platform to share it on… if you want an excuse to travel the world and paddle exotic locations… if you want to give something back to this great community of ours… if you want an interesting lifestyle that’s not always easy but definitely never dull, then let’s chat.

I’m aiming to finalise this in the next 1-2 weeks (before the big ICF/11 Cities double header). If you’re interested then send me a message on WhatsApp (+61434180874) and I’ll give you a call so we can share some ideas and run through all the details of how this will work.
SUP Racer is dead. Long live SUP Racer!