October 13, 2022
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

Update: SUP Racer is coming back! (because I just sold it)

When I shared the very first post on SUP Racer a decade ago, I was nervous. I was worried no one would read it or, worse, simply not care. But I didn’t realise just how passionate our paddling community is, and so that inaugural post was met not with silence but a vibrant mix of debate and discourse. It was the beginning of a wild ride that I’ve absolutely loved. The world of SUP is an amazing one, and I’m both grateful and proud of the small part SUP Racer has played in its modern history.

Six weeks ago, when I posted SUP Racer was for sale, similar nerves were stirring. Feelings I hadn’t felt in 10 years. I thought it was because an old era was ending, but now I realise it was because a new one was about to begin. It wasn’t anxiety I was feeling, it was anticipation. Excitement.

That excitement has risen over the past six weeks as I’ve chatted with a bunch of potential buyers about reviving SUP Racer, and it reached a crescendo last week when I signed an agreement to keep the adventure alive.

In other words: I just sold SUP Racer.

As of today, I’m selling a majority stake in SUP Racer to a fellow paddler who wants to revive and grow the platform. I’ll continue to be the voice of SUP Racer, only now I’ll have the added freedom to focus entirely on the creative side (which is how I’ve always wanted it to be) while the new owner will focus on the business side of things. Together, we aim to bring SUP Racer back to its post-a-day, voice-of-the-sport glory and then work on expanding our coverage to reach new audiences.

As part of the deal, I’ll continue until the end of 2023 (and perhaps longer) as the editor-in-chief while we assemble a new team of contributors so that it’s not just me you have to listen to. This all means that while SUP Racer will have a new owner (I guess “Boss Man” will have to be retired lol) the platform will have the same DNA, the same mission: to support the sport with a loud, independent voice that helps make paddling more open, honest, interesting and exciting. It’s going to be the same SUP Racer in many ways — just far more professional and financially sustainable (finally).

Fortunately, the new owner isn’t some publishing company that wants to commercialise everything — they’re a solo paddler who’s passionate about the water like you and me (they’re going to stay largely behind the scenes, but I’ll introduce them next week). And that’s perhaps the best part of this deal: SUP Racer will remain staunchly independent. We’ll continue to help push paddling forward and won’t hesitate to ask some tough questions along the way.

This next chapter, this “new wave” will be both familiar and different. My goal, as always, will be to take you behind the scenes of our sport and share interesting stories, updates and insights. But we’ll also be looking beyond the world of SUP and highlighting other types of paddling. New adventures, new stories. We want to expand.

(And on a personal note, I’ll also have time to focus on what I’m most passionate about, the ultras.)

SUP racing has changed a lot since SUP Racer began in 2011. We’ve seen a marked culture shift over the past few years as the sport has moved away from the ocean towards the flats. Familiar old names no longer compete, but exciting new prospects are quickly rising. Beloved old events have faded, but new experiences have unfolded. As with any change comes opportunity — the chance to tell new stories, share new adventures and reach new audiences.

It’s no secret that SUP Racer has been on ice the past year. What used to be a post-a-day love affair slowed to a mere once-per-month afterthought. Indeed, I was in two minds whether I wanted to continue at all, but I realised after I found the right buyer that I didn’t want to walk away, I just didn’t want to stress about the business aspect anymore. In that way, this deal is the perfect outcome for me as it means SUP Racer will continue contributing to the world of paddling without the financial stress.

In short: I’m looking forward to getting back into this crazy community full time! (might even have to bring back the old baguette microphone)

There’s a lot more to share in the days ahead but for now I just wanted to provide an update for the core community, because you guys are the ones this website was made for.

I am we are excited to share what’s next for SUP Racer, and I’m even more excited to explore what’s next for the world of paddling.