January 4, 2015
by Chase Kosterlitz

SUPAA’s Plans For The New Year

SUP 11 City Tour Bart de Zwart Peter Bartl

The SUP 11 City Tour is one of Europe’s great races – and it’s run by a SUPAA certified race official as well (photo credit: Steve West)

Almost twelve months ago to the day, back in January of 2014, we finally made the Stand Up Paddle Athletes Association (aka SUPAA) a reality. Since then we’ve been working to positively impact the SUP racing experience by ensuring races are fun, safe and well organized.

We want to thank those who provided us with their support and feedback in our first year. In 2014 members from our board of directors and myself traveled through Europe, South America, Japan, Australia and the United States to teach SUPAA race official certification courses. We now have 30 certified race officials on 5 continents who will help promote the SUPAA mission in each of their paddling communities.

We believe that without a set of unified rules and a clear vision, the sport of SUP racing will not reach its full potential. Through our race official program and feedback from the public, we are on our way to helping ensure a positive future for the sport.

2015 Vision

Moving into the new year, we anticipate over thirty sanctioned SUPAA events across the globe in 2015, which will be organised by SUPAA-certified race officials. These events will be run at the highest standard of excellence to ensure a fun, safe and fair SUP racing experience for pros and amateurs alike. SUPAA will also continue to consult with many of the largest SUP events in the world through our race management programs. We will hold additional race official certifications throughout the year to continue to promote our mission and expand the number of certified SUPAA events.

We’re currently working with some of Europe’s most prestigious races to help organize an amazing summer of racing in that part of the world. Europe has a fast-growing and very passionate SUP community. It also has some of the best races in the world. I’ve been lucky enough to visit every June and July for the past three years, and it’s a trip I’d encourage everyone from the States, Australia and the rest of the world to make at least once.

SUPAA Mission

SUPAA is dedicated to promoting excellence in the sport of stand up paddling. In pursuing this mission, SUPAA will (a) establish organizational standards to improve the quality of events and instruction (b) promote rules to ensure fair competition and (c) endeavor to establish a standard of excellence in all aspects of stand up paddling. These initiatives will produce a uniformly positive experience for stand up paddle constituent groups, including but not limited to: athletes, officials, sponsors, spectators, volunteers, media, consumers and manufacturers.

Guest post by Chase Kosterlitz, President of SUPAA