December 28, 2015
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

Top 15 of 2015: The Most Popular Videos of the Year

As the year draws to a close and we reflect back on 12 months of paddling adventures, one thing that stands out is just how many awesome SUP videos were released in 2015. From California to Carolina to Paris to Perth and virtually everywhere in between, there have been a tonne of awesome edits from the paddling community this year.

And while we’ve posted over 400 stand up paddling videos over the years, some stand out more than others. Below are the Top 15 Videos of 2015, based on total plays each video scored here on and/or over on our Facebook page.

There are a few recurring themes in this year’s list: The Paris Crossing, now the single largest race in the world, features three times. The Gorge is on there twice, while the other “majors” such as Carolina and the PPGs also make an appearance.

Though, oddly enough considering this is SUP Racer, around half the entries in the Top 15 of 2015 have little or nothing to do with actual racing…

Starboard’s SUP polo video went viral earlier in the year, as did a behind-the-scenes training clip of Tahiti’s champion outrigger team. There was also a drone’s eye view of dolphins off the coast of Maui, a bold bid to paddle across the Atlantic Ocean, and some random fun in the Slovenian snow.

So, without further ado, here are the Top 15 Videos of 2015…

#15: King of the Cut Highlights Reel

The King of the Cut has become Australia’s premiere stand up paddle race, and 2015 set a new standard for ocean racing down under. Virtually all of Australia’s big names were there, alongside handful of international elite. But while all eyes were on the rematch between Molokai champ Travis Grant and his vanquisher from 12 months ago, Beau O’Brian, it was a relatively newcomer that stole the show.

Matt Nottage had a massive two weeks in West Oz this year, first claiming The Doctor before capturing the double just one week later. The young gun’s meteoric rise saw him jump to 13th on the end of season world rankings. He started the year ranked 62nd.

#14: Rogue Recap of the Pacific Paddle Games

Rogue has been putting out some mighty impressive “Rogue Recap” clips this year (hit up their YouTube page for the full collection), and it should come as no surprise that one of their biggest hits came from the #1 most competitive and most carnage-filled race of the year: The Pacific Paddle Games.

#13: Paris Pool Sprints

This is the first of three entries for the Paris Crossing, an event that has quickly grown into the world’s largest stand up paddle race. Earlier this month we witnessed 500 paddlers standing on the River Seine at dawn, which is the most crowded start line our humble little sport has ever seen.

What’s even more amazing is that the race sold out in just 26 minutes when registration opened several months ago. Word is the organisers will keep increasing the entries every year until it hits 1,000 paddlers.

The video below isn’t of the main race out on the River Seine, but rather the exhibition sprints that happened in the pool back at the host venue, the Paris Boat Show. Below we see Casper Steinfath doing his best impression of the Energizer Bunny for the “Rest of the World” team as he desperately tries try to reel in Team France on the anchor leg. Fun times.

This clip was also our second most popular Instagram post of 2015.


#12: Rogue Recap of the Carolina Cup

Another great edit from the Rogue crew, this time from the second most competitive race of the year: The Carolina Cup.

Carolina went next level in 2015, with a unique mix of dozens of world class athletes and hundreds of first timers reminding us what this sport is all about. I can’t wait to head back to Wrightsville Beach and do it all again next April…

#11: Lemmings in the Gorge

This is one of my favourite clips of the year.

From my vantage point up in the commentary tower, I had an awesome view of the 2015 Gorge Paddle Challenge. With the fourth most competitive lineup of 2015, the Gorge course race was a fairly intense affair. At the end of the first lap, virtually the entire field was together in one big, long draft train, which made for a very entertaining run through the chicane.

While the weekend will long be remembered for the tragic death of young Floridian paddler Andres Pombo, we also won’t forget the amazing displays of athleticism and competition that we saw out on the water.

The “Gorge” is one for your bucket list.

Lemmings in the Gorge

Lemmings in the Gorge… So much fun watching the Elite Men's Course Race from up in the watch tower yesterday! Big credit to the event crew for introducing the awesome "W" chicane, it allowed the crowd to get right up close to the world's best paddlers. You can re-live the drama of day one and get ready for day two with our play-by-play live blog:- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -LIVE: – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Posted by SUP Racer on Sunday, August 23, 2015


#10: Zane Schweitzer’s Dolphin Drone

If there was a “Top 15 of 2015” based on which paddlers have the most fun throughout the season, Zane Schweitzer would surely have a lock on the #1 ranking. This guy is always full of smiles and stoke, and seems to treat every day as if it were a rare gift.

Case in point below: Zane paddling with a pod of dolphins right near his home on West Maui, as filmed by his brother and drone aficionado, Matty Schweitzer from Mat5o Media.

Paddling with Dolphins in Hawaii

Zane Kekoa Schweitzer and friends playing around off the coast of Maui a few days ago…- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – WATCH MORE: – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Thanks to Matty Schweitzer for capturing the magic from above

Posted by SUP Racer on Saturday, October 17, 2015


#9: Travis Grant Wake Surfing in West Oz

One of the newest videos on the list, this clip has no racing footage whatsoever but is definitely one of the funnest SUP videos we came across all year. World number two Travis Grant wake surfing in West Oz with the NSP crew. Trav is actually using the exact same model board in this clip as the one that took him to glory in Molokai (the NSP 17’10 unlimited).

How to have fun on a SUP: Travis Grant wake surfing in West Oz

Now this is how you have fun on a SUP. World-beater Travis Grant wake surfing his Molokai-winning 17'10" NSP race board, alongside shaper Dale Chapman and designer Alain Teurquetil. Thanks to NSP – Surf and Stand Up Paddle Boards for the share (how smooth is that glide at the 32 second mark…)

Posted by SUP Racer on Thursday, December 10, 2015


#8: Transatlantic SUP Crossing

This has gotta be one of the most incredible adventures I’ve ever heard of. Nicolas Jarossay, a firefighter and endurance paddler from France, wants to paddle across the Atlantic Ocean. Solo. Unsupported. On a stand up paddle board…

Nicolas will be setting off in February from the West Coast of Africa, before spending 60-70 days paddling and drifting across one of the most open expanses of water on the planet. If all goes to plan, he’ll hit the Caribbean in one piece and set a record that probably won’t be broken any time soon.

I actually met up with Nicolas at the Paris Crossing and got to see his crazy-looking board up close. I don’t think he’s going to be getting too many comfortable nights sleep, but from speaking with Nicolas I do believe he’s got what it takes to succeed.

Check out our original post about Nicolas’ Transatlantic SUP Crossing for more details on this crazy adventure. Good luck my friend…

Craziest-looking SUP board you've ever seen..?

Is this the craziest looking stand up paddle board you've ever seen?This is Nicolas Jarossay from France and he's going to paddle this thing 4,000km across the Atlantic Ocean. Non-stop. Solo. Unsupported. It'll take 2 to 3 months…Nicolas will be living/eating/sleeping entirely on (or "in") this board the entire journey. There will be no support crew. Nicolas will spend several hours each day just pumping water to turn salt into something he can drink. He'll need 8 litres of fresh water a day. He'll spend the rest of the day padding before sleeping inside the little pod on the front of his board. He wants to cover 60kms a day – the entire crossing is 4,000kms or 2,485 miles.Oh and he also has to eat as much as he can to avoid losing a dangerous amount of weight – on a recent test mission Nicolas lost 2kgs in just 5 days, which forced him to change his nutrition setup. Because this crossing is unsupported, he'll have to carry three months worth of food with him from day one. Or learn how to go spearfishing with his paddle…Nicolas recently fully funded his adventure on the French version of Kickstarter and now he's getting ready to launch this epic voyage. He'll start from Cape Verde in January and finish in the Caribbean probably some time in early April.There have been some batshit crazy SUP expeditions in the past, but this is by FAR the craziest. And the most awesome. What an adventure… My hat goes off to you Nicolas. Good luck.You can follow Nicolas' journey on his official Facebook page: Stand Up Paddle TransatlanticYou can also learn more about this incredible project with the original story we did back in July: there's a good interview with Nicolas on TotalSUP, where he talks about the recent test mission and some of the problems that came up:

Posted by SUP Racer on Wednesday, November 11, 2015


#7: Danny Ching vs Travis Grant at the Gorge

The second entry from the Gorge Paddle Challenge, this is another basic little mini clip I grabbed on my phone from up in the watch tower.

After leading on his own for much of the race, Danny Ching made one small mistake at the end of the final lap: He started paddling towards the wrong buoy. By the time he’d realised his mistake, the uber-powerful chase group, which featured Travis Grant, Titouan Puyo, Connor Baxter, Georges Cronsteadt and Kai Lenny, had closed the gap.

This last-minute drama made for one of the most exciting flat water race finishes I’ve ever seen, as Travis almost stole victory from Danny in the final metres. As you can see below, Danny held on for a well earned win, though Trav would go on to have the last laugh after finishing runner-up again in the distance race to claim the overall event title.

Crazy Finish! Gorge Paddle Challenge Danny vs. Travis vs. Titou

Danny Ching WINS the 2015 Gorge Paddle Challenge Elite Course Race after one of the most amazing final laps we've ever seen… After dominating the hour-long race, Danny was caught in a rollercoaster final minute, when the top six guys all veered slightly off course to produce a rather dramatic final two hundred metres. Danny out sprinted Travis Grant to the line, with Titouan Puyo a very impressive third, followed very closely by yConnor Baxter in 4th, Georges Cronsteadt 5th and Kai Lenny 6th. Gallant effort from Kelly Margetts in 7th. Incredible race. So exciting to watch. Full results incoming. Re-live it with our play-by-play…- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -LIVE BLOG: – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Posted by SUP Racer on Saturday, August 22, 2015


#6: Paris Crossing Preview

It says something about the popularity of the Paris Crossing when even a simple preview video, featuring year-old footage, managed to become one of the most popular videos of 2015.

Paris Crossing (SUP Race)

The 2015 NAUTIC SUP PARIS CROSSING is happening on 6th December and will feature 500 competitors, making it the largest SUP Race in the world. Don't bother trying to sign up though: Entries sold out in just 26 minutes. One day… #bucketlist

Posted by SUP Racer on Friday, October 30, 2015


#5: Starboard’s SUP Polo

Amazingly, four of the top five videos have nothing to do with SUP racing.

In at number five is one of the craziest/whackiest/funnest new events in the world of stand up paddling: SUP Polo.

The game, which has been popularised by Starboard, is a cross between polo, lacrosse, soccer and a destruction derby, all played out on stand up paddle boards. It’s seriously good fun, and somehow I was lucky enough to be part of an early test version at Starboard HQ in Thailand earlier this year…

#4: Paris Crossing Highlights

Here’s a quick recap of the 2015 Paris Crossing, aka the world’s largest SUP race.

Against the backdrop of the horrific Paris terrorist attacks, which happened just a few weeks prior, the paddling world came out in force to produce one of the most extraordinary spectacles stand up paddling has ever seen: 500 paddlers standing on the River Seine at dawn.

The race was eventually won by world number five Titouan Puyo, who outlasted a strong Casper Steinfath to mirror last year’s result. Though without wanting to sound too cheesy, I think the sport of stand up paddling was the real winner of this event.

If this race isn’t already on your bucket list, add it immediately.

500 Stand Up Paddlers Racing Through Paris

Highlights from today's massive big "Paris Crossing" race. Congratulations Titou and Olivia on the wins, though I'm pretty sure everyone that was part of this amazing race is feeling pretty stoked right now. Bucket list.RESULTS:

Posted by SUP Racer on Sunday, December 6, 2015


#3: Inside The World’s Greatest Paddling Team

Those who closely follow the world of ocean paddling know that the Tahitians are the undisputed masters. When it comes to outrigger canoe paddling (or Va’a), the Tahitians are quite literally unbeatable. And no team has been more unbeatable in recent years than the mighty EDT.

In the lead up to this year’s “superbowl” event, the Hawaiki Nui race, EDT released a behind the scenes video of their training regime. It gives a great insight into the world’s greatest paddling team. Or at least it did.

Unfortunately the filmmakers were caught up in a dispute over payment with the EDT company bosses, and now the video has been set to private despite being one of the most popular clips of the year.

Chances are you already saw the original video anyway. If not, hopefully it’ll be back online soon. In the meantime here’s the 30 second trailer which gives you some idea of what the full video was like.

And while this clip doesn’t feature any SUP racing, there is a strong connection with the world of stand up paddling: One of EDT’s captains, Steeve Teihotaata, recently crossed over into the world of stand up paddling and found immediate success, making a clean sweep of this year’s five-day, 200+ kilometre “11 City Tour” race in Holland.

#2: Manca Notar’s Snow SUP Adventure

Manca Notar, one of the top junior prospects in the world of women’s paddling, has racked up some pretty impressive results in warm-water races around the world the past few years. Those results are even more impressive considering Manca lives in a really, really cold (though also really beautiful) part of the world: Slovenia.

So to make the most of the wintery conditions, Manca helped invent a new sport: Snow SUP. The sheer novelty and pure fun of this video helped send it viral when we posted it way back in February…

#1: That Epic Party Wave in France

This year’s #1 video wasn’t just popular, it was the absolute, runaway, massive viral hit of the year. In fact this clip was so popular, it’s had more views than every other video on this list combined. Watch it below and you’ll see why…

The crazy part? The views on the original version that we uploaded were only just over 10% of the total plays this clip received.

The short film below is a remix that I whipped up in about five minutes when I was bored a couple of months ago. I took some famous footage from Jean-Marc Chauvet’s famous French tidal bore video that was released last year, trimmed it down to the best parts, added some Massive Attack, sped the whole thing up and threw it up on Facebook not thinking it’d get all that many views.

I woke up the next day with thousands of Facebook notifications, as the video had quickly spread beyond the confines of the paddling community and gone absolutely viral. Within a few days it had reached over a quarter of a million plays and become far and away the most popular thing SUP Racer had ever posted.

It’s now up to almost half a million plays.

In an odd twist, the video’s popularity piqued the curiosity of one of Facebook’s biggest viral video machines, LANCE, a page with over 3 million of their own followers. LANCE downloaded the clip and then uploaded it as their own – without any credit to the original cameraman (or SUP Racer) I might add – and proceeded to give this footage almost 4 MILLION additional views.

Combine that with our own original views and we’re closing in on 4.5 million video plays. There were probably another 1-2 million plays of Jean-Marc’s original, full length footage, which itself went crazily viral on Facebook earlier this year. So all up I’d say this humble river in France has had over 6 million hits in the past 12 months.

It’s pretty obvious why this video has become so insanely popular. Just look at it. There are 77 guys and girls riding all sorts of paddling craft on one big, long, endless wave. All captured by a Jean-Marc Chauvet’s silky smooth drone cam. It’s beyond epic.

I’m actually planning a trip to this river in the summer of 2016 with local legend Rico Leroy, so hopefully this won’t be the last we see of du mascaret.

If you want to know more about this crazy French tidal bore, check out our original post: “WATCH: 77 Paddlers Surfing The Same Wave… In A River… In France…

Or just enjoy our little remix below.

Not surprisingly, this video was also our #1 Instagram post of the year (and of all time).

Epic Party Wave (surfing in a river…)

Throwback to that time 77 guys and girls surfed the same wave… in a river.It's the epic tidal bore party wave in France, and you can relive the full length video right here: by Jean-Marc Chauvet. Follow SUP Racer for more…

Posted by SUP Racer on Thursday, October 22, 2015


So there you go. Those were the Top 15 Most Popular Videos of 2015.

Want more? Head on over to /videos for a collection of 400 of the best stand up paddling videos from around the world.

Oh and stay tuned for the Top 15 of 2015 main event: The Best Paddlers of the Year. That’s coming tomorrow…