Top 5 SUP Events In the World

Paddle boarding had just experienced a crazy growth in popularity in the past few years. And the trend still goes on to this day. People continue to take an interest in this new and intriguing water sport. With its growth in popularity, more events about paddle boarding are being held across the globe. Below are the top 5 SUP events around the world for paddle boarding enthusiasts.

1. Pacific Paddle Games, Dana Point, California

While not specifically designed as a paddle race, this event is a celebration of everything that has to do with paddleboarding. Everyone is welcome to attend the Pacific Paddle Games- amateurs, youths, professionals, and just about any SUP enthusiast. Geared towards certain paddle boarding skills, this competition will test your surf skills, maneuverability, as well as speed.

Participants are required to complete two laps on a meandering course in Dana Point, off Doheny Beach, notorious for its shore breaks and rip currents. The course requires racers with a sharp wave sense while executing speed and control. The longest races in Pacific Paddle Games are about 6 miles, which makes it suitable for mid-level surfers and ocean goers. Another aspect attracting SUP’ers from all over the world is the prize money offered in these competitions. For quite a long time, Pacific Paddle Games have been known to offer the largest prize money in water sports history.

2. Yukon River Quest, Alaska

Deep in northern Canada’s raw and rugged wilderness is the Yukon. Ever since its exploration days, the untamed terrain has not changed much and still hosts a wide variety of species like mountain lions, caribou, grizzlies, and moose. Fast forward to today and the Yukon is one of the best harbors for stand up paddlers.

The Yukon River Quest is one of the most grueling races in the world. Stretching up to 444 miles, the SUP race requires up to 50 hours of paddling, going for 3 days and 2 nights. Due to Yukon’s wild nature, all racers are required to attend a pre-race briefing to keep up with safety precautions and hazards. Yukon River Quest’s pre-briefing is like no other and one of the most comprehensive pre-race meetings in the history of SUP sports.

Racers are equipped with all the firsthand knowledge on what to do if they encounter grizzly bears and other dangerous wildlife. If there’s an emergency, racers should be able to camp for as long as 48 hours prior to receiving professional medical support. It is essential for paddlers to carry important supplies including food, GPS trackers, medical kits, dry clothes, and tents.

3. Paris SUP Open, France

Attracting hundreds of paddlers across the world, the Paris Sup Open has been recognized as the largest SUP race in the world. Formally known as Nautic SUP Paris Crossing, the race is nowadays limited after clocking 700 worldwide competitors in 2017. Entry requirements have become quite competitive. Hundreds of paddlers flock to River Seine to participate in this 10-km event cutting through several famous landmarks in Paris such as the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower.

The paddling experience in Paris SUP Open is truly exhilarating and apart from the aesthetics, the race has a buzzing crowd of pros, enthusiasts, and beginners alike. The organizers are keen to improve the overall feel of the competition and increase the number of participants to 1000 in the upcoming event in December 2019.

4. Tribal Clash UK

One of the largest multi-person SUP races in the world, Tribal Clash is a daring competition held at various locations in the UK. The competition attracts thousands of SUP’ers across the globe eager to win the tribal Clash title. Tackling the event requires high levels of teamwork and each group consists of six paddlers all in one board. The organizers at Tribal Clash ensure the event is packed with surprises and all the levels of the competition are announced a day before the event.

Each heat has its own obstacles and tests the racer’s skills revolving strength and fitness. The Tribal Clash UK is also recognized as the world’s largest multi-person SUP event, attracting thousands of participants from all over the world.

5. Air France Paddle Festival, Papeete

Acknowledged as one of the most anticipated paddle events in the French Polynesian Island, Air France Paddle Festival is part of the Paddle League World Tour with 100 league points. This makes the event more attractive to high profile racers edging the event’s competitive nature. Air France Festival has five races including an advanced 23 km Elite Race and an 8 km Lagoon Race. The race sets the pace for the upcoming race season gives all racers (beginners to pros) an opportunity to compete in breathtakingly beautiful places.

There are a lot more SUP events and here’s just a few of them which we think you should know. If you want a more intense and engaging paddle boarding experience, taking part in a SUP event would be your best bet. If you want to win, a suitable SUP board is important. The best stand up paddle boards can offer you with the best performance on the water. But winning should not be the only thing you are after, it’s the fun and joy it brings that matters. If you are new to the sport, it’s suggested you start from scratch and get a beginner stand up paddle board and practice your skills until you reach to an advanced level and then participate in one of these events. Choices of a good stand up paddle board brand is abundant. Goosehill, for one, is an excellent choice for a solid inflatalbe stand up paddle board. When you feel that the time’s right, just sign up and be part of these fun SUP events.

What is Stand Up Paddling?

Stand Up Paddling is contested all over the world and is also one of the fastest growing recreational sports on the planet. It is practiced on rivers, lakes, canals, whitewater, the ocean – basically anywhere there is water. As well as world-class competitions, participants also enjoy stand up paddling as a fitness activity and as a unique way to sightsee.

Stand Up Paddling (SUP) is exactly as its title suggests – standing up on a board and paddling. There are many variations, and the sport is considered one of the fastest growing recreational activities in the world.

One of the attractions of SUP is its versatility as an activity. Paddlers can be seen on rivers, canals, stream, lakes, on the ocean, even on wildwater. While many athletes use flatwater, many also take on ocean surf.

SUP is believed to have originated in Africa, became very popular in Hawaii in the 1940’s, and can now be seen in countries and on waterways all over the globe.

In competition there are often sprint events, usually contested over 200 metres, longer races (19.50 kilometres) and technical races (about three kilometres).

The ICF has set the following guidelines for race distances;

Sprint: Women and men maximum 400 metre
Distance: Women and men minimum 5000 metre with stop watch and timekeeping
Technical Race: Length of course is open.
White water: The competition event is run according to the respective competition format either with heat eliminations or fastest times.


The Stand Up Paddling regulations for boards for SUP competitions;

Rudders and/or foils are not permitted. The board may have only one hull – no multi-hulls allowed and no catamarans The length of the board will be defined as the distance from the tip to tail.


The start will be either on land or on the water. The exact procedure will be announced at the race meeting.

Water start: The paddler starts standing, kneeling or sitting (on board) on a line between two points (e.g. buoys, starting vessel, pier etc.). This starting line must be perpendicular to the first turn buoy. The tip of the board may not cross the starting line until the start signal has been given.

Land start: The paddler starts standing at the starting line between two points (e.g. flags). The starting line is perpendicular to the first turn bouy. The body of the paddlers may not cross the starting line until the start signal has been given.

National Canoe Federations around the world have been conducting SUP events for many years, and in 2018 the International Canoe Federation will host its first SUP World Championships.


Stand Up Paddle Committee
Stand Up Paddle Rules

Stand Up Paddleboard

Due to high water, portions of this event have been rescheduled, moved or canceled. Pleas read carefully.

Badfish SUP + Recreation Engineering & Planning Colorado SUP Championships

During FIBArk weekend we will crown the overall top Man and Woman in the emerging sport of river stand up paddling. Stand Up Paddling or SUP originated in the coastal regions but for the last 7-8 years SUP has taken over the whitewater scene. Top athletes will compete in three disciplines competing for a nearly $2,000 cash purse.

Friday, 2 pm: SUP Surf

Come check out these amazing athletes as they surf river waves on their stand up paddle boards. Location to be determined based on water flows, Scout Wave (downriver from the F Street Bridge) or the office wave (upriver from the main play hole, in back of Absolute Bikes)


In what has quickly become the most spectator friendly SUP competition on the river, SUP Cross is head to head racing through gates in the Salida Whitewater Park. Four athletes will battle (and they will be battling!) through a technical course as we pair down the paddlers to the top 4 for a winner take all final. Rubbing is racing!

Sunday, 9:15am: Downriver

For the Downriver race SUP paddlers will tackle downriver action between the Stone Bridge put-in and downtown Salida.


All competitors must wear a PFD, helmet and shoes for every event.
Leashes: Only releasable leashes allowed. No leashes for SUP Cross.

Board Length: 11’ and under for all events.

Paddling under the snow in the Alps on a water at 4 degrees Celsius is possible, registration is now open to the GlaGla Race 2020.

The humble GlaGla Race has become something of a stand up paddling phenomenon. Held in a quiet corner of France in the freezing cold depths of winter, this amazing race has officially become one of the biggest in the world after a record 650 paddlers signed up for the 2019 adventure. Are you ready for this funny & friendly challenge ?

Le Grand Bornand, new partner !
Come for the GlaGla Race and stay one day, 3 days or a whole to ski ! Special discount on skipasses for all GlaGla Race 2020 participants !

Short distance
6 km to be confirmed.
The short distance course is very similar to the 2019 version. La courte distance est très semblable à la version 2019.

Safety requirements
The GlaGla Race will occur on a very cold day (-10°c early in the morning last year). You have to wear a life jacket, a Long John wetsuit (or a drysuit, we recommand SUPSKIN, our partner!). You also need a leash and a life blancket + anything sweet (sugar, candy bar, etc.). The lake temperature is usually at 4 to 6°C.

Required documents
You have to print your ticket (that Weezent our provider of the registration tool sent you) and show it at the welcome desk. You also need your passport or an ID that we keep and give back when you return your bib. You also need a 2€ coin to get to get an ” eco cup ” which is re-usable glass that we’ll give back when you return the glass.

Stand up paddle races

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