Durban – The discipline of stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) has become increasingly popular in South Africa in recent years and will now jointly fall under the auspices of both Canoeing South Africa and Surfing South Africa in a ground-breaking agreement.
The discipline will be governed by canoeing when SUP events take place on flat-water and in rivers as SUP boarders continue to branch out into river events like the Dusi Canoe Marathon, the Push And Pull Paddle, the Fish River Canoe Marathon and the many flat-water races.
When events are ocean-based and wave-based then the discipline will fall under the jurisdiction of Surfing South Africa.
President of Canoeing South Africa believes that the arrangement will benefit all parties involved.
“It’s all about the athletes for us and now the reality is that SUP athletes can go to World Championships hosted by both World Surfing and the ICF,” Pople said. “The decision made sense and I think it’s going to provide everyone with a great new way forward.”
Robin de Kock of Surfing South Africa is excited by the coming together of federations and hopes that these sorts of agreements can happen more often.
“Surfing South Africa is very pleased to be working with our friends at Canoeing SA and SUPSA in the best interests of South Africa’s SUP surfers, paddlers and distance racers,” De Kock said.
“Mutual and constructive discussions between SSA and CSA, the recognised National Federations, have led to the decision that South Africa’s SUP surfers will remain part of Surfing South Africa while the SUP paddlers and distance racers will fall under the auspices of Canoeing SA.
“Surfing South Africa, Canoeing SA and SUPSA have an excellent relationship and all three parties believe that this alliance will be of value to the SUP fraternity in South Africa going forward,” he mentioned.
The excitement of the agreement was also felt by SUPSA President Mandy Scanlen given that the sport of SUP has two contrasting categories that needed to be catered for.
“SUP Surfing and Long Distance paddle races and technical are two very different disciplines and in the best interest of the athletes it was a great opportunity to have stand-up paddle boarding represented in both Surfing South Africa and Canoeing South Africa.
“By creating a partnership with both federations we endeavour to grow the transformation and development of the sport as well as grow the exposure of the sport both inland and in the ocean.”
SUPSA have established themselves as one of the top performing federations at international competitions with a number of World Championship medals coming from the South African competitors.
For more information visit www.canoesa.org.za