enjoying the moment - photo - Jon Ivins.
Event founder and producer, Paul Godwin, of Nerve Events, said that his year’s festival which is scheduled to take place between June 7 and 9 at New Pier would once again showcase the city as a mecca of water sports.
“For 2013 we promised to add even more spice to this exciting event and, although this is the second year that the South African SUP Surfing Championships will take place during the festival, the popularity of this event is growing along with the popularity of the sport as a whole across South Africa. This event will be judged on wave riding ability and has become a firm favourite with more than 60 percent of the competition coming up from the Western Cape. The quality of surfing in this division has grown tremendously and is very exciting to watch,” he said.
The South African SUP Surfing Championships is sanctioned by SUPSA and will see winners being crowned in the Open, Men’s and Women’s divisions as well as the Juniors and legends division (over 45). The winners of the Open Men and Women’s divisions will be eligible for squad selection to represent South Africa at the 2014 ISA Stand Up Paddle World Championship. Prizes are great with two SUP boards up for grabs courtesy of Naish SUP and Coreban SUP.
For the uninitiated, Godwin said that SUP is the fastest growing water sport in the world.
Surf historian, Glen Thompson (Cape Town), explained that SUP was essentially a revival of pre-World War II Hawaiian beach boy surfing, where surf instructors would take out a board with a paddle to move quickly through the waves and give instruction or take photographs of those learning to surf the waves of Waikiki. The sport gained attention during the early 2000s through the visibility of Laird Hamilton, a Hawaiian waterman, who used a longer board with a single bladed paddle as part of his training regime for surfing big waves.
SUP was then taken up in Hawaii, USA, Australia, the United Kingdom and Europe then came to South Africa in late 2006. Since then clubs have sprung up along the coast and as far inland as Gauteng. Although SUP started out as an alternative to wave-riding, it soon branched out to include flat water paddling and downwind racing.
Thompson confirmed that SUP had grown quickly both at the coast and inland in the last few years. “The sporting appeal is for those wanting to re-connect with their surfing, the lifestyle of paddling with friends and family and the social vibe at social and competitive events. It appeals to both women and men as a lifestyle sport and offers a way of keeping fit while enjoying the water. South Africa has a strong outdoors sporting lifestyle culture which SUP'ing continues,” he said.
Thompson added that, while paddling disciplines such as rowing, kayaking and surf ski'ing used double sided paddle while sitting in the craft and paddling, SUP had developed a single-blade paddle that allowed a rider to stand and paddle. “This standing elevation provides a unique vantage point to watch the water conditions, looking down into the water to see kelp beds or coral reefs or dolphins swimming by in the ocean. On the surfing side, the paddle is the key distinguishing feature too which adds to the surfing experience both as a functional component in catching and riding waves. The paddle is also used to help the SUP rider to turn the board and trim on the wave while riding waves. SUP surfing boards have reduced in length over the length over the years, but are generally wider and thicker than a normal surfboard. This is because a SUP needs to carry a person while standing paddling out to catch waves, while surfing is a prone paddling out and catching waves experience,” he explained.
Defending open SUP Champion and Jeep Apparel sponsored surfer
Justin Bing (WP) in action at last years event - photo - Jon Ivins.
For more information or you want to enter the event contact Nerve Events on 031-2012169 or go to durbansurfcarnival.blogspot.com
Main Sponsors of the event are the City of Durban - Durban “the warmest place to be, Jeep Apparel, The Independent on Saturday.
Supporting sponsors are: Bokomo; Naish SUP, Natural Curve Surfboards, Coreban SUP, Thule, Nestle Pure Life Water, Container Conversions, Gunslinger Skateboards, Mad Dog Surf School, Maisch Fins, Nescafe, Thermo Plastic Concepts & Equipment (TCE), Pro Class/Lamont Surf Shop, Club Zero Fitness, Carling Black Label, Kahuna Creations. Lock Rack
The Event is created and produced by Nerve Events
The Event will comprise
- South African SUP Surfing Championships
- KZN Longboard Open Championships
- Retro Surfing Contest
- Traditional Longboard Expression Session
- SNAP Photographic Competition
- Free Surfing Clinic
- Club Zero Fitness Weekend