In the SUP world, the Rainbow sandals Battle Of The Paddle is recognized as the SUP World Championship, where all the top SUP racers in the world come together to battle it out in the most challenging race ever. This years event was a 2 day event held in Dana Point at Doheney state beach where the beach was covered with SUP industry tents, boards and thousands of people waiting to see who would win the world crown.
Full story and photos soon…..
Gerry Lopez and Sparky used their vision and love for stand up paddling and created one of the largest events in the history of stand up paddling today.
I had been traveling and competing in SUP surfing and race events all Summer and just came back from a SUP surf event in Mexico at Puerto Escondido fighting a flew bug with only 2 weeks to train and prepare for this event. It took everything I had to stay focused on training, which consisted of a 2 hour paddle and beach run before sunrise, work and then another 2 hours of paddling and running just before dark for a 1o day haul. I got to try my race board for the first time the day before the big race. The day of the race; I was a bundle of nerves and I kept myself tucked away from all of the cluster to stay in the zone.
At the start of the race we all lined the beach side by side for a beach start and as the gun went off we all charged the on coming waves looking for a hole shot. The wind was cranking like I have never seen, making the condition super challenging and exactly what I was hoping for. I some how squeezed around the first buoy holding the lead for 3 laps where “T Bear” passed me and as we rounded the up wind mark we battled side by side down wind; where ‘T” slipped and fell and I kicked it in 5th gear and never looked back. paddling into the beach and running towards the finish line; the crowd was electric making it one of the most epic accomplishments of my career as an athlete.
Thanks to all my sponsors, family and friends and to Sparky, Gerry lopez, Barrett tester and everyone who made this event such a huge success..