2009 Battle of the Paddle SUP Race

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I was fortunate to be able to attend this year’s Battle of the Paddle, not as a racer but as a spectator. The thought of cold water, unfamiliar territory, logistics of equipment, etc didn’t make me want to race. I had a great time shooting pics and video and got a chance to see a lot of the movers and shakers in the SUP industry. Then my camera battery died. Oh well. I know this took a while to post but here it is. I didn’t get that many pictures of the races because I was shooting video so if you want to see the races, please watch the videos.

Distance Race Highlights:

(click thumbnail to launch video)

Relay Race:

(click thumbnail to launch video)

One thing I noticed was that the Hawaii racers were really comfortable in the surf. I could see their posture change when they rounded the final buoy into the surf zone and when they caught a wave, they had an “it’s over” look to them. Slater was definitely one of them.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-020 Slater Trout

Aaron Napoleon was helping out others by carrying their boards. Since he always finishes in the top, there’s a lot of time to help out.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-025 Aaron Napoleon

Jeff Chang from Wet Feet showed his tenacity by sprinting at the end. Check out the guy in the referee uniform. He deserves an award, free beer/food and a tip. I watched him save so many boards from damage by jumping, diving and lunging. Most valuable player goes to him.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-048 Jeff Chang

Some of the Hawaii contingent:

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-050 Edmund Pestana and Zane Schwietzer

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-058 Kainoa Beaupre, Edmund Pestana, Zane Schwietzer and Robert Stehlik

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-060 Candice Appleby

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-062 Kainoa Beaupre and Candice Appleby

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-195 Morgan Hoesterey

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-198 Nolan Martin, Candice Appleby and Riggs Napoleon

It wouldn’t be a race without Sam Pa’e. I think Sam gets the ‘best attendance’ award. I can’t remember a race that I’ve been to that he wasn’t there.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-199 Sam Pa’e

Riggs Napoleon is already a force to reckon with, even though he’s only 10 years old. He paddled a Surftech Bark lie down paddleboard. I can barely even lie on that board and balance while Riggs stood up on it and surfed with ease (as you’ll see in the video).

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-078 Riggs Napoleon surfing

Then he walked right off it at shore and ran to the finish line. The best part for me was when the announcer asked him how it was out there and he said, “It sucks that it’s so cold…” One more reinforcement for my decision not to race.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-079 Riggs Napoleon running

Speedo man must not have been affected by the cold.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-070 Speedo SUP

The start line at the SUP relay race was crazy packed.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-172 Start line at SUP relay race

Zane sent in this picture of the carnage in the water.

zane-schweitzer-battle-of-the-paddle-2009-03 Carnage at Battle of the Paddle 2009

Jamie Mitchell catching his breath during the relay.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-191 Jamie Mitchell

Mark Raaphorst mentioned that the kelp was an issue they didn’t know about prior to the race. He said that he would pull ahead and then all of a sudden the others would start passing him and then he noticed all the kelp stuck to the rudder. He had to remove it by hand over and over which of course affected his time.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-207 Kelp

Mark still had and has a great and positive attitude. Here he is talking story on shore.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-102 Mark Raaphorst (left)

Pono Bill was there and went home with Mark’s F-18. Bill was pretty tired but at his age he’s doing a great job.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-117 Bill BabCock

The F-18 that Bill got is a bit different from the one that I have. His board has sharp bottom rails and mine has round and smooth ones. His tail is more cut off and mine looks like the tail on an OC-1. I think his deck is scooped out a bit and mine is flat.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-143 Bill’s new F-18 SUP

I walked around the booths checking out the gear. The beach in California has these handy built in barbecues and the only one in use was full of food. I knew it had to be the Hawaii guys and I was right. What can I say? Hawaii people love to eat. I ended up joining them.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-146 Barbecue

The barbecue was between the Solo Paddle tent and S.I.C. booths.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-147 Solo Paddle Booth

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-144 Sandwich Island Composites Booth

Kevin Seid from Everpaddle on the North Shore of Oahu was there to show off his stuff and race.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-152 Kevin Seid

The guys from Waterman’s Applied Science were kind enough to give me a hat to block the sun.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-156 Waterman’s Applied Science Booth

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-163 Kevin Seid and Robert Stehlik

The Surftech truck.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-002 Surftech Truck

The Starboard crew.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-227 John Hibbard and Scott McKercher

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-216 Honora Kalama, Nikki Gregg and Dan Gavere

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-217 Margareta Engstrom (left), Ernie (EJ) Johnson (right)

Boardworks and C4.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-214 C4 Booth

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-205 Nice Paddle

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-206 Gerry Lopez

There were definitely some interesting looking SUP race boards there.

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-091 Nidecker and Standamaran

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-096 Brian Szymanski Prototype

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-092 Surftech Bark Expedition 14′ and Hobie

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-093 Starboard SUP Racer, Ohana SUP and Bark SUP

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-094 Nectar SUP Racer

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-090 Everpaddle Race SUP

Here are some pics of the race course:

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-013 Elite Race Course – Battle of the Paddle 2009

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-014 SUP Relay Race Course – Battle of the Paddle 2009

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-015 Open Age Group Race Course – Battle of the Paddle 2009

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-016 Distance Race Course – Battle of the Paddle 2009

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-209 Chuck Patterson and Jamie Mitchell

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-213 Scott Gamble and Rob Machado

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-226 Steve Boehne and Joe Blair

2009-battle-of-the-paddle-157 Drew Brophy

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1 Response to “2009 Battle of the Paddle SUP Race”


  1. Robert 1Robert

    Here is a link to a video of the BOP age group race:
    http://www.vimeo.com/7869868

    This video shows paddlers from around the world lining up on the beach, starting in waves, racing around the course and finishing with a run on the sand beach. Featuring footage of Kevin Seid, Herbie Titcomb, Gerry Lopez, Jeff Chang, Mark Raaphorst, Zane Schweitzer and many more. Filmed by Robert Stehlik

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