The Battle for SUP - Canoe vs Surfing – and the Winner is???

Posted date: 18-August-2020

The International Surfing Association (ISA) wanted control, to be the only organising delivering world SUP competitions.  The International Canoe Federation (ICF) said they had every right to deliver SUP competitions as SUP is a paddle sport. 

In September 2018, the ICF organised a gala SUP world championships in Portugal. It was shaping up very nicely, with reputedly 200 entries.  Then the Portuguese Surfing Federation and the ISA lodged a court challenge to stop the ICF getting an event licence to run the SUP championships.  They succeeded.  The IFC generously refunded everyone.

Not to be deterred the ICF held the SUP world championship the next year in Qingdao China in October 2019.  The ISA held its world championships in El Salavador in Nov/Dec 2019. 

The dispute went to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).  

5 August 2020, CAS made a verdict - the International Surfing Association lost its bid for sole control of SUP although it has won the right to govern it at Olympic level.  

However, it was acknowledged that only the IOC – International Olympic Committee could decide who should govern SUP as an Olympic sport.

That’s good news for SUP – more international SUP competitions can only be good for the sport.

And the winner is??  Hopefully the SUP competitors!
More info at:

About ASI
ASI is a professional membership organisation and international governing body for instructors, coaches and schools in the outdoor recreation industry for surfing, stand up paddle and bodyboarding.
We set the standards for education, accreditation, professional development and ongoing support for our members, offering pathways from entry level to elite level.
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