Surf and canoe bosses in Olympic battle over stand-up paddleboarding

Penelope Armstrong, 38, won a world stand-up paddleboarding title in Fiji. Photo /  Jason Oxenham.
Penelope Armstrong, 38, won a world stand-up paddleboarding title in Fiji. Photo / Jason Oxenham.

Surfing and canoeing authorities are in a scrap to take over the booming sport of stand-up paddle boarding.

In a comical battle with Olympic ramifications, the International Canoe Federation is claiming the use of a paddle means it should control SUP. But the International Surfing Association has rejected that, saying it has organised the SUP competitions for many years.

SUP is described as a mix of surfing and canoeing, and those involved in the sport are hoping it can join those two sports in the Olympics.

ISA president Fernando Aguerre told the BBC: "Up until last year there was no interest from the ICF. The interest arose when we were to bring the sport to the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires."

ICF secretary general Simon Toulson replied: "The ICF has been involved in the sport for a number of years. Many of our federations have the sport recognised by their National Olympic Committees running national and international competitions."

Aucklander Penelope Armstrong, who won a world SUP gold medal in Fiji in November, predicted the sport would enter the Olympics.

"Competing organisations are trying to take it over internationally," she told NZME last year.

"The canoe federation wants paddle boarding on rowing lakes, a 200m flatwater sprint. Surfing wants it in their new wave pools, for it to be a surf race, a technical race.

"I don't know what format it will be, but it will get into the Olympics, probably in 2024."

The battling water sports met the International Olympic Committee recently without a resolution being found.

- NZ Herald

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