Australian Titles will this year be decided for the first time in the rapidly growing and now well established discipline of Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Surfing.
Surfing Australia announced the inclusion of the Open SUP division into the Country Energy Australian Surf Festival to be run at Port Macquarie during August.
Globally, Stand Up Paddle Surfing has grown in popularity incredibly over the past three years with an abundance of surfers, longboard and shortboard surfers, including a stand up paddleboard in their essential quivers and many dedicating themselves 100% to this discipline.
“The quality of Stand Up Paddle surfers emerging throughout Australia and the world is exciting and there’s many past and present champions of the sport of surfing now very competent and devoted Stand Up Paddle surfers” said Surfing Australia Chief Executive Officer Andrew Stark.
“Take the two finalists at the recent Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, Joel Parkinson and Adam Robertson, both often seen in the line up riding waves on Stand Up Paddleboards, and then look at past champions like Luke Egan, Tom Carroll and Simon Anderson, all keen riders” added Stark.
“Stand Up Paddle Surfing has established itself in our sport and we are delighted to incorporate it into our Australian Surfmasters this year – the inaugural champion will take a special place in surfing’s history!”
Judging criteria for the Stand Up Paddle surfers have been formulated by the International Surfing Association with an emphasis on use of paddle in performance surfing and radical manoeuvres. The criteria will shortly be available through via theSurfing Australia website.
Twelve surfers will make up the division this year, three from host state NSW, two from Qld, Vic, SA and WA and one from Tasmania.
The Country Energy Australian Surfing Festival, which incorporates the Oxbow Australian Longboard Titles along with the Australian Surfmasters will run from August 16 through to August 29 as a mobile event through the surf rich region surrounding Port Macquarie.
Surfing NSW will host the event and a full Surfing Australia digital media team will service the event with daily digital images, press releases, live web scores, web highlight vision and selected days national television newsfeeds.
Queensland’s James Weston (Burleigh Heads), a likely contender at the first ever Stand Up Paddle Australian Surfmasters.