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Stand Up Paddling

The number of people paddling SUPs in the UK has grown exponentially in the last few years. 

The number of people paddling SUPs in the UK has grown exponentially in the last few years.  This is not just for recreational purposes, the numbers of those wishing to engage in competition has grown too.

SUP is like a cross between canoeing and surfing. Paddlers can be seen on rivers, canals, lakes, on the ocean, even on white water. 

If you are new to SUP check out the SUP for Beginners page on the Go Paddling website for more information.

In competition there are sprint events, usually contested over 200 metres, longer races (19.50 kilometres) and technical races (about three kilometres).  The International Canoe Federation (ICF) has set the following guidelines for race distances;

  • Sprint: Women and men maximum 250m

  • Distance: Women and men between 5km to 35km.

  • Technical Race: Women and men between 800m to 5km.

Competition and Events in the UK

British Canoeing’s What’s on Guide promotes events that are registered with us. If you would like to see what events have registered or would like to register/promote an event please visit the Whats on section.

In addition to events promoted on the British Canoeing What's on Guide, GB SUP run a series including distance, technical and sprint events.  For more information visit: GB SUP. The GB SUP Sprint Championships are held in conjunction with the British Canoeing Sprint Regatta at Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham 3/4 September.

International Competition

The first International Canoe Federation World Championships took place in 2019.  A series of World Cup races and World ranking events have also been introduced providing SUP athletes with greater opportunity to compete on the international stage.

For more information on this season’s events please use the following links. Information bulletins will be published on the ICF event webpages once available.

ICF SUP Page (including information on the ICF SUP rules) 

ICF SUP World Ranking Series including links to the World Cup and World Championship events.

You can also search for other ICF sanctioned international events on the ICF calendar.

Entry into ICF SUP World Cup and World Championship events is undertaken on an individual basis.  Please visit the respective event pages for information bulletins and entry processes.

World Championships Selection

The 2023 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships takes place in Pattaya, Thailand 15-19 November.

Individual entries remain open and any athlete can enter themselves through the World Championships entry system. Individuals remain responsible for their trip logistics and costs.

Whilst entry (and funding of the trips) to the World Championships is c/o individuals, British Canoeing can help put interested athletes in touch with each other to share travel plans and other information. If you wish to be linked up with other paddlers interested in competing at the World Championships and World Cups please complete the following form: Registration of Interest

In 2021 the ICF introduced a team element to the World Championships event programme, which requires National Federations to select and enter athletes into the team events. British Canoeing as the UK member federation of the ICF has the opportunity to facilitate the entry of teams into the ICF SUP World Championships.

 The 2023 team will be selected from those who have entered the individual events and registered their interest with British Canoeing to be considered for the team element.

The Selection Policy is available here.