By boarders for boarders is SUP racer Chase Kosterlitz; an athlete with team Fanatic/Quickblade, currently ranked #10 in the world (supracer.com) and also a pioneer for the sport as one of the founders and board of directors of SUPAA- The Stand Up Paddle Athletes Association. SUPAA is a new sanctioned body that is very rare in any sport, one founded and run by athletes of the sport and Chase was happy to be a part of Boarders Mag and tell us more.
So what exactly is the SUPAA?
Established in September 2013, the Stand Up Paddle Athletes Association is an international governing body for stand up paddle boarding. With cooperation from athletes, race directors, sponsors and stand up paddle boarding constituent groups, we will establish standards for stand up paddle board racing rules and execution.
Who runs SUPAA?
Our Board of Directors and Advisory Board members are the most experienced and accomplished stand up paddle athletes and individuals in the world. The Board of Directors oversees all functions and decisions with the input of our Advisory Board and SUPAA members.
What is the purpose of SUPAA?
SUPAA was formed to help give direction to the growth of stand up paddle boarding in a positive and sustainable manner. Global race regulations for rules, safety, course distances, board specs and prize money are important to continuing stand up paddle board growth. Youth development and access programs will also be implemented to help grow the sport. Through our programs we will work to ensure the highest level of excellence in stand up paddling.
What are the goals of the SUPAA?
- Implement the SUPAA Rulebook to standardize stand up paddle board racing rules.
- Certify and educate SUPAA race officials to help implement race rules.
- Coordinate board restrictions with stand up paddle board manufacturers to ensure stand up paddle boarding remains fun and inclusive for all participants.
- Organize the scheduling of stand up paddle events in order to create the most value for event organizers, athletes and sponsors.
- Cooperate with athletes, event organizers, sponsors and all constituent groups to ensure our efforts our effectively carried out.
- Create youth development programs to provide new opportunities for access and growth of the sport.
How is SUPAA different from other organizations?
Our Board of Directors and Advisory Board are comprised of the most experienced and accomplished stand up paddle athletes and individuals in the world. SUPAA is a worldwide organization with representatives on 5 continents. The SUPAA Rulebook is the most comprehensive set of rules ever created for stand up paddling. With the input of race directors and athletes we will work to make these the unified rules of stand up paddling. We have created a strong and unique position to cooperate with manufactures, race directors and media to set a unified path of positive growth in stand up paddling.
Why create another SUP organization?
There are many great stand up paddle organizations throughout the world working to promote the sport. However, we felt there was a need for a truly global organization to unify the rules and interests of all stand up paddle constituent groups. This is why The Stand Up Paddle Athletes Association was formed.
SUPAA is not affiliated with, or working directly alongside any existing stand up paddle organizations. We will cooperate with all existing entities and encourage them to adopt the SUPAA Rulebook and work with us. You can visit the SUPAA “How We Are Different” page for more info.
Is SUPAA sanctioning SUP races?
We will not officially sanction any SUPAA events until 2015. We will however, encourage race officials around the world to adopt the SUPAA Rulebook and implement it as their events in 2014. Through the feedback we receive from race officials and athletes we will work to refine the rules. In 2014 we will certify SUPAA Race Officials so that in 2015 these officials can manage SUPAA sanctioned events.
In 2015 we will sanction the first official SUPAA stand up paddle events. This 1-year process ensures a high standard of excellence for SUPAA stand up paddle events. We encourage you to adopt the SUPAA rules in 2014 and ask for a free race management consultation from SUPAA. We will help you with your questions and provide support to make your stand up paddle race a success.
Why should I join SUPAA?
Your SUPAA membership will help us institute SUPAA programs and regulations that will help the sport continue positive and inclusive growth. You will join a passionate community of paddlers from around the world to share ideas, information and your love of the sport.
What do I get when I join the SUPAA?
SUPAA member benefits include exclusive paddle tips and training information from the world’s top paddlers, travel discounts with United Airlines, amazing offers and discounts from our SUPAA partners and Paddle Coach program, monthly e-news updates, SUPAA board decal and the knowledge that you will be helping to support programs that will ensure the positive growth of stand up paddle boarding worldwide.
Chase went on to tell us that, “The reception from race officials has been great. They understand there is a need for what we are doing and they look forward to working with us. We have already been approached by race directors across the North America, South America, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, UK and France to work with us and adopt our rules. We have already written a comprehensive 22-page rulebook for 2014. This year we will encourage race organizers to adopt the rules and provide feedback. We have an international reach and will take all of the feedback to refine the rules to make them even better for 2015. By reaching out to race directors, athletes and the industry we will work together to establish a unified rulebook.”
To learn more about SUPAA visit http://supathletes.com