It’s a first for Stand up Paddle Surfing: an awards show! The inaugural SUP Awards will be held at the Casino San Clemente in San Clemente, CA, next Thursday evening, September 22, 2011. Chosen for its close ties to the surfer community, The Casino San Clemente is the site of the early SURFER Poll award shows and has entertained numerous Hollywood icons like Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland.
If you don’t already know what it is, Stand up Paddle Surfing, or SUP, is a variant of surfing where the surfer uses a paddle to move through the water while standing on a surfboard, and unlike traditional surfing, no waves are needed. Derived from its Polynesian roots, the Hawaiian translation for SUP is Ku Hoe He’e Nalu; to stand, to paddle, to surf, a wave.
The sport began in the 1960s but really started to get popular in the early 2000s when Hawaiian surfers such as Dave Kalama, Brian Keaulana, Rick Thomas, Archie Kalepa and Laird Hamilton started SUP as an alternative way to train while the surf was down. Soon, these guys made it a legitimate sport – entering events such as the Moloka’i to O’ahu Paddleboard Race and Mākaha’s Big Board Surfing Classic. Now you can find Stand Up Paddle Surfers in many of the Outrigger and Paddleboard races as participants within their own division.
The SUP Awards hopes to become one of standup paddling’s highest honors. Polls are now open and you can read the nominated athlete’s bios as well as check out their videos at http://www.supthemag.com/2011-sup-awards/vote/ and then pick your top three Male and Female paddlers. Voting will run through September 1st.
Aside from recognizing great athletes, the SUP Awards will also award: “Top Expedition,” “Top Philanthropic Effort” and “Movie of the Year.”
The sport’s most recognized athletes, top SUPindustry executives, national media, and guest celebrities are already on the guest list for this event, so it looks like it’s on its way to becoming an annual ceremony.
For more information, go to http://www.supthemag.com/2011-sup-awards/.