Within a week the SUP community learned that 2 big SUP Events of the 2015 season have been cancelled, the Battle of the Paddle and the SUP Worldcup Fehmarn.

BOP and SUP Worldcup Fehmarn cancelled

While the organizers of the SUP Worldcup on Fehmarn, Germany (formerly Hamburg) have not generated too much trust in the past (the event was on hiatus for a few years and last year was moved from Hamburg to Fehmarn very last minute). The cancellation of the BOP, the biggest and most prestigious SUP Race in the world came as quite a shock.

BOP-cancellation Here is what Gerry Lopez and Rainbow sandals said in a joint press release

To the SUP & Paddleboard Community,

After nine amazing Battle of the Paddle events in California and Hawaii we are saddened to announce that the Rainbow Sandals will not be hosting the event for 2015.

The BOP has enjoyed incredible growth since it’s inception, however, the economics of producing the event have become overwhelming and unsustainable for Rainbow Sandals, Inc.

Please know that the BOP has been an amazing journey and experience for everyone involved.

We thank all past competitors, sponsors and exhibitors for the tremendous support and participation. In addition, we want to acknowledge all local permitting agencies and safety personnel for allowing us to have such an event and making it safe for everyone to compete.

And lastly, we want to express genuine gratitude to all volunteers and event staff for your generous service and effort making the BOP one of the greatest water sporting events ever.

We sincerely appreciate everyone’s love and support in this great endeavor and look forward to seeing you out on the water soon.

Much Aloha

So, what do we make of that? It seems to be a growing pains of a young sport and has happened in other fun and extreme sports too. A relatively new sport grows and events become bigger and more professional, the costs of competing increase, the athletes need to train on a level that allows no day job and need to travel all around the world which needs to be paid for. The price money has to increase to cover that but in the end the sport is not big enough to justify these high costs to the sponsors anymore, after all the sport is still relatively young and TV coverage (which is the biggest justification for big$$$ sponsorship) is not quite there yet.

Of note also that on May10th 2015 the http://www.supworldcup.com/ page still has not been updated to reflect that, which also is a symptom of the lack of professionalism.

Have your say

What do you think? Is that the start of a downward spiral or just part of a natural selection process that will lead to growth