Niche Report: APP Launches Inaugural Inflatable SUP World Championships

Inflatable cowabunga!

OK, so maybe it’s all getting a little “nichey.”

That’s our take, anyway, as just ahead of the 2019 World Championship Tour SUP Finals Dec. 10-19 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the APP announced it’s now also hosting

“It aims to bring together paddlers from all over the world for a week to remember: fun competition and participation for all the family, from team racing to individual titles,” says organizers. “It will have something for everyone as the APP puts on its final celebration of the sport for the year, held in conjunction with the APP World Tour Surfing Finals.”

We get it that inflatables don’t have quite the surf performance as hardshells (except maybe for those like Hala’s carbon-reinforced, double-stacked Playita). And competing on one at a world championships might not give you quite the same edge. But do they really need their own world championships? And the accolades that come with it don’t exactly roll off the tongue easily. “Uh, I’m the inflatable standup paddleboard world champion,” you might try to brag at the bar.

Not that we’re dissing those who compete…they’re all way better than us, at pretty much everything. It’s just that does the sport need a world championships for a niche of a niche?

For those who think it does, the event will be held on the middle weekend of the Gran Canaria Pro-Am (Dec. 14-15) in the Capital City of Gran Canaria (Las Palmas), which provides flat water racing at one end and surfing at the other.