16 Jun 2017

Is paddle-boarding surfing or canoeing?

12:26 pm on 16 June 2017

A row has erupted over the future of stand-up paddle boarding, with both canoeing and surfing battling for control of the sport.

Olympic gold medallist Jo Aleh competes in the "Fastest Paddler on Earth" Elite Invitational 200m race

Olympic gold medallist Jo Aleh competes in the 'Fastest Paddler on Earth' Elite Invitational 200m race in 2013. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Both federations - which are part of the Olympic Games programme - have claimed the sport as their own, as they look to tap into a completely new and growing market to boost revenues.

"We are pleased that the issue regarding the governance of stand-up paddle boarding is now before CAS [the Court of Arbitration for Sport]," said International Surfing Association president Fernando Aguerre.

He said the court had agreed to mediate new discussions over the governance at the request of both federations.

"As a committed member of the Olympic Family, we believe CAS is the appropriate forum to have this case heard fairly."

The International Surfing Association has been organising competitions for years in stand-up paddle boarding, a sport where athletes stand on a board and move forward using a long paddle.

But the International Canoe Federation (ICF), which has also had paddle boarding events on its competition calendar for years, said the use of the paddle automatically made it part of its organisation.

Surfing is one of five new sports to be included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The International Surfing Association had unsuccessfully tried to include the sport in those games as a surfing discipline.