Latest Event Updates

Schedule of Events

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 scpf letterhead

Thursday March 17th

6:00am – Surfers lot site structuring

10:00am – Sponsors Check in at Steamer Lane

5:00pm – Mandatory Check in at Adventure Sports Unlimited*see footnote*

6:30pm – Dinner at ASU

7:15pm – Mandatory Safety Meeting at ASU


Friday March 18th

6:00am – First Volunteers on site at the Lane

7:20am – Heats Start at the Lane

8:00am – Booths Open at the Lane

5:00pm – Booths Close at the Lane

5:40pm – Last heat off the water at the Lane

5:00pm – Happy hour and Tacos at Olitas on the Wharf


Saturday March 19th***

6:00am – First Volunteers on site at the Lane

6:00am – First Volunteers on site at Cowells Beach

7:00am – Race/Cowells check in starts at Cowells Beach

7:20am – Heats start at the Lane

8:00am – Booths open at the Lane & Cowells Beach

8:00am – Race/Cowells Safety meeting at Cowells Beach

9:00am – Paddleboard Race starts at Cowells Beach

9:30am – Set up for Cowells/Indicators Starts

11:00am – Heats start at Cowells/Indicators

11:00am – OC1 Race starts at Cowells Beach

2:20pm – Heats end at Cowells/Indicators

5:00pm – Booths Close

5:40pm – Last heat off the water at the Lane

7:00pm – Paddleboard Race awards at Ponos


Sunday March 20th

6:00am – First Volunteers on site at the Lane

7:20am – Heats start at the Lane

8:00am – Booths open at the Lane

12:00am – Heats start at Cowells/Indicators

3:20pm – Heats end at Cowells/Indicators

3:00pm – Booths Close & Takedown begins

3:20pm – Last heat off the water at the Lane

4:00pm – Overall Awards Ceremony at the Lane


*This of course is a tentative schedule. When dealing with the ocean things are bound to change. The SCPF desk at the event will have the most current updates.

**The mandatory safety meeting is for ALL Steamer Lane surfing competitors. Racing and Cowells competitors will be meeting on Saturday at Cowells Beach. Any competitor who fails to be present at the safety meeting will face a DQ.

***SUP heats will be held after the race, don’t worry they won’t conflict.

Outriggers coming to SCPF!

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Outrigger Announcement

March 19th. Cowells Beach, Santa Cruz

We’ve wanted to bring in Outriggers to our race for some time. This year we are stoked to say, “its going to happen!” The City of Santa Cruz has given us a green light to add them to our event.

To test the waters we will running OC1’s. Check out the map below. The Outrigger Canoes will race the 10k course. They’ll have a water start and skip the runs doing a buoy turn instead. Surf-City-race-course-2016

All registrants will receive a competitors bag chock full of swag and an event T-shirt with art done by Drew Brophy. Register online and tell your friends! If we get a good showing this year we’ll up the ante next year!

Fiona Wylde brings a Womens SUP Clinic to SCPF

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scpf cwwc clinic

Are you an avid paddler? Would you like to improve your skill set and go…FASTER? Then join us on March 17 at the Santa Cruz PaddleFest for a 2-hour SUP Race Clinic taught by professional athlete, Fiona Wylde. The clinic is available for all ages and paddlers who want to elevate their level on the water. We will be working on stroke technique, turning, race starts, balance and whatever else you’d like to learn.

Class size is limited so if you’re interested in this opportunity- signup today!

Registration is LIVE!

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Greeting Paddlesports brethren,

We are very to announce that registration is live! A couple of things to remember. 

  • There is a mandatory paddler’s meeting Thursday night. This is for all Steamer Lane competitors. Here we will go over event safety and answer any questions you have. This is also when you sign the waiver and pick up your competitor gift bag. No waiver, no surfing…
  • Competitors interested in more than 2 categories will be wait-listed for their 3rd category. Please contact the organizers if you wish to do so.
  • Registration includes an event t-shirt for each category entered. 
  • Registration also includes dinner/drinks Thursday night and a raffle ticket.
  • We do not encourage simultaneously entering the Steamer’s and Cowell’s surfing categories.
  • PLEASE be sure to read over what you are registering for!
  • See you in the line up soon!

The very best,


Santa Cruz Paddlefest, a History

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We are coming up to our 30th annual Santa Cruz Paddlefest. Three decades ago the Paddlefest was started by Dennis Judson of Adventure Sports Unlimited. Back then surf kayaks were still in their infant stage. They were very long and narrow with rounded bottoms and were mostly just modified whitewater kayaks. Overtime the kayaks evolved into shorter boats with a flat surfboard like bottom and fins!

Now we have three distinct classes of surf kayak. The more traditional style of surf kayak is the International Class Kayak (IC or long boat). IC boats need to be under 3.5 meters in length but no shorter than 3 meters, can not have fins, and are very limited on the amount of hull concavity they can have. These boats are seen to have a very flowing style and excel in doing long drawn out turns.

There are also High Performance Kayaks (HP or short boat) that need to be under 2.75 meters in length, can have fins, and can have any sort of contours on the hulls. These shorts boats are designed to be able to do radical maneuvers and will be able to execute tight turns and dynamic moves in the power pocket of the wave.

The third class we see is Waveski. These small craft have no restrictions (except in length, under 3.5 meters) and are of a vastly different style. Instead of sitting inside the kayak you are sitting on top of the craft. The advantage is greatly reduced weight and vastly increased maneuverability. The disadvantage is you are compromising the easy of paddling. Waveskis are seen to be the highest performing craft and also the most challenging to master. It is not uncommon to see these airing off a wave and smoothly re­-entering the green face.

Through the years the SCPF has held multiple World Championships. These events drew competitors from all over the world; Ireland, Scotland, England, Portugal, Basque, Brazil, Costa Rica, Canada, Australia, Jersey, are just to name a few! With such an epic venue even on non-Worlds years we still see a contingent from these countries coming to compete. The wave is just that good.

Eventually SUP was added to the SCPF. At first it was mostly just an exhibition event with some high caliber riders invited, but overtime it has become something much more. The SUP surfing competition at The Lane is now almost as large as the kayak contingent! Every year we see riders coming in from all corners of the globe

Soon after we added the SUP surfing category we added a race. Starting off of Cowells beach racers slug it out and around a course towards the fabled Steamer Lane and then looping back towards the Boardwalk. Every year we get more and more people signing up for this race and soon we may run out of beach!

In 2014 after many years of putting together a wonderful event the head organizer, Dennis Judson, decided that he was going to retire from hosting the event. With a world of expectations surrounding the SCPF, Dave Grigsby (owner of Kayak Connection) and Mathew Hoff (Local International Surf Kayak Competitor) shouldered that weight and decided to keep the contest alive.

Cross your fingers for conditions like last year’s and we will see you out in the line up!