Surfing and canoeing in row over stand up paddle boarding ownership

Stand up paddle boarding
Stand up paddle boarding has enjoyed huge growth in recent years

Surfing and canoeing bosses are falling out over which organisation should control the increasingly popular sport of stand up paddle boarding (SUP).

The sport involves athletes standing on a board and using a long paddle to move - a cross between kayaking and surfing.

The International Surfing Association (ISA) says it has organised competitions for years in the sport.

But the International Canoe Federation (ICF) says the use of the paddle makes it part of its organisation.

The sport has enjoyed huge growth in recent years and it could join both canoeing and surfing as an Olympic sport in the future.

"Up until last year there was no interest from the ICF," said ISA president Fernando Aguerre. "The interest arose when we were to bring the sport to the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires."

But ICF secretary general Simon Toulson rejected Aguerre's comment about his organisation's recent arrival to the sport.

"The ICF has been involved in the sport for a number of years and did not start last year," he said.

"Many of our federations have the sport recognised by their National Olympic Committees running national and international competitions."

The two federations met with the International Olympic Committee a few months ago to sort out the issue but a solution has yet to be found.

"ICF statutes state clearly that a person using a paddle as a main form of propulsion whilst on a craft in water is canoeing/paddling," added Toulson.

"The issue is really which organisation is responsible at Olympic level."

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