Building a community that loves SUP is our goal. We all want to live in a place where people have common interests and passions. That is why the Crystal Kai SUP. cup race organizers have put a ton of energy into raising money and awareness. Drawing big names to not only compete but to help give free clinics before the races has helped make this a weekend to remember. The event strives to bring more women into the sport and offers a week long camp to encourage women to learn about stand-up paddling. The hope is that all community members can be a part of stand-up in whatever capacity they see fit.
Women are the main focus of the Crystal Kai SUP Cup. Photo: Charli Kerns
The Crystal Kai Sup Cup may not be as big as North Carolina's signature race, the Quiksilver Waterman Carolina Cup. But with a mission to empower people, specifically women, to get on the water and push themselves, the fourth annual event may have proved to be as big in spirit.
"Most races have a higher purse for men, and I didn’t like it," David "DA" Avery, race producer, said. So, he collaborated with the Crystal Coast, North Carolina, community to create a female-branded, WPA-sanctioned event. Though grassroots and young, the Crystal Kai Sup Cup is beginning to command a presence in the sports scene, with this year boasting a total purse of $20,000. The $1,750 top prize, for both elite women and men, was enough to entice some bigger names to this year's event.
April Zilg placed top in the women’s 12’6″ long course event. Photo: Charli Kerns