Compete with international stars in Sweden’s much expected ICF SUP Ranking Race at Skrea Strand!

Test your paddleboarding skills at the 2024 ICF SUP Ranking Race – Baltic Skrea Beach Paddle Race, scheduled from August 9-11 at Skrea Strand in Falkenberg, Sweden. Organized by the Falkenberg Stand Up Paddle Club under the experienced guidance of Tommy Dee Packendorff, this event promises a spectacular blend of competitive spirit and community atmosphere. Participants from around the globe can look forward to challenging races across different categories, perfect for both seasoned athletes and enthusiastic beginners – recognized as an official ICF SUP ranking race. The stunning location on Sweden’s scenic coast, coupled with top-notch organization, makes this event a must-attend for anyone passionate about SUP and eager to test their skills against international competitors.

Hi Tommy! Reflecting on last year’s Skrea Race, amidst the pouring rain and incredible energy, what stands out as your favorite memory?

It was truly a remarkable event last year. Interestingly, many paddlers actually appreciated the challenging weather conditions, which allowed the more skilled to leverage the waves and wind to their advantage. This added a unique flavor compared to racing in flat water. The highlight for me was the start of the long-distance race—sending off a large group of paddlers all at once created a spectacular scene!

Tommy, as the heart and soul of this event, could you share a bit about your background and how you ventured into SUP and organizing international races?

My journey began in the world of boardsports as a professional snowboarder, and I took up SUP as a complement to surfing, given the irregular surf conditions in Sweden. As I have attended many major events, including serving as a coach at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, I know how important the landscape/design of the competition and event arena is, both for the athletes and for the organizer, in creating a place that invites everyone, fosters a great community, and is fun to be at. It is also very important as an organizer that the plan is made to accommodate all logistics, storage, flow, and the schedule accurately.

We have always been able to maintain our schedule during the event, something that we are proud of. We have a great crew from our local club, Falkenberg StandUpPaddle Club, and we have a lot of fun organizing this event, but it is a lot of hard work for sure. Our main sponsor, Baltic Lifejackets, has been a key player in supporting our event for several years, showcasing their expertise with specific products for SUP-paddlers and their safety on water.

Skrea Strand is a stunning Southern Swedish beach. Besides its beauty, why did you choose this particular location for the race?

It is actually pretty easy to get to Falkenberg, even from far away. From Copenhagen Airport in Denmark, it is only a 2-hour train ride without any changes (2.5 hours by car). Falkenberg is a fairly small city, very authentic, with lots of great places offering delicious food. It is a ‘summer beach town’ with a relaxed vibe. Access to water for paddling is easy, and we have both the ocean, harbor, and river very close. The venue is perfect for an event, with plenty of free space for parking very nearby and several options for overnight stays in vans, or at campsites, hostels, and hotels.

With increasing international participation each year, could you highlight some of the notable athletes and what can we expect this year?

We have been fortunate to have many amazing athletes come to our event, most from the northern part of Europe. This year, we will have more international athletes than before, which we are very much looking forward to.

Among the Swedish paddlers, with Linus Karlsson and Lucas Boyum leading, the teams from the Netherlands and Germany are always a very happy part of our race, with many young racers like Benyam Bossack and Cedric Fahlbusch at the forefront. We also have top racers such as Joep Van Bakel, Tanya Ecker, and Bastian Grimm. From the UK, Channel Islands, and Ireland, there are even more paddlers coming this year, which is great fun. From Denmark, we always have top athletes; former champions of our race include Casper Steinfath and last year’s winner, Cristian ‘Polarbear’ Andersen. Also, world champion Tomas Leovits will be returning this year! We are also looking forward to welcoming some paddlers from Asia this year, so the competition will be fierce!

It’s an official ICF SUP ranking race. Why was it important to include the Baltic Skrea Beach Paddle Race among these events?

Having the Baltic Skrea Beach Paddle Race recognized as an official ICF SUP ranking race is a significant milestone for us. It positions our event on the international SUP calendar, attracting top-tier competitors and enhancing the race’s prestige and visibility globally. Our partnership with the National Canoe Federation underscores the high organizational standards and commitment to excellence that we uphold, which resonates well with the ICF’s objectives for competitive integrity and sporting excellence. Being part of the ICF ranking events also facilitates broader participation from elite paddlers around the world, elevating the competition level. Incorporating this race into the ICF’s roster of events helps in promoting the sport of SUP, aligns with our goals to boost tourism in the region.

What variety of races and age groups are planned for the event?

We have something for everyone! We kick off the event on Friday with the MEGASUP race, an exciting team event that brings together groups in a fun, cooperative challenge. Over the weekend, the BALTIC FUNRACE offers a shorter course tailored for beginners and casual paddlers. This race is designed to be accessible, encouraging those new to the sport to participate and enjoy the thrill of competition without the pressure of more intense races.

On Sunday, we host the delightful SUP-KIDS race, which is specifically designed for young paddlers. This event not only introduces children to the sport in a safe and enjoyable environment but also helps nurture a new generation of SUP enthusiasts.

For those looking for a more competitive challenge, our event includes various categories under the ICF – WRR (World Ranking Race). We cater to juniors (up to 19 years old), open categories for all adult ages, and masters categories for those over 40. The competition spans both genders across all categories, ensuring inclusive participation. On Saturday, we have the technical races, which test agility and skill in closer quarters, and on Sunday, the long-distance races challenge endurance and strategy. Notably, Sunday’s long-distance race also doubles as the Swedish Championship, spotlighting the best talents in the nation.

Given the unpredictable weather in previous years, what should participants expect this time around in terms of preparing for Scandinavian summer conditions?

Indeed, as water athletes, we must be prepared for all conditions! Given the unpredictable nature of Scandinavian summers, participants should be ready for anything from full-blown sunny weather to sudden showers and challenging winds. This variability adds an exciting layer of complexity to the race, testing not just physical endurance but also adaptability and strategic thinking. For those not used to the Scandinavian climate, it’s wise to pack both sunscreen and warm clothing.

The atmosphere at the race often feels like a big family reunion. Why do you think that is?

Community is everything! Our local SUP club and the Swedish SUP community are very happy to welcome other paddlers to our waters. Our partners in the Swedish SUP industry —local SUP brands and companies such as Yster, Kona Sports, Ståpaddla, Infinity SUP Nordics, Boardyoga, Surfers Varberg, and Dietz Paddling— are crucial in creating a great SUP arena.

For those planning to extend their stay in Southern Sweden, what are some must-see attractions or activities?

For those visiting Southern Sweden and looking to extend their stay, the region offers a blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences. Explore the sandy beaches and rugged coastlines for relaxation or engage in outdoor activities like hiking the scenic Hallandsleden trail or kayaking in the serene lakes. Delve into the local culture with a visit to historic sites like the Varberg Fortress and enjoy local gastronomy, especially fresh seafood at coastal eateries. Halland is also known for its wellness options, including spas that offer treatments using local traditions. For up-to-date information on local events and more tailored recommendations, be sure to visit the information tent at our event.

We look forward to welcoming all paddlers to Skrea Strand, Falkenberg, Sweden, from August 9-11!

This event will be streamed live on TotalSUP!


For more information:

TotalSUP page

Event website


Photos by the courtesy of: Falkenberg Stand Up Paddle Club, Maria Cerboni and Morten Bruhn

About the Author

Dóra Hegedűs

Dora is a female grandmaster SUP racer who joined the world of paddling in 2019 and quickly developed an irrepressible passion for the sport. Originally from Hungary, Dora now resides in Aarhus, Denmark, and despite her affinity for flat waters, she loves to participate in international races and is dedicated to making SUP racing an inclusive sport for women over 50 - a vibrant age where, as Dora believes, life truly begins to sparkle with fun and excitement. Fluent in Hungarian, English, Italian, French, and (soon) Danish, she is a polyglot. In her professional life, Dora is a business coach and therapist.