ISA World Championships: Explore Copenhagen’s Paddle Wonderland

As Copenhagen gears up to host the 2024 ISA SUP World Championship in September, the city is set to welcome stand-up paddle athletes and enthusiasts from around the globe. Mia Nyegaard, who oversees culture and leisure at the Copenhagen City Hall, shares the inspiration behind hosting this prestigious event and the benefits it brings to the city. With its pristine waterways and a vibrant cultural scene, Copenhagen offers the perfect backdrop for both competitive and recreational paddleboarding. Nyegaard highlights the city’s commitment to sustainability, community involvement, and the enriching festival atmosphere that will accompany the championships. She also provides insights into how Copenhagen continues to promote water sports and recommends must-see attractions for visitors, ensuring a memorable experience beyond the event itself. Join us as we delve into how Copenhagen is poised to become a premier destination for paddle sports!

Hello Ms. Nyegaard. Could you please explain to us what inspired the decision to host the ISA World SUP & Paddleboard Championships in Copenhagen, and what do you hope this event will bring to the city?

In Copenhagen, we are proud to have both engaging sport and cultural events in the city. Events like the ISA World SUP & Paddleboard Championships are both a showcase for the city and an opportunity to create unique experiences for Copenhageners and tourists from near and far.

Hosting the World SUP Champs, we want to create an event for both professionals and recreational exercisers focusing on long-term efforts to encourage more water-based activities.

Mia Nyegaard, Copenhagen’s Mayor of Culture & Leisure

How does Copenhagen contribute to promoting paddle sports in the city and encouraging community participation?

We are proud that the water in the harbor is so clean that we can swim and be active – all year around. I think that the ISA World SUP & Paddleboard Championships can generate even more attention to activities in the harbor – both national and international. As part of the World SUP, we develop an annual recurring paddle event in Copenhagen, and I hope that many will continue to participate in the coming years.

The festival aspect of the event, featuring food and music, adds a unique cultural dimension. How do you envision this festival contributing to the overall experience for attendees?

It is an ambitious festival setup, which I look forward to experiencing – and I think the many, different activities will contribute positively. As the mayor of culture and leisure, I want as many Copenhageners and visitors as possible to take part in the event – no matter if they are participating in the water or on land.

I hope that the event will contribute to promote Copenhagen as an active, diverse, safe, and environmentally conscious city.

Copenhagen has a reputation for its commitment to sustainability. How has sustainability been integrated into the planning and execution of the championships, particularly considering the environmental impact of water sports events?

Since 2009 our CO2 emissions have been cut by 80 percent. And our reputation as a hub of sustainability has attracted major sporting events. It commits.

I’m glad, that the Danish Surf & SUP federation, as part of the event will implement initiatives to inspire the audience to make more sustainable choices such as waste sorting and harbor clean-ups in their daily lives.

Also, schoolchildren in Copenhagen will be invited to participate in the event, where they will learn about sustainability. We will also encourage visitors to use green mobility such as bicycles, reduce carbon emissions, and drive social inclusion through SUP.

SUP Denmark 2017

Nyhavn on a sunny day. Credit

Beyond the championships, how does Copenhagen support and promote paddling sports as part of its leisure and recreational offerings for residents and tourists alike?

Copenhagen has approximately 42 kilometers of coastline, and we are continually working to create the best conditions for both Copenhageners and tourists to be active on the water. A few years ago, it was not permitted to paddle in the harbor of Copenhagen, today it is allowed to do so in almost the entire harbor.

We are building facilities that ease access to the water, making it more attractive and safer to engage in water activities. Amager Strandpark, where part of the ISA World Championship will be held, is a constructed beach with a lagoon that provides excellent opportunities for paddleboarding. And we are working on more places like that.

The Red Bull Midsummer Vikings in Amager Strandpark organised by Casper Steinfath

For visitors coming to Copenhagen for the first time for the championships, what are some must-see attractions or experiences you would recommend to make their visit memorable beyond the event itself?

Copenhagen is a wonderful place in late summer – and the city has a lot to offer. If you haven’t had enough of the water, I suggest taking a dip in one of our many bathing areas. You can also take a trip to Amager Fælled, which the metro runs to. If the sun is gone – or if you just feel like doing something completely different – I would suggest taking a trip to the Royal Danish Theatre.

To be part of the Copenhagen SUP festival / ISA World Championships, visit

To prepare for your visit to Copenhagen, check out :

About the Author

Mathieu Astier

Mathieu is the hyper-active founder of TotalSUP and a multilingual online marketing veteran with more than 20 years of experience working for top international internet companies. His love-at-first-sight for Stand Up Paddling in 2013 led him to build one of the leading online media dedicated to SUP in English and French and to turn his family lifestyle towards the ocean.

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