Union Paddlers: Breaking the barriers for SUP racing with a new gear rental & training offering

Following the Starboard announcement about a new partnership with Union Paddlers and Sports Camps to support amateur and professional athletes with an easy access to high-quality gear, TotalSUP caught up with Andrey Kraytor, Olympian, World Canoe Sprint and SUP Champion, to find out more about it.

Lined up clinics and training camps with Starboard’s Dream Team athletes at the upcoming SUP racing events, the Union Paddlers and Sports Camps offering is filling a major gap in the sport of stand-up paddleboarding by taking the hassle out of SUP travel – anyone who has ever travelled with a 14 ft paddleboard on a plane can attest to it.

But it can also break down barriers for SUP enthusiasts around the world who would like to participate in top racing events by providing them with some of the best equipment on the market.

Image courtesy of Andrey Kraytor

Hi Andrey, you’re heavily involved in the SUP racing scene and ICF events…

Paddling has always been a natural and instinctive activity for me. I started with canoe sprints and eventually transitioned to SUP, which has taken me to numerous international events and allowed me to meet and connect with amazing people from around the world.

What I love most about paddling is not just the physical and mental challenge and effect of the sport, but also the sense of community and people that surrounds it. I’ve made lifelong friendships through my involvement in the sport, and I believe that it’s the people that make it truly special.

Image courtesy of Andrey Kraytor

Could you tell us more about Union Paddlers and Sports Camps – The official partners of the International Canoe Federation (ICF) authorized to provide equipment in the upcoming World Cups and World Championship events.

With Union Paddlers and Sports Camps our mission is to make the sport more accessible and easier for others to get involved. We provide a platform that connects paddlers with high-quality training camps, clinics and rental solutions, so that they can have the opportunity to experience the sport and the community for themselves.

However, our focus is not just on providing opportunities and for paddlers to participate in the sport with high-quality training camps and equipment but developing the sport itself. We prioritize mission with solution for paddlers, expanding the geography of travelling for the  community and events by increasing the number of participants in the sport of stand-up paddleboarding.

Overall, I’m incredibly passionate about SUP, other paddlesports and the paddlers community and I feel privileged to be able to help others experience it for themselves. By providing accessibility and sustainability for the community, we can continue to build a strong and vibrant paddling world.


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How does it work? Could you tell us more about the process and the quiver available?

Sure, I’d be happy to provide more information on the process and the quiver available through our partners.

The process is designed to make it easy for amateur and professional athletes to access high-quality gear for SUP racing events, camps and clinics.

With our partners, Union Paddlers and Sports Camps, are authorized to provide equipment for the upcoming ICF World Cups and World Championship events. This means that paddlers can easily rent or purchase equipment and “travel light”.

If we take athletes from other continents, it’s hard to get around with boards even if you ready to pay that extra amount.

In Europe many athletes drive with boards, travel with few airlines such as Ryanair, and what we want to solve is carrying the boards from home spots at airports then transfer to the events and back, and making it cheaper than bringing your own gear. So this way, the more people will use the service, the more people will be attend events all around

The Euro TourSUP and ICF SUP and independent events – We are open to collaborate with event organisers and together grow our sport.

As for the quiver available, you’ve just mentioned Starboard, we offer a wide range of models and sizes. We have several customers who take the «long term rental» options, with the advantage for paddlers of using the same board (model and size) he’s using at home, at the events listed on our calendar for the entire season – it’s a game-changing thing.

Starboard is known for its high-quality SUP boards and equipment and through our partnership, we have access to a wide range of Starboard gear, including race boards, touring boards and paddles.

We’re focused on expanding the possibilities. Our rental service offers a variety of options for the paddling community to choose from, whether you’re a free rider or competitive Team Racer in need of that perfect board.

Our priority is the paddler! Our goal is to provide paddlers with the best equipment available for their needs and conditions, so that they can perform at their best and enjoy the sport to the fullest.

To summarize, the process is designed to make it easy for paddlers to access high-quality gear for SUP racing events, while the quiver available includes a wide range different brands and equipment to choose from. We’re excited to be able to provide this service to the paddling community and we’re looking forward to helping paddlers achieve their goals.

Thank you for your time and we’re looking forward to catching up with you at the upcoming events!

Photo credit: Euro TourSUP

>> To find out more about Union Paddlers, visit and follow UP on Instagram and Facebook 

>> Andrey will be hosting “Efficient Stroke” technique clinics at the SUP World Ranking events, to find out more and register, visit

>> Follow Andrey Kraytor on Instgram and Facebook 

>> To find out more about Sports Camps, visit and follow SC on Instagram and Facebook

Union Paddlers x Sports Camps Event pipeline:

*Images courtesy of Andrey Kraytor

About the Author

Anna Nadolna

Anna is the Founder of SUPer Whale, a Cambridge(UK!)-based emerging watersports brand and a stand-up paddleboarding community. She is a certified SUP Flat Water Instructor accredited by International Surfing Association (ISA). Anna is also a digital marketing, storytelling aficionado and a growth hacking enthusiast.

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