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For the first time in more than a decade, the Laguna Real Estate Noosa Festival of Surfing 2018 will not include stand up paddle events, signalling the fact that SUPS has grown too big and too diverse to fit within the format of a surfing event.

We regard this as a positive move for both the SUPS community and our surfing base. Stand up paddle surfing and racing has grown to such a degree in recent years that many paddlers felt that they needed more space to run their events than we could offer within the festival. By separating the two events, we feel we are helping both sports to grow.

The Laguna Real Estate Noosa Festival will still celebrate all surfing disciplines, but the accent of the “8 days of pure stoke” will once again be on amateur and professional longboarding and speciality events.

This is not a decision taken lightly. For more than a decade the Noosa Festival has helped to put stand up paddling on the map, but in recent years, with the major emphasis being on paddle racing, it was becoming apparent that the sport needed to develop its own stand-alone events. By the same token, the Noosa Festival has grown to such a degree that it needed to focus once again on its pure surfing aspects.

All Pro and speciality events will open for entry 1 November with some exciting new format changes.