The International Surfing Association (ISA) is adamant it has the right to organize stand-up paddleboard (SUP) competitions after accusing its canoeing counterparts of copyright infringements in promotion of the fledgling sport.
ISA and the International Canoeing Federation (ICF) are embroiled in a battle for control over SUP competitions.
Earlier this month, surfing’s governing body claimed that the federation used their footage in promotional material for next month’s SUP World Championships in China.
The protracted dispute is expected to be settled by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) before the championships start on Oct. 24.
An ICF-backed SUP World Championship in Portugal was canceled last year after the Portuguese CAS ruled that the nation’s surfing association held the rights to the discipline.
ISA president Fernando Aguerre said it should be an open and shut case in favor of his organization’s rights to SUP events.
“It is 10 years we have been supporting and promoting the stand-up world championships, yet they never organized anything. Not even one [event],” he said at the World Surfing Games in Miyazaki, Japan, yesterday.
Both sports claim historic ties to SUP, which requires athletes to stand upright on their board and use a paddle to move.
However, Aguerre is adamant that the sport was invented by surfers and accuses the ICF of wanting to usurp the discipline once it became popular.
“It is inevitable when you have a nice garden with nice flowers and nice fruits hanging from the trees that your next door neighbor says: ‘Hey, that is my garden,’” the Argentine said.
“You never planted a tree, never mowed the lawn, you didn’t do anything, so I think the case is very obvious. It is a sport invented by surfers, it is a surfboard, you paddle in a surfing, standing position,” he added.
Canoeing and surfing are sports at next year’s Tokyo Olympics, where surfing is to be making its Games debut.