Algarve hosts first stand up paddle board challenge

A number of Europe’s best professional and amateur stand up paddle boarders will be travelling to the Algarve to take part in the first-ever Guadiana Challenge, which will be held on March 28.

The event, organised by Algarve SUP, will feature a 32km descent down the Guadiana River “in a gruelling circuit from Mértola to Alcoutim”.

It is the brainchild of Nick Robinson from Algarve SUP, who teaches stand up paddle boarding and wanted to raise the profile of the sport and its benefits.

“The Guadiana Challenge isn’t just a simple float downstream,” said Nick. “32km is a good distance for the average paddler and those people who are taking part will be facing some serious challenges on their journey.”

As Nick stresses, “the Guadiana Challenge is not a race. It’s just a fun and challenging event amongst keen paddlers in Portugal and will be excellent preparation for the race season.”

According to Algarve SUP, stand up paddle boarding is “the fastest growing water-sport in the world” and has been described as “the closest thing to actually walking on water”.

It consists of standing on a large surfboard in water while using a long paddle to move forwards.

“It needs balance and coordination but it’s much simpler, cheaper and quicker to learn than most other board sports and within 30 minutes most people go from beginner to getting a good session under their belt,” Algarve SUP says.
Plus it is popular for its ability to provide a “full-body workout”.

For more info on the event, visit or