ORGANISERS of a Kingscliff surf competition expect to have the largest number of entrants in seven years.
Australian Longboard Surfing Open organiser Sean McKeown said the stand-up paddling events have grown at a huge rate.
"In the last 18 months it has increased dramatically," Mr McKeown said.
"We have promoted stand-up paddling for the past seven years.
"Then only one or two people were confident enough to do it in the open surf.
"Now everyone wants to do it."
Mr McKeown said some stand-up paddling competitors suggested he open the competition up to amateurs and the competition has taken off with about 50 individuals last year.
"I don't know how many there are because most entered on the day after checking weather conditions," he said.
"I expect double that number (50)."
This year's Battle of the Paddle races in all classes will be held over a two race series, a mid week race and a weekend race.
Lincoln Dews, 17, who has starred in the Oceans 38 Ironman series, will attempt to defend his BOP title from last year, but has to fit in the weekend racing with the State Lifesaving Titles.
"We have lengthened the BOP course to extend the competitors endurance with the race starting and finishing in the same place" said McKeown as he described the new SUP racing format," he said.
"The paddlers will travel out to sea and paddle parallel to the beach before returning to the start-finish via a course that has them in and out of the surf."
Australian Longboard Surfing Open is on at Kingscliff Beach from March 20 to 24.
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