Olivia Piana Takes Gold at ISA Worlds in China

Boardworks/Rogue SUP athlete Olivia Piana has spent more time than most atop the podium of the world’s most prestigious SUP event, the ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships.

The French SUP star claims five ISA silver medals to her name with results in Peru, Denmark and Fiji. But going into this year’s event Piana had never been crowed world champion. This was a major factor in her switching equipment sponsors late in the 2018 season and joining Boardworks/Rogue SUP this year just in time for its 25th anniversary as a performance surfboard and SUP manufacturer.

After standout performances in each of her events last week on her 2019 Rogue All In race board, Piana achieved her dream, claiming her first world championship crown in the Women’s Distance SUP Race.

Competing for her home country in both the women’s Technical and Distance events this year, Piana’s performance helped Team France earn the overall bronze medal in China. Among the 26 countries in contention this year, only Team Australia (1st) and Team USA (2nd) outscored Team France with the combined efforts of their teammates.

Contributing to France’s third-place finish at the 2018 ISA Worlds, Piana’s gold in the distance event came after a grueling 18-kilometer race offshore of China’s Shenzhou Peninsula. Piana held a formidable lead for the majority of the race, and finished with a time of 2:14:10:52, more than a minute and a half ahead of the runner-up competitor, Australian stalwart Terrene Black (2:15:49:94).

“This gold medal is special,” Piana said. “It represents the moment when I connected all the details that a professional athlete has to manage: training, technique, race strategy, health practices, diet (I’ve been a vegetarian for two years), mental strength, the relationship with my sponsors, the development of the equipment and the collaboration with the French Team.”

Olivia backed up her result in the distance race with a fourth-place finish in the five-kilometer women’s SUP Technical Final. After finishing second-place in her first technical heat behind Black Project teammate Yuka Sato in Heat 3, she gave the world’s fastest women a run for their money in the Technical Final and finished fourth behind Candice Appleby (USA), Terrene Black (Australia) and Shakira Westdorp (Australia). Yuka Sato (Japan) came in fifth, rounding out the women’s Technical top-five.

“This first gold medal is only once in a lifetime,” Piana said. “I am very proud and happy to have succeeded.”

With the final event of Olivia’s 2018 race season now behind her, she is heading into the offseason stronger and faster than ever. Needless to say, we can all expect great things to come from her to come 2019.


Based in Carlsbad, C.A., Boardworks is a leader in the surf and standup paddle industries offering innovative and award-winning surfboards, standup paddle (SUP) boards, paddles, and accessories. Celebrating the brand’s 25th anniversary in 2018, Boardworks has been committed to building user-friendly performance products that make your time on the water more enjoyable, for two and a half decades. That commitment is based on an understanding that there are many types of waterways in this world and many different ways to enjoy surfing and stand up paddling. This design approach ensures that you have the perfect board for your next surf or SUP adventure. Boardworks, part of the Confluence Outdoor family, also designs, manufactures and distributes surfboards and SUP boards for some of the world’s premier brands including Rogue, CRNT and Froth using our proprietary construction technologies.




All photos: ISA Surfing
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