April 5, 2015
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

Movement on the SUP World Rankings Leaderboard

Stand Up Paddling World Rankings

There was a bit of movement on the SUP Racer World Rankings leaderboard today, despite no qualifying races being held on the weekend. In what is a rare anomaly, three events were purged from the World Rankings system after being canceled, postponed or failing to re-qualify.

Two separate World Series events, Abu Dhabi and Brazil, were removed from the World Rankings after being canceled (Abu Dhabi) or postponed (Brazil). Meanwhile the 12 Towers race on the Gold Coast, which just scraped in 12 months ago, failed to meet the minimum level of elite competition this time around.

To keep the leaderboard fresh, races are dropped from the system after 12 months. So if a race is canceled, postponed or fails to live up to its previous level of elite competition, it will no longer count for the World Rankings.

So any athlete that was counting one of those three races in their “best five” results saw their total points drop, with a few paddlers taking a hit on their world ranking position. Mo Freitas was the highest-ranked paddler to drop, moving down one spot to 7th and giving Georges Cronsteadt a free ride up to #6.

Zane Schweitzer dropped one spot to #12, which bumped Lincoln Dews up to the knocking-on-the-door-of-the-Top-10 position. Kody Kerbox, who was counting results from both Brazil and Abu Dhabi in his “best five”, dropped four spots to #19 and allowed a few of his buddies to get a free ride up the rankings.

Kai Lenny also took a large hit to his tally, dropping 18.12 points after seeing his winning result from Abu Dhabi disappear. Kai earned 38.00 points for his win in Abu Dhabi 12 months ago, so after that was dropped his 6th best result (a runner-up finish at Maui 2 Molokai worth 19.88 points) became his 5th best. Kai didn’t drop any positions on the leaderboard but has been left narrowly clinging to the world #2 position ahead of Danny Ching. Danny will definitely move ahead of Kai (and could theoretically take the world #1 spot from Connor) with a strong result at Carolina in a few weeks.

On the women’s rankings, only the Abu Dhabi event was counting towards the World Rankings (and only just), so there was minimal movement there.

SUP Racer World Rankings – Top 10 as of April 5th

Total Races
1-Connor Baxter236.6013
2-Kai Lenny217.2511
3-Danny Ching214.809
4-Jake Jensen156.3614
5-Travis Grant153.1512
6+1Georges Cronsteadt126.916
7-1Mo Freitas115.438
8-Casper Steinfath105.7012
9-Beau O'Brian104.508
10-Eric Terrien103.4013
11+1Lincoln Dews94.385
12-1Zane Schweitzer90.0010
13-Chase Kosterlitz80.737
14-Titouan Puyo75.3811
15+2Riggs Napoleon70.477
16-Kelly Margetts69.035
17+1Slater Trout68.899
18+1Fernando Stalla66.969
19-4Kody Kerbox64.969
20-Javier Jimenez51.339
Total Races
1-Annabel Anderson226.706
2-Candice Appleby188.386
3-Lina Augaitis172.5312
4-Fiona Wylde131.588
5-Jenny Kalmbach120.485
6-Angela Jackson117.769
7-Sonni Hönscheid102.1411
8-Shae Foudy70.477
9-Shakira Westdorp61.133
10-Talia Decoite53.907

View the full SUP Racer World Rankings: Men’s Top 100 | Women’s Top 50

How do the SUP Racer World Rankings work?

Every single SUP race in the world is analysed, and the events that attract a “minimum level of elite competition” are include din the World Rankings database. We use our proprietary “Race Index” formula to score every race from 0-100%, with events that achieve 15% and above eligible for the World Rankings.

The Race Index score is based on how many of the current Top 50 ranked guys (or Top 30 ranked girls) are competing in any given race. The more paddlers inside the Top 50 that line up at the start, the higher an event’s Race Index will be. Paddlers ranked higher on the leaderboard contribute a greater weighting.

The higher an event’s Race Index score, the more points that are on offer for the athletes: The World Ranking points are directly proportional to the event’s Race Index score. So for example the BOP Elite Race scored 92% last year after almost every top paddler in the world lined up at the start. Therefore the winner, Kai Lenny, received 92 world ranking points, while everybody below him was on a set percentage of that total (as dictated by our custom Base Points Table).

Following this latest movement on the leaderboard, the next update to the SUP Racer World Rankings will happen at the Carolina Cup. There are a few good regional events in the next couple of weeks, however I highly doubt any of them will qualify.

But Carolina certainly will, with the 2015 event shaping up to be the second most competitive elite race of all time behind only the BOP Elite Race. My early calculations (based on which of the current Top 50 I know are competing) peg the Carolina Cup as a 67.5% race on the men’s side and 53.0% on the women’s. That number may go up or down a few points if there are any late entries or withdrawals.

Following Carolina, the OluKai Ho on Maui will certainly re-qualify, while the ISA Worlds in mid-May will count twice (both the Course Race and Distance Race) and are expected to hit somewhere in the 40-50% range after scoring poorly in 2014. From there we head to Europe, where half a dozen races will count, before Downwind Month in Hawaii in July and the big traditional races in August, September and October.

It’s going to be a big year for the world of elite SUP racing…

See the updated Top 100 Men and Top 50 Women leaderboards.