December 26, 2019
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

The SUP Racer World Rankings will relaunch in less than 24 hrs




Who was the best paddler in the world this year? Which events were the biggest of the season? And just how many of us are there in this great community? 🤔

You’ll have answers to all of the above in less than 24 hours.

After two weeks of staring at a spreadsheet so large it has its own postcode, the 2019 SUP Racer World Rankings are now complete. I still need to make the data presentable, but I should have it all ready for you by this time tomorrow.

It’s been a lot of work, and it’s been a lot fun.

Even though I’ve been managing the original SUP world rankings for more than half a decade, it suddenly feels new again. If you read my “Chaos of Champions” post last week you’ll know why. I won’t go over the whole story again, but I’m feeling excited to have my baby back.

And I’m very excited to share who the top-ranked paddlers are.

Even though I’ve probably seen the final rankings a hundred times over the past couple of days, I’m still like a little kid on Christmas every time I look at the leaderboard. It’s reminded me just how good our top paddlers are, and it’s also shown me just how many paddlers are in our community. SUP is bigger than you might think.

I’m also excited to tackle the “Chaos of Champions” and see if we can get a little more clarity in our sport.

After a record 22 world titles were awarded this year, and with no clear governing body or leadership from the powers-that-be, I feel the SUP Racer World Rankings are even more relevant today than in 2013 when I built the original system. And with six years of historical data, we can start playing around with things like ‘Paddlers of the Decade’ and some other cool little side-projects that I have in mind.


I’ve been really motivated by a new focus on regional events and amateur athletes. The 2019 system includes all the top pros just like the original SUP Racer World Rankings, but now it goes so much deeper.

The New Race Index – the algorithm that ranks every race around the world and provides the core of this whole system – recognises and rewards events that get hundreds of amateurs on the water. There’s also a reward for offering junior races plus a formula that recognises events that bring more exposure to our sport. The ‘elite’ component is still a major factor – I want the SUP world rankings to crown a true world number one – but the system is more focused on what makes a healthy sport.

We also have far more events in the database: 113 races from 32 countries were included this year (that’s about a 350% increase on the old system). And with a dozen ‘Regional Paddle Leagues’ being organised right now, I think we’ll have 250+ races in 2020. It’s exciting.

Last week, when I was still in the midst of my spreadsheet safari, I estimated there might be 3000 paddlers in the SUP world rankings this year. I was waaay off.

After adding dozens of new regional events and including results from several big ‘open’ races, there are now more than 6000 individual paddlers in the system.


6,231 paddlers to be precise. And all of these paddlers are now connected on the same leaderboard: 4,730 paddlers in the men’s world rankings and 1,861 in the women’s.

That’s been my goal with the new-look SUP world rankings: I don’t only want to see who the world number one is, I really want to help connect our sport. I want the weekend warriors to feel just as much a part of the sport as their elite heroes. Because they are.

And now that every paddler in the world (or at least the top six thousand) is connected on the same leaderboard, hopefully it’s a little step in the right direction.

It won’t be perfect. I was missing a lot of age data, so I won’t be able to launch a dedicated Masters and Juniors leaderboard until next year when we (hopefully) have a universal results template, though I should be able to credit the ‘Top 19 Juniors of 2019’ at the very least.

I’m also missing a lot of country data. I really like the idea of giving every paddler their national flag next to their name, but I only have that data for about one thousand paddlers (you’ll be able to msg me and request an edit if your flag is missing).

I’m aiming to launch the new-look SUP Racer World Rankings at 10pm tomorrow here in Queensland (Australia). Here’s what that translates to around the world.

10pm Friday night in Queensland
= 2am Friday in Hawaii
= 2am Friday in Tahiti
= 4am Friday in California
= 7am Friday in Florida
= 7am Friday in Peru
= 9am Friday in Brazil
= 12pm Friday in the UK
= 1pm Friday in France
= 1pm Friday in Germany
= 1pm Friday in Spain
= 1pm Friday in Italy
= 2pm Friday in Greece
= 2pm Friday in Ukraine
= 2pm Friday in Israel
= 2pm Friday in South Africa
= 7pm Friday in Thailand
= 8pm Friday in China
= 9pm Friday in Japan
= 11pm Friday in Vic/NSW
= midnight in New Caledonia
= really late in New Zealand

…or just go to and you’ll see the countdown timer. If I get everything finished in time, I might do a live stream on Facebook to reveal the rankings an hour or two ahead of the official launch 😉

So, who wants to guess the new world number one? 🤔 Leave a comment on the original Facebook thread if you think you know!