January 8, 2020
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

Introducing ‘FourTwentySix’ — SUP Racer’s new column that looks for the stories behind the stats

The classic GlaGla Race is rich in stats and stories

One of my favourite daily reads is FiveThirtyEight, an American blog that’s become a bible for sports fans and data geeks alike. FiveThirtyEight analyses everything from NBA playoffs to the Presidential election, and every story has one thing in common: stats.

FiveThirtyEight is a leader in the new school of data journalism, which uses analytics to uncover trends and produce interesting stories. If you like numbers and love sports (or politics), it’s an addictive blog.

So I figured I’d start the “FiveThirtyEight of SUP” as a weekly column here on SUP Racer. Because now that the world rankings include a database of 6000+ paddlers and 100+ events, I’m going to start looking a little deeper to find some interesting stories behind the stats.

I’m calling it “FourTwentySix” as a sort of imitation-is-flattery homage to my favourite blog. FourTwentySix is a special number in the world of stand up paddling — I’ll let you guess what it means, but you probably say it every time you race just in a slightly different form.

FourTwentySix will primarily milk the SUP Racer World Rankings for content, but I aim to include a wide variety of topics and sources from all corners of our sport.

The “King & Queen of Europe” that I posted a few days ago was the first FourTwentySix-style post of the year. Tomorrow I’ll tell you what the “B-Team World Rankings” are and why I think they’re interesting. Next week I’ll reveal who the two most consistent paddlers of the past decade were (one is Hawaiian, the other is Tahitian, both are legends), while I’m also compiling data on the “mass start” races around the world (GlaGla, Paris, Corinth, etc) to see which events truly are the biggest.

FourTwentySix also fits in with my new year’s resolution to tell more stories about our great sport. Because I believe stand up paddling is full of interesting arcs that can engage, excite and encourage us all to spend a little more time on the water getting fit and having fun.

Look out for the “B-Team World Rankings” tomorrow, and leave a comment on Facebook if you know what ‘FourTwentySix’ means 😉