The World Top SUP Athletes of 2023

One of our favorite topics here at the Stand Up Magazin is to follow the SUP Race sport. We been following SUP racing since the beginning back in 2010. In fact, that was one of the reasons why we started the online magazine and we are still going strong. The fact that in the last 14 years we been the SUP World has not been able to agree and unify under one ranking system is rather astounding. For the longest time we had SUPracer keeping track of all the athletes working out a comprehensive system to crown the true world champ at the end of the year. Unfortunately SUPracer has disappeared and so did the ranking system.

We are happy, that we have Tibor Hasulyo filling this void for the last couple of years and we have been following his updates week after week during the SUP season. Now that we are at the end of the year we are looking at the final list of top athletes. This list was calculated by each athletes 10 best results combining: Longdistance – Sprint and Tech. Race.

Based on the annual results and this calculation we are now presenting the worlds to 20 paddlers.

  1. Esperanza Barreras – ESP
  2. Cecilia Pampinella – ITA
  3. Juliette DuHaime – ARG
  4. Duna Gordillo – ESP
  5. Melanie Lafenetre – FRA
  6. Anna Tschirky – SUI
  7. Sey Chelle – USA
  8. Marie Carmen Rivera – PUR
  9. Alba Frey – ESP
  10. Fiona Wylde – USA
  11. Caroline Kuntzel – DEN
  12. Kimberly Barnes – USA
  13. Iona Rivet – FRA
  14. Claudia Postiglione – ITA
  15. Tanja Ecker – GER
  16. Iva Dundova – CZE
  17. Emma Pedersen – DEN
  18. Candice Appleby – USA
  19. Marta Apanasewicz – POL
  20. Susak Molinero – ESP
  1. Noic Garioud – FRA
  2. Shuri Araki – JPN
  3. Connor Baxter – HAW
  4. Christian Andersen – DEN
  5. Rai Taguchi – JPN
  6. Donato Freens – NED
  7. Ludovic Teulade – FRA
  8. Davide Alpino – ITA
  9. Aaron Sanchez – ESP
  10. Blue Ewer – GBR
  11. Michael Booth – AUS
  12. Antonio Morillo – ESP
  13. Eri Tenorio – BRA
  14. Normen Weber – BRD
  15. Ollie Houghton – NZL
  16. Andrey Kraitor – DUL
  17. Bruno Haslyo – HUN
  18. Clement Colmas – FRA
  19. Fernando Perez – ESP
  20. Itzel Delgado – PER

As we are looking at the top 20 we are also trying to make sense of all the rankings. Our senses are trained to separate the threes disciplines: Sprint, Longdistance and Tech. Race. Particularly the Longdistance ranking is the one that is omni present in our minds. This is why we are a bit surprised to see Connor Baxter this far forward as we did not see his name as much in 2023 as other people. Let have a look at this particular example:

In Longdistance Connor ranks in 35th with 4 races completed: 5. Board Ocean – 1. Viana SUP Open – 1. Columbia Gorge Challenge – 6. Busan Open .

In Tech. Race Connor ranks 2nd with 7 races completed: 1. SUP World Festival – 6. SUP Race Scharbeutz – 1. Viana SUP Open – 1. Gorge Paddle Challenge – 3. Buasan Open – 1. PanAmerican Games – 1. ICF Thailand

In Sprint Connor ranks 9th place with one race completed: 1. ICF Thailand

Applying the parameter of the SUP World Rankings we know that the 10 best results tie into the end of year ranking. Looking at Connors 2023 track record we can see that he mostly competed in Tech. Race and therefore gets most of his best results from the Tech. Race category.

Comparing Connors records with Donato Freens, who subjectively was much more present in the rankings and dominated the Longdistance in 2023, we now must take a closer look:

In Longdistance Donato ranks in 1st with 14 races completed: 3. GlaGla Race – 1. Battle for Hercules – 4. Sevilla SUP Festival – 8. World SUP Festival – 2. The Lake Rocks – 15. Bord Ocean – 1. NK SUP Tour Almere – 3. Nordhausen – 1. Namur SUP Race – 12. Viana SUP Open – 1. Belgian SUP Champs. – 2. Punta Ala SUP Race – 13. ISA Worlds – 1. SUP4life

In Tech. Race Donato ranks 13th with 6 races completed: 1. GlaGla Race – 9. World SUP Festival – 3. The Lake Rocks – 11. Bord Ocean – 17. Viana SUP Open – 17. ISA Worlds

In Sprint Sprint Donato is not ranked at all.

Now that we are comparing these two athletes, one very busy participating in 20 races in 2023 (Donato) and the other in only12 (Connor). We now get a a better picture and conclude that if we apply these kind of criteria looking at only 10 races we now know that is not the amount of races that goes into this list but rather the quality of races. We may say this is particularly true for Noic Garioud who did not race too many races this year, but he was at the big ones and he always made podium or won.

If we take a look at the women’s’ list, it is much clearer, Esperanza is the number one without even having to question this once. Of course we could compare all of the athletes but we don’t see the necessity in this, but in a later article we will have a closer look at each discipline and talk about how and why we should all unify under this system alone.

Forget the ICF, ISA and the APP who all claim World Championships. We must unify under one ranking system and then have an annual event where we celebrate the accomplishments of the athletes and give them a red carpet treatment and according price money.