Connor Baxter

Connor Baxter

AGE: 16
HOME: Maui, Hawaii

One of the most well-rounded standup athletes in the world, Connor Baxter can win surf contests, downwind races or flatwater events. Named 2011 Junior of the Year by Standup Journal, Baxter has had a great start to 2011, winning the Maui-Molokai Challenge, and taking third in both the Elite and Long Distance races at the Battle of the Paddle, Hawaii. He was also part of a game-changing surf trip to the Mentawais in March.

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Matt Becker

Matt Becker

AGE: 16
HOME: Santa Barbara, Calif.

Taking 9th place in the Elite Race at both the 2010 Battle of the Paddle Hawaii and California at age 15, Becker, based in Santa Barbara, Calif., proceeded to take seventh in the Elite race in Hawaii in 2011. He took first in the 14-foot category at the Santa Monica Ocean Festival that same year, second in Men’s Stock at the 2010 Paddle for Humanity, third at the Silver Blade Regatta, and was the first overall finisher at the Surftech Surf and Sand Duelathon in 2011.

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Dave Boehne

Dave Boehne

AGE: 35
HOME: Dana Point, Calif.

A stylish surfer and innovative designer, Boehne is also a dedicated racer, who’s won the Newport Cup and taken second at the Hennessey’s Santa Monica Paddle Championship and the Marina Del Rey Paddle Me Challenge with a third in the Santa Barbara Return to the Pier Race. He finished second at last years Ventura Paddle Surf Championships. Boehne has an artistic sensibility about the sport and was the first to paddle the L.A. River through the city and surfed Texas gulf tanker waves in 2009.

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Danny Ching

Danny Ching

AGE: 28
HOME: Redondo Beach, Calif.

A ferocious competitor, four-time Battle of the Paddle Distance Race Champion and four-time Battle of the Paddle Most Combative award winner, Ching, based in Redondo Beach, Calif., was also the Outrigger World Champion in 2010 and Battle of the Paddle Elite Race winner in both California and Hawaii that same year. He took second at this year’s Battle of the Paddle Hawaii. He’s also the designer/owner of 404 Paddleboards.


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Dave Kalama

Dave Kalama

AGE: 46
HOME: Maui, Hawaii

Along with Laird Hamilton, Kalama helped re-introduce standup paddling to the world. Kalama possesses “historic” surfing ability (see Jaws), honed from years of tow-in, wind and traditional board riding and he’s applied that to standup. He also has the paddling chops to win any race he enters, having won the Molokai standup race three times as part of a team and once solo.


Ekolu Kalama

Ekolu Kalama

AGE: 35
HOME: Kaunakakai, Moloka’i

One of the first “professional” standup paddlers, Kalama has won the Molokai team relay three times and once solo. He also won the 2009 Jever World Cup in Hamburg, Germany in both the 2,000- and 10,000-meter races and was the first to claim an intercontinental crossing connecting Europe and Africa through the straight of Gibraltar on a standup. A musician set to release his first album this year, Kalama has made a name for himself riding heaving barrels at places like Teahupoo and Puerto Escondido.

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Kody Kerbox

Kody Kerbox

AGE: 17
HOME: Haiku, Hawaii

A versatile ocean athlete, Kerbox won the France trials on this year’s Standup World Tour and is currently ranked 13th in the world rankings. As a racer, he took second at the 2010 Olukai Ho’olaule’a Maliko Race, and was part of a winning team during the 2009 Molokai to Oahu Race. In that same year he took 2nd at the Duke’s ocean festival surf contest and won the Naish Maui Race in the 18 and under division.

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Kai Lenny

Kai Lenny

AGE: 18
HOME: Maui, Hawaii

An extremely fluid paddler, Lenny captured the 2010 Standup World Tour Title and is currently ranked number one in the world. A five-time Molokai to Oahu Channel team relay paddler, Lenny, has also SUP surfed Jaws twice. Based in Maui, he was the 2010 Sunset Beach Pro and Big Island Pro Winner, and bagged the Sunset Beach Pro title in 2011 along with winning the La Torche, France Pro.

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Colin McPhillips

Colin McPhillips

AGE: 36
HOME: San Clemente, Calif.

A former longboard world champ, McPhillips has had an impressive two year run, winning the San Clemente Ocean Festival, Ventura Surf Contest and taking second at the Anglet, France event of the Standup World Tour. In 2011 he won the North Point Classic in Brittany, France. On the race side he won the Hobie/Hennessey SUP Race, took second in the Catalina Challenge and Hennessy Championship and finished top 11 in the Battle of the Paddle, Hawaii and California.

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Jamie Mitchell

Jamie Mitchell

AGE: 34
HOME: Currumbin, Australia

One of the most talented ocean athletes in the world, Australia’s Jamie Mitchell has competed in tow-in surfing, paddleboarding, standup and traditional surfing. He’s taken first and second in the Battle of the Paddle, Dana Point the last two years as well as winning the Hennessey’s International 14-foot division. This year, Mitchell is vying for his 10th Molokai world championship on the traditional paddleboard.

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Aaron Napoleon

Aaron Napoleon

AGE: 46
HOME: Pearl City, Hawaii

Mention the name Napoleon to any paddler on the planet and you’re likely to get a look of reverence. And at the heart of this great ocean clan is Aaron, son of Nappy, father of Riggs, and one of Earth’s great waterman. A perennial top five finisher at both Battle of the Paddle, Hawaii and Dana Point, Aaron is currently ranked seventh in the Standup World Tour rankings and recently finished 3rd at the Tahiti contest in some of the heaviest conditions in the tour’s history. For his bravery, during what turned into a full-fledged tube-riding contest, he was named the Air Tahiti Nui Most Committed surfer.

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Chuck Patterson

Chuck Patterson

AGE: 42
HOME: Dana Point, Calif.

Named “Man of the Year” by Standup Journal, and “Mr SUP of the Year” by SUP Connect, Patterson, a gifted athlete, is the only person to ever SUP surf Cortes Banks, 100 miles off the California coast. Based in Dana Point, Calif., Patterson has won over 50 SUP races since 2007. He was the Hobie/ Hennessey’s Watermens Challenge winner from 2007 to 2010 and took first in three events at the European SUP Championships in France, including: 14 foot, Unlimited, and Relay.


Sean Poynter

Sean Poynter

AGE: 22
HOME: San Diego, Calif.

A powerful surfer, Florida’s Sean Poynter won the 2011 Punta Sayulita SUP Classic and took fourth at France’s La Torche Pro on the Standup World Tour. He also was a runner up last year at the innagural Central Surf Pro at firing Puerto Escondido. Poynter has traveled the world in search of surf from Central America to Tahiti where he surfed 15-20 foot Teahupoo.


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Rob Rojas

Rob Rojas

AGE: 37
HOME:San Clemente, Calif.

Rojas recently paddled 24 hours straight to raise funds and awareness for Love146.org, an anti-human sex trafficking organization. This unlimited distance racer’s wins have been just as impressive, taking first in the 2010 Hennessey’s National and International Paddleboard Champs, the Hobie/Hennessey’s Waterman Challenge, the Hovie SUP Festival, and the 2011 Key West Paddleboard Classic. He’s twice been a runner up at Battle of the Paddle, Dana Point Distance Race.

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Zane Schweitzer

Zane Schweitzer

AGE: 17
HOME: Maui, Hawaii

Currently ranked fifth in the 2011 Standup World Tour rankings, Schweitzer, based in Maui, has accumulated 15 first place finishes in the past two years, including taking 1st in the 2009 11-City Tour Holland, 5-day, 150-mile endurance SUP race in the Junior Division, first place at the 2011 Battle of the Paddle Team Relay, and first place at the 2011 Steamer Lane Shootout.

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Slater Trout

Slater Trout

AGE: 16
HOME: Maui, Hawaii

Named the first ever Junior of the Year by Standup Journal in 2010, along with one of the five most influential people in SUP in 2011, Trout, based in Maui, was also Voted favorite 2011 SUP athlete on SUPGladiator.com. He took second at the 2009 California Battle of the Paddle in the Men’s Elite category at age 14 and third in 2010 and in 2011, won the Silver Blade Regatta, an Olympic exhibition at the Olympic training center in Chula Vista, Calif.

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Travis Grant

Travis Grant

AGE: 28
HOME: Queensland, Australia

With more than half a dozen first place finishes to his name, Grant, based in Queensland, Australia, took first at the 2009 Noosa Surf Festival, first ever SUP paddle. He’s won three years in a row at the Malfunction Kingcliff SUP race, took first in the 2010 Gold Coast Kirra Surf Stock race, first in the 2010 Battle of the Paddle Hawaii Relay, first in the 2011 Hawaii Kai Distance Race, and won the 2011 Battle of the Paddle Hawaii Elite Race.


Dan Gavere

Dan Gavere

AGE: 41
HOME: Hood River, Ore.

Three-time Whitewater SUP Champion, Gavere, based in Hood River, Ore., was named top overall Waterman at the 2011 Santa Cruz Surf Festival, took first at the 2011 Teva Mountain Games Whitewater SUP Sprint, first at the 2011 Reno River Festival SUP Downriver Race, and second at the Silver Blade Regatta, in the 200- Meter Sprint.


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Anthony Vela

Anthony Vela

AGE: 36
HOME: N/A

A longtime L.A. County lifeguard and talented racer, Vela has dominated the Southern California race scene winning the Malibu Downwinder, Santa Barbara, Hal Rosoff Classic Dana Point Challenge, Con CUP SUP and Hennessey’s Return to the Pier. He also works with the Jimmy Miller Foundation taking wounded vets out in the surf.

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Voting is now closed.