The results are in and the people have spoken. Slater Trout took home the prize on this poll. Early on he was way ahead, but Dave Kalama and Danny Ching came on strong towards the end, finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively. Laird came in 4th place, which was interesting, since he is the guy most people credit with inventing the “Sport” of Modern Stand Up Paddling. If I had to take a guess at why these other guys came out ahead, its because they are more accessible to the public. Laird doesn’t have much interest in contests, which is often where the public hangs out. Slater and Danny are at most of the major contests, which means the fans of stand up paddling, actually get to meet them, talk to them, etc. They also engage their fans on Facebook (especially Slater), which helps. Often times, people like to vote for who they know, and they feel like they know these guys a little bit.
With Dave, he hits the Hawaiian contests from time to time, but I think he really helps himself by producing such great content on his blog. Every time he publishes a new article, it gets shared hundreds of times, between Facebook, Twitter, and the Forums. His instructional content is extremely useful. I think his fans appreciate his willingness to share his knowledge with them, with nothing expected in return. He also gets a chance to interact with several fans per year at his many Kalama Kamp’s and Kalama Klinic’s, which I am sure contributed to his vote count.
I also got quite a few write-in entries. Chuck Trout had multiple write-ins, which tells me he either has several fans, or he is on my website a lot. I am good with either.
Here are the full results for the poll.