On the back of very strong performances at Doheny, Casper Steinfath and Kody Kerbox have helped elevate Naish to the #2 ranking on our Battle of the Brands Leaderboard.
Showing the kind of strength and consistency that have made him a perennial podium-getter over the past few seasons, Casper finished third in the distance race and second in the surf race at the Pacific Paddle Games, only narrowly missing out on the overall championship title.
Meanwhile Kody flew under the radar to provide very solid support, claiming third in the surf race and sixth place overall in the most competitive race of the year.
Kody’s individual world ranking jumped +12 spots to get him back inside the world’s Top 20, while Casper is knocking on the door of the very exclusive Top Five.
Their star performances on the weekend have increased Naish’s team points tally by +65.95, to a new high of 449.93. That’s still a long way behind runaway leaders Starboard on 627.54 – who actually extended their lead thanks to Connor Baxter’s heroics at the PPGs – however it does allow the yellow brand to leapfrog their Maui rivals, SIC.
World number four Kai Lenny still captains Team Naish despite not having his best result at Doheny, though he may have to hand over the baton to Casper if the Danish Viking gets the better of his team-mate at Turtle Bay this weekend.
If their top guys can hold their form, Naish could realistically challenge Starboard for the crown next season. Naish’s number one girl, Manca Notar, missed most of 2015 due to injury and study commitments, however she should be at the big races in 2016 and will no doubt climb the ranks pretty quick.
Outside the top three we’ve got a trio of smaller, boutique brands that just can’t help punching above their weight. Lahui Kai and Team 404 hold on to positions #4 and #5 respectively, while Pacific Paddle Games champion Candice Appleby single-handedly rockets the Infinity Speed Freaks +3 to a new team ranking of #6 in the world.
Elsewhere in the Top 10, world number two Travis Grant is now the sole member of NSP, after his team-mate Vincent Verhoeven retired hurt from the Pacific Paddle Games and slid down to the unlucky world ranking of #101.
Riviera makes their debut inside the Top 10, largely thanks to the incredible performance of young Shae Foudy, who finished fourth in the biggest race of the year to announce herself as a champion in waiting.
In total we’ve got 33 board manufacturers on our Battle of the Brands Leaderboard.
In case you’re new to the fun: Battle of the Brands creates a virtual relay team for every board brand, with a maximum of four team members and at least one girl/one guy on each squad. Points are drawn from the individual athlete scores on our World Rankings Top 100 Men and Top 50 Women leaderboards.
Take a look at the Battle of the Brands Leaderboard for the full rankings.