Cheers Conjob! Keep us honest. Fair out, have you ever considered being a journalist yourself?
Straight up, I will not reveal all the names that are on the list, but I will outline the process that we used to generate a list of riders for each of the polls (Prone, DK, Womens). Remember this a process that we continue to refine each year by talking to the riders and industry people.
The list for the prone riders is carried over from the previous year's results. We (Riptide Ed Staff) examine the list for riders that haven't had any coverage during the year and cull them straight away. We then add any guys that have garnered coverage during the year, whether it's from photos, video or competition results. Yes, there is a slight majority of Australian riders on the list, but it's tending to become more global as bodyboarding becomes more global. We then email the 40 guys on the list (this year it was actually 42 as we couldn't separate a handful of dudes) and they vote for their Top 20 riders. The rider they give their number 1 vote gets 20points, scaling down until the rider that is voted 20 gets 1 point. The guys don't have to vote just for the people on the list, they can vote for anyone who they think has been ripping for that year (Oct 2008 - Oct 2009).
This year we got votes from every single one of the 42 on the list and the top two positions were separated by only a handful of points and the remaining top five were extremely close too. We did recounts to make sure the results we correct.
Last year we had the prone riders vote for the DK Poll as DK riders don't typically get their results back to us. After some out cry we tried to get the DK guys to vote on their top riders again (yet we still didn't get all the votes back). We rang Clayton Pickworth from DK Sessions who kindly provided us a short list (and at relatively short notice too, thanks Clay!). We also spoke to a few of the riders too, about who should be on there. Finally we complied a list of 25 riders from around the world. Again, the riders could vote for anyone they wanted as long as it was only based on what they'd seen this year and the voting works the same as prone.
We hadn't had a Womens Peer Poll for quite some time, so in order to create a new list of riders we used the IBA ratings and spoke to Lilly Pollard and she helped us compiled a very multinational list of about 25 riders too. Voting technique was the same as what is used for Prone and DK.
We take the Peer Poll very seriously and many hours are spent talking to all the riders and collating the results. Riptide does not influence or tweak any of the votes, we just plug them into a spreadsheet as they come in. Hell, it's one of the most exciting times of the year for us too and it's certainly a secret that's hard to keep!
You have a chance to have your say when we commence the Riptide Readers Poll online next week - the power will be in your hands.