“Thank You SURFER Magazine”

7 12 2011

Last night I was up a little late, because last night I was running on Hawaii time.  The SURFER Magazine poll Awards went down and for the second year in a row they took place in the home of surfing on the North Shore of Oahu.  The awards are an annual reminder of whose opinions matter most in the world of surf, the fans.  Not the writers, or the judges or the bloggers or the surfers, the fans matter because without that base of people who follow surfing, whatever reason their’s might be there would be no industry.

The awards covered all aspects of the sport recognizing everyone from the best in freesurfing to the contest superheros we watch on tour.  As well there was a few tiny surfboards handed out for the film side of things and major achievements like the new “Andy Irons Break Through Award” which went to John John Florence and the “Lifetime Achievement Award” that saw SURFER founder John Severson recognized for his contribution to the lifestyle.

The thing I love most about surfing is it’s diversity.  By it’s very nature it is more freeing than other sports and therefore more free to interpret for the audience who takes it in.  Whether you want to see Kelly Slater win another world title as determined by judges with a predetermined set of rules and a potentially alternate agenda, or if you just love seeing Dane Reynolds piss around in head-high surf the sport is yours to enjoy.  And on this night all aspects of the game were recognized.

There were a few highlights from the night, Rabbit Kekai partying like he was 19, not 91 or the multiple curse words used on live TV were just a few.  Add to that the fact that there was a large amount of female surfers dressed to the 9’s and a handful of different liquor sponsors and just like that, we had ourselves a party!

But there was a plan for the night, and the show had to go on despite the fact that everyone in attendance would have been happy to just get crushed and watch wipe-outs all night.  The crowd eventually filtered in and the night got started with what seemed like an impromptu intro from Hawaii native Freddy P, and action sports emcee extraordinaire Sal “Al Makelela” Masekela.  All jokes aside, the awards themselves were pretty awesome.

For starters the night kicked off with Alex Gray winning the award for best barrel and accepting with a heartfelt tribute to his brother.

After that we got into the actual SURFER poll which breaks down the top surfers in the world as voted by the fans online, with social media and in the magazine itself.  The bottom of the list for the men was one of the most touching things I have ever watched as the Irons’ brother Bruce and Andy finished 10 and 9 respectively, with Bruce accepting both awards.  Of course this included the classic Bruce “I don’t give a F+CK! attititude”.

Then, just as I thought I was in for a touching night of speeches, tears and thank-yous, we got into the fun stuff, like Dane Reynolds making multiple appearances on stage and hot surfer chicks accepting awards and complaining about not being able to surf a contest on the North Shore…AND SO THEY SHOULD DAMMIT!  The surfers finished being counted and the drinks continued to flow.

The dancing went on late into the night and surf celebrity Bethany Hamilton even dropped a hint that she was looking to Dance With The Stars.  I won’t say I told you so if it happens, but you did hear it here first.

Here are the list of top pros and a nice little video paying tribute to the father of SURFER John Severson.  God I love this sport!

Men’s Top 10

10. Bruce Irons
9. Andy Irons
8. Jordy Smith
7. Joel Parkinson
6. Mick Fanning
5. Taj Burrow
4. Julian Wilson
3. Owen Wright
2. Dane Reynolds
1. Kelly Slater

Women’s Top 5

5. Sally Fitzgibbons
4. Alana Blanchard
3. Stephanie Gilmore
2. Coco Ho
1. Carissa Moore



Soul Surfer Bad, Hamilton Still Bawsy

6 05 2011

Soul Surfer is the story of pro surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost an arm and nearly died in a shark attack… and then decided to keep sending.

Now, let me start by saying that I pretty much hate Hollywood, and find it almost impossible to sit through a two hour-long movie. That being said, I did like Scream 4, and there was no way I was going to miss a movie about shredding waves and being awesome.

The movie is just as bad as I thought it would be, as it plays to every family-movie cliche there is. It also invents a competitive surfing story line (complete with a made up character named Malina Birch, who’s like a super-bitch version of Steph Gilmore), that is sure to offend Tyler if he ever sees it. The only thing I liked about the movie was the shots of Hawaii, and the fact that Alana Blanchard was depicted… it made me think of Alana Blanchard.

What is clear though is how amazing Bethany’s story really is. This alone makes the movie worth seeing… and if you do end up seeing this movie, the last few minutes are a treat.

Go to the 2:26 mark…

Video: Billabong XXL

MISTY NUG: Here’s our old bawss Danny Elder chillin with Bethany & Alana in Hawaii!

The Girl Next Door

16 09 2010

So I arrived to work at the Orchard Park Shopping Centre in Kelowna, BC this morning, only to be greeted by a 12 foot-tall Alana Blanchard across the hall.

This will seriously get me through anything life can throw at me.

Video: Reef

Girlfriends: Alana Blanchard

5 04 2010

This is the first instalment of our Girlfriends feature… basically we are going to post some pictures of an action sports hottie whenever we feel like it so lots of people visit our site. Needed to start with a banger… Lana it is.

Name: Alana Blanchard aka Lana
Date of Birth: March 5th, 1990
Hometown: Hanalei, Kauai, HI
Sponsors: Spy, Reef, Rip Curl, SB Surfboards, Sanuk, Future Fins, Hanalei Surf Shop, Vertra, Surf One, JN Mazda, Sticky Bumps

Nugs: Lana is a two-time Pipeline Pro Champion, the unforgettable face of Rip Curl’s global girls’ fashion brand, and is currently ranked 9th in the ASP Women’s World Ranking.

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