“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


-t





DC: Debuting Cole

14 01 2011

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It has been a massive few weeks in action sports endorsements to say the least. Julian Wilson inking with Nike at a million a year, Steph Gilmore going to Quik Women and Spencer O’Brien getting on board as Nike’s first head-to-toe lady.

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None of these signings however are as big as Quiksilver’s announcement that Chris Cole has joined the team. Sources close to SJ confirmed yesterday that Cole and Steve Berra have signed on to rep the DC Shoe Co. With the largest part of the announcement being the signing of Cole at $720k/yr for three years.

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The speculation that this was going down has taken the social media world by storm for the last few weeks, and with this confirmation comes one of the biggest changes to skateboarding since the swoosh stepped in the ring with PRod in ’04.

With a departure from Fallen and the Black Box family in a way, the door is now presumably open for one of skating’s best to get on board with some other huge players in the game. Cole recently signed with Monster Energy and is close with Rob Dyrdek who no doubt played a huge part in this whole thing going down.

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With the boys now on tour with Street League I am just going to go ahead and throw it out there that before long some of the homies will sway Cole toward some of the other major stables in the league. With skaters flip flopping between endorsement deals and brands bulking up on superstars I wouldn’t be taken by surprise if we saw Cole on Plan B or Workshop in the near future.

Not saying I know something I don’t, it’s just that these things tend to come in bunches and all signs point to epic.

In any case, congrats to Chris Cole, Steve Berra and DC for making things happen in the skate world and no doubt bringing an even more hard hitting presence to the mainstream as DC have furthered their position as the leading skate brand in the eyes of the masses. I for one am looking forward to seeing a shit-ton of Cole and the DC team at The Berrics this year!

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Check the video out at THE BERRICS








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