Huntington Surf & Sport Wins 2016 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge National Championship
The world-famous Lower Trestles played host to the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge National Championship, recently, with seven regional champions competing from their respective areas: Surf Ride (Southwest), Sweetwater Surf Shop (Mid-Atlantic), Town & Country Surf Factory (Hawaii), Heritage Surf & Sport (Northeast), Quiet Flight Surfboards (Southeast), Pacific Wave (Northwest), and Huntington Surf & Sport (West). Each four man team, consisting of two shop pros and two shop employees, not only battled for the team win, but also two individual competitions, one amongst shop pros and one amongst shop employees. Huntington Surf & Sport took home the prestigious team title, led by Brett Simpson who earned the individual pro title, and Quiet Flight’s Jeremy Johnston earned the individual shop employee title.
With a nice, little combo swell, San Clemente’s cobblestone skatepark did not disappoint on the first day of competition, delivering clean, waist- to shoulder-high waves for those competitors lucky enough to surf this lineup with only a few others out. From the get go, Surf Ride was on fire, netting 41.25 points during the opening round, one of the highest single heat scores the Surf Shop Challenge has ever seen. The rest of the teams were baffled, even leaving former World Tour surfer C.J. Hobgood of Quiet Flight with his hands above his head in disbelief. As Round 2 came to a close, it was clear that Surf Ride (72.1 combined total) would be the team to beat, followed by Pacific Wave (63.71), Huntington Surf & Sport (61.57), and Quiet Flight (56.93) who would meet them in the final.
The final day saw a dropping swell and foggy conditions in the morning, but still fun Lowers nonetheless. The individual heat draw would wrap up first, starting with the shop employee final, which saw both of Surf Ride’s employees, Brent Reilly and Chris Murnane, meeting Willie Eagleton (Pacific Wave) and Jeremy Johnston (Quiet Flight) when the buzzer went off. A hard-fought battle between the shop guys went down, but it was Jeremy Johnston’s attack on the left that would take home the win. As the pro final entered the water, it was clear to see the fireworks were about to go off. Two ex-World Tour surfers, Brett Simpson (HSS) and C.J. Hobgood (Quiet Flight), looked poised to do battle, as did two of Santa Cruz’s best, Austin Smith-Ford and Randy Bonds of Pacific Wave. The final did not disappoint with carves, airs, and blow tails flaring in every direction. In the end, Simpo would edge out Hobgood and take home the bragging rights.
As the fog bank continued to roll through, the final of the Surf Shop Challenge made its way out into the lineup. The teams surfed it out in the relay format, whammying scores and battling back and forth. With eyes on Surf Ride, all of the teams knew it would take a solid final score for the top. Huntington Surf & Sport, led by Brett Simpson and Brad Ettinger, found their rhythm in the Lowers lineup. Backed up by Jake Saenz and Johnathon Ross, Huntington Surf & Sport closed the final with 35.8 points and hoisted the Surf Shop Challenge Cup proudly above their heads. Surf Ride (33.77) came in second, followed by Pacific Wave (30.84), and Quiet Flight (27.92). At the end of the day, all of the competitors got to surf Lower Trestles with just a few others out. We’ll chalk that up as a win-win for everybody.
For full results, photos, video and more, check out surfshopchallenge.com.
Special thanks to Oakley, SURFER and event partners, Futures Fins, GoPro, Xcel Wetsuits, JS Industries and Official Forecaster Surfline.com for their support, without which the Surf Shop Challenge series would not be possible.
About Surf Shop Challenge
Originally conceived to provide a fun and competitive format for the hardcore surf shop riders, the SURFER Shop Team Challenge was one of the most popular and exciting Southern California contests of the early 1980s. Through the years the contest has evolved, with seven qualifying regional events around the country, culminating in a national championship in Bali, Indonesia for the first time in 2012. The underlying principles, however, have remained the same. The Oakley Surf Shop Challenge is still about giving back to the shops, the true backbone of the industry and the heart of the sport of surfing. Each year the competition level rises, the stakes become greater and the prizes become bigger.
About Oakley, Inc.
Established in 1975 and headquartered in Southern California, Oakley is one of the leading product design and sport performance brands in the world. The holder of more than 600 patents, Oakley is a culture of creators, inventors, idealists and scientists obsessed with using design and innovation to create products and experiences that inspire greatness. This philosophy has made Oakley one of the most iconic and inimitable brands on the market, with products that world-class athletes around the globe depend on to compete at the highest level possible. Oakley is known for its High Definition Optics®, which feature unparalleled optical clarity and precision along with impact resistance and UV protection, incorporated into all of the brand’s sun, prescription eyewear and premium goggles. Oakley extended its position as the world’s leading sports eyewear brand into apparel and accessories. Oakley has men’s and women’s product lines that appeal to Sports Performance, Active and Lifestyle consumers. Oakley is a subsidiary of Luxottica Group. Additional information is available at www.oakley.com.
In 1960, SURFER began as the original surf magazine. With a long history of delivering provocative and insightful editorial features, revealing interviews and award-winning, state-of-the-art photography, SURFER remains the authoritative voice of the surfing world and thus earned the moniker “the bible of the sport.” Through its website, social media channels, magazine, and television programming, SURFER continues to be the most current and reliable source of information to the surf community, reaching more than 22-million active sports enthusiasts. SURFER is published by TEN: The Enthusiast Network. To learn more, visit surfermag.com
About TEN: The Enthusiast Network
TEN: The Enthusiast Network is the world’s premier transmedia network of enthusiast brands, such as MOTOR TREND, AUTOMOBILE, HOT ROD, SURFER, TRANSWORLD SKATEBOARDING, and GRINDTV. With more than 60 websites, 50 publications, 50 annual events, the Motor Trend OnDemand subscription video-on-demand service, as well as the world’s largest automotive and action/adventure sports media platforms, TEN inspires enthusiasts to pursue their passions. For more information, visit enthusiastnetwork.com.