The 2016 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge kicks off this Friday, March 25th at Seaside Reef in Cardiff, Calif. with the Southwest regional qualifier. San Diego County area surf shops will compete for the opportunity to represent their region against six other regional finalists from North Carolina, New Jersey, Florida, Northern California, Southern California and Hawaii.
The unique event series pits four-man surf shop teams (two shop pros and two shop employees) against each other. The winning team from each of the seven regional qualifiers will win an all-expense-paid trip to Southern California to compete in the National Championship for a $5,000 prize purse, grand prize trip to the 2016 SURFER Poll at Turtle Bay on the North Shore of Hawaii and title of America’s Most Core Surf Shop.
A surf mecca in its own right, the Southwest has notoriously seen a contentious battle amongst surf shops, with top teams always contenders for the National Title. This year’s confirmed Southwest teams include:
· Clairemont Surf Shop, San Diego
· Emerald City The Boarding Source, San Diego
· Hanger 94, La Mesa
· Hansen’s Surf Shop, Encinitas
· Rail II Rail Surf Shop, San Diego
· Rusty Boardhouse, La Jolla
· South Coast Surf Shop, Ocean Beach
· South Coast Surf Shop, Pacific Beach
· Sun Diego Boardshops, Carlsbad
· Sun Diego Boardshops, Belmont
· Surf Ride, Oceanside
· Surf Ride, Solana Beach
· Emerald City The Boarding Source, San Diego
The 2016 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge schedule:
· March 25 – Southwest – Seaside Reef, Cardiff, Calif.
Tige Boats has announced the addition of Raleigh Hager to their elite team of Pro Wakesurfers. Born and raised in Austin, TX, Raleigh is the “one to watch” in the Pro Women Surf category and is one of the most recognized females in the sport. The 2-Time World Champion regularly surfs Lake Austin behind her 2016 Tige RZX with the TAPS 3 Surf System.
“I’m excited to be on a fun team with so many talented people,” said Hager. “The RZX is a blast to ride, and is now my favorite wave of all time. I’m training hard every day and am very honored to be a part of the Tige family.” Known for her fluid style and powerful airs, Hager is ready to dominate 2016 with her world-class talent. It’s undeniable that the up and coming young athlete is passionate, competitive and ready to take her career to the next level.
Look for Hager as she continues to do it all and win it all, while pushing new boundaries in the sport. Hager joins Wakesurfers Emily Agate, Dominic Lagace and Chris Kinsey on the Tige Pro Team.
Local Tahitian Ariihoe Tefaafana (PYF) will return to Rangiroa to compete. Image: WSL/Will H-S
Hawaii has now welcomed a partnership with Tahiti Nui for a new region that combines the two Pacific archipelagos within the World Surf League (WSL) – now known as the Hawaii/Tahiti Nui region. An exciting addition for local surfers, Tahiti offers two Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 events plus a Junior Pro (JP) 1,000 for both men and women. The Rangiroa Open Pro takes place March 8 – 11 and the Papara Pro Surf Tahiti is March 13 – 18.
Thirty-six out of the 75 confirmed athletes for Rangiroa are traveling from the Hawaiian Islands – nearly 50 percent of the field – with Maui favorites Billy Kemper and Ian Walsh part of the competition, as well as Danny Fuller (Kauai) and up-and-coming juniors Finn McGill (Oahu), Cody Young (Maui) and Christopher Bluthardt (Oahu).
Thirty-three percent of the field is competing on home turf, including Papeete standout Mihimana Braye who will be defending his title at Rangiroa. Teahupoo extraordinaire and Tahitian threat Taumata Puhetini will also be returning to Papara with hopes of claiming a second consecutive title.
Other countries participating in both events include Peru, Australia, Guadeloupe, USA, South Africa and France, with Gatien Delahaye (GLP) and Diego Mignot (FRA) acting as sole representatives of their respective nations. Only 14 of the 75 athletes at Rangiroa are competing outside of the Hawaii/Tahiti Nui region.
The addition of Tahiti to the Hawaii region is largely beneficial for local surfers who now have greater opportunities to gain valuable regional ratings points to qualify for the coveted WSL Championship Tour.
Equally important is the cultural exchange between the two island nations and the unique experience that is offered to athletes. Surfers have the chance to engage in a new culture, enjoy different foods, learn about the environment and new methods of sustainability, and ultimately gain an education in an immersed way.
The Jobe discover series is special clothing designed for both on and off your SUP board. No need to pack a bag with extra clothes. The Discover sportswear series has a casual look, making it perfect to wear during every kind of leisure activity. Start off your day by grabbing a quick coffee at that new barista in town, spend the rest of the morning on your SUP exploring the city’s canals, then go for a well deserved lunch at your favorite lunch room and spend the rest of the afternoon by SUP on that beautiful lake just outside town. All of that in just one outfit!
Jobe is the first SUP brand that releases a special clothing range for SUP. Not only does this technical-advanced clothing look good, it has some awesome features. The most important one is the quick dry function on this clothing range. Once you start looking closer you will also notice it is different from what you have seen before!
Normally the quick dry function will become less effective when you wash it or start sweating in it. The quick dry will last a while but will lose its effectiveness during the season. But not our Discovery Clothing! It has special Quick Dry threading which is sown throughout the clothing, making it impossible to wash out!
As from March the Discover Series will be available on www.jobesports.com, but you can already pre order.
Competitors made the most of a challenging two-foot swell today at the Australian Open of Surfing as competitors across the men’s and women’s division fought to seal themselves a spot into tomorrow’s quarterfinals.
Leonardo Fioravanti (Italy) kept the ball rolling on his 2016 qualification campaign, eliminating Shun Murakami (Japan) from the event in the fifth round. The lightening fast natural-footer showed impeccable timing through a series of powerful frontside turns to post a heat total of 12.80. Fioravanti will face off against local surfer Cooper Chapman (Narrabeen, NSW) in tomorrow’s quarterfinals.
“I was just trying to survive today to make it through to tomorrow, when there’s hopefully a bit more swell,” said Fioravanti. “When it’s this small, it’s important to not do anything wrong; one little mistake can cost you the whole heat and with it being this small, you need to maximise every opportunity as you don’t know when you’ll get another one.”
Deivid Silva (Brazil) managed to perform a multitude of giant backside snaps to book himself a position in the quarterfinals. In the all goofy-footer heat, Silva was able to post an excellent 8.17 wave score (out of a possible ten points), which put fellow competitor and countryman Robson Santos (Brazil) on the back-foot, needing a near-perfect 9.74 to take Silva’s lead.
“I’m so happy to have won that heat, even though I had surf against my friend [Robson],” said Silva. “To get this far in a QS6000 feels great and will help me with my seed going into the rest of the year.”
South Australian, Dion Atkinson (Seaford, SA) continued to defy his big wave rep. The Seaford local was in divine rhythm against Jonathan Gonzalez of the Canary Islands, lucking into every decent head-high wave to outpoint Gonzalez 15.17 to 8.0. The win sets up an anticipated quarterfinal for Atkinson with Heitor Alves of Brazil.
“What was a bad heat for Jon turned out to be the perfect heat for me,” said Atkinson. “I didn’t really have to hunt around for waves, which is a nice feeling because in these kind of conditions anything can happen really. You can go out with the best intentions and then it all goes out the window. A win’s a win, I’ve got a great board and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Kalani Ball (Stanwell Park, NSW) took a narrow win over Joshua Moniz (Hawaii) to move into tomorrow’s quarterfinals, the furthest he’s ever progressed in a QS6000 event. Ball opted to rely on rail-to-rail surfing in lieu of his renowned aerial repertoire, which resulted in him taking the victory over Moniz by a slim 0.34 margin.
“I had a bad start to that heat, but thankfully I was able to turn it around later and just sneak into the lead,” said Ball. “I decided to focus on my rail surfing a lot more this event as I was seeing a lot of guys not getting big scores for small airs and so far it’s been paying off.”
Mihimana Braye (Tahiti) kept the hope alive for the Tahitian surfing contingent taking out a tight battle over Vicente Romero (Spain). Braye executed a chain of mammoth backside snaps to take the victory with a 12.27 heat total.
“I got off to a good start in 2016, getting a fifth in the World Juniors and I have a good seed going into the prime rated events,” said Braye. “I might change my gameplan going into the quarterfinals to being more selective with the man-on-man priority, but I’ll just remain relaxed and stay as focused as possible.”
Tomas Hermes (Brazil) caused one of the biggest upsets of the event so far eliminating current World Championship Tour surfer Matt Wilkinson (Copacabana, NSW). Hermes kicked off the heat with a massive bang, posting a near-perfect 9.17 wave score, followed by a 9.00, giving him an excellent 18.17 heat total.
“I’m so stoked to have got to the final day,” said Hermes. “I’m pretty focused at the moment and I know there’s no easy heats, I’m really trying to remain this way as I go into the quarters tomorrow.”
Defending Australian Open of Surfing champion and local Laura Enever (Narrabeen, NSW) mirrored a similar performance that saw her take victory at last year’s event, notching up a 17.23 heat total and eliminating Kim Veteau (GLP) from the competition. Enever put on a near flawless clinic in the exchange bashing out a series of critical backside snaps to take the victory.
“I keep getting a bit stressed about getting to my heats on time and when I get here I need to refocus,” said Enever. “I’ve been working a lot with Glenn Hall [former World Championship Tour surfer and coach] and he’s really been keeping my head on and ensuring I stay on top of my gameplan.”
Pauline Ado (France) earned her place in the quarterfinals, taking out Keely Andrew (Sunshine Coast, Qld) with a 14.67 heat total. Ado joined Justine Dupont as one of the two remaining French surfers left in the women’s heat draw. Ado will face off with Enever in tomorrow’s quarterfinals.
“I didn’t do too well in Newcastle so there was a bit of pressure to do well in this event,” said Ado. “It’s a relief to get the win as the waves are super tricky. You could get good waves, but often they would not really eventuate into much and you could miss the opportunity to get good scores. I’ve been surfing against Laura for a long time and I know she can be really dangerous, I’m just going to try my best really.”
Tyler Wright (Culburra, NSW) had another brilliant day in Manly, smashing her way to tomorrow’s quarterfinals. The World Championship Tour surfer scored a 9.17 wave score to take the win ahead of event standout Maud Le Car (France) in their man-on-man battle.
“I actually can’t really remember that 9.17 (laughs), but I’m stoked to have locked it in,” said Wright. “I’m really just trying to remain as calm as humanly possible as I get closer to Snapper because I know how hectic things become once the tour begins in a weeks time.”
The 2016 World Championship in backcountry snow kiting took place in Alto Sangro, Italy and was based on the GPS formula, in other words on a system of evaluation of tracks that the riders perform in a defined time interval, in which a total score was calculated, which was determined by the length of the total track and the perimeter reached within the closed figure that the rider must fulfill. The event had 6 days of competition, Monday till Saturday. 35 riders were registered, from eight countries, including Russia, Czech Republic, France, Austria, with a large delegation of Swiss and French, the nations with the most followers in snowkiting.
On Monday the event had the best weather, with a northwest wind between 12 and 14 knots, which brought an acclimatization day for the riders, which they used to explore the total snowkite arena. Most went to Aremogna, the snow conditions were pretty slim there, because of the high temperatures. Stones sticking above and just under the snow created a major security issue, so the tracks had been defined in a much more restricted way than you would normally do in a freeride/back-country competition, but of course that was necessary for the safety of all!
On the second day there was no wind so the competitors had a day off. On Wednesday, the wind came back from the north western quadrant, a bit gusty at the beginning of the morning, then in the afternoon strengthened a bit which allowed for an afternoon heat.
However, a race of 30 minutes was carried out, their had been some problems in understanding the local rules for some athletes, which applied to the race. To ensure the safety of riders, the starting gate had been positioned wider then usual, although it had been said to each rider, to finish their total track, from where they had started and also finish exactly in the same place, some riders had taken advantage of the very wide starting gate and started at the top of the gate, go upwind, go downwind and finish their session, saving those 100 vertical meters that, in certain situations, can mean losing or winning a competition. These riders were a total of 5 and were penalized 30% of their points
The kites that were used in the competition were almost all closed cell foilkites from 12m to 17-18m in size, because the wind was not very strong. You could see many FLYSURFER kites in the air above Alto Sangro. The race course was mostly flat under the cable car of Monte Pratello, which offered a great landscape. With a good breeze, on the last day, at 12:00 a.m. began another race of 30 minutes and this time all riders have complied with the rules of start and arrival!
During the whole race, Lukash & Reinhold used their SONIC-FR 15.0m and 18.0m, all the other riders also used closed cell foil race kites. The wind was extremely low but thanks to the equipment, it was possible to finish in 1st and 3rd position. The SONIC-FR is a great kite you can also easily use in back-country, to go safe and fast.
World Snowkite Contest 2016 Alto Sangro Final Results Ski category
1. Felix Kernsten (DE)
2. Jonas Lengwiller (CH)
3. Florian Gruber (DE)
World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) surfers Jack Freestone, Kanoa Igarashi, Sally Fitzgibbons, Stephanie Gilmore and local surfer Philippa Anderson. Image: WSL/Bennett
The World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) events, the Port Stephens and Maitland Toyota Pro and the Taggart Women’s Pro get underway today at Merewether Beach as part of Surfest 2016.
Both events are WSL QS6000 rated which means they are the biggest events so far on the 2016 WSL calendar. This rating means there is big points and prize money up for grabs, which helps to attract some of the biggest names in surfing.
A number of the WSL Championship Tour (CT) competitors see the event as the perfect way to warm up for their 2016 competitive campaigns.
When it comes to big names in surfing, none come much bigger than Six times World Champion Stephanie Gilmore who will be competing at Merewether for the fourth time. For Gilmore, who suffered a Knee injury in early 2015, this will be only the second time competing since April last year.
“Last year was good, it was tough dealing with the injury but it was cool to be able to do a few things outside of surfing,” Gilmore said. “It’s been so long I hope I remember how to compete. That’s why this event is so important for me, it’s a really good way to dust the cobwebs of and get back in the competitive zone.”
Current Women’s World No. 3 Sally Fitzgibbons has been coming to Surfest for over a decade. She cites the amazing surf culture of Newcastle and friendly vibe of the town for her constantly returning.
“I’ve been competing at Surfest since I was eleven,” Fitzgibbons said. “I used to do junior events right through to the QS and I love it. It’s so great the surf community that exists here in Newcastle, it’s really welcoming and unlike anywhere else I’ve been. It’s a really great event.”
For young Australian Jack Freestone, finishing runner-up at the 2015 Port Stephens and Maitland Toyota Pro gave him the perfect start to a year that would see him reach his dream of qualifying for the CT. Now he’s back and keen to go one step further at this year’s event.
“Finishing runner-up last year was so good but I hope I can go one better this year,” Freestone said. “This is my fourth year in Newcastle and it’s nice to be here with less pressure, now that I’m not after qualifying points I can relax and just have fun. I think people do their best surfing when they’re having fun.”
Philippa Anderson is the highest seeded local female surfer. With aspirations of one day making it to the elite Championship Tour, Anderson loves the experience of mixing it with the world’s best at her home break.
“It’s pretty amazing surfing an event at home with the likes of Steph and Sally,” Anderson said. “This year I really want to smash the QS and try and make it on to the CT. I’m confident at my home break in all conditions so hopefully that can transition into a good result.”
Another rookie on the 2016 CT is young Californian sensation Kanoa Igarashi. Although he is only 18 this will be Igarashi’s fourth year competing at Surfest.
“I love coming back to Newcastle each year,” Igarashi said. “The waves are really fun and I’ve done well here before so I’ve got good memories from here. I’m really excited for the CT this year and I can’t think of a better event to warm up at than the Port Stephens and Maitland Toyota Pro.”
Jobe’s teamriders have been on a road trip to France and everything (we mean REALLY everything) got filmed! The result is the Jobe Road trip series: one team, one road trip, five movies and tons of fun!
There are a total of five cool edits, and wakeboarder Dominik Gührs kicks off the series! In Episode 1 you can see him doing what he does best. He is seriously shredding La Source (France) on his pro-model the Jobe Breach and EVO bindings.
Just sit back, relax and enjoy Episode 1 of the Jobe Roadtrip Series!
For Nautique wakeboarder J.D. Webb, in between contests, filming video parts, and making the sport look unreal, he travels the globe putting smiles on faces and sharing his passion for wakeboarding with as many people as he can.
To kick off 2016, he joined Nautique Central on the Gold Coast of Australia to do what he does best on the waters of Somerset Dam, in Queensland, Australia. After what turned out to be yet another epic adventure living the Nautique life around the world, J.D. checked in to give us a glimpse into how they do it down under.
Words by J.D. Webb
When I received the call that I was headed to Australia for a trip with Nautique Central, I have to say I was beyond excited. I ended up leaving on the 1st of January and was able to meet up with my roommate BP to get some surfing in at the world famous breaks on Australia’s Gold Coast to shake off the jet lag. Then I met up with the crew from Nautique Central and headed up to another rad spot. When these guys do something they do it BIG, and I had no idea what I was in for!
We drove a couple hours outside of the Gold Coast to Somerset Dam for some demos and riding with the customers of Nautique Central. There were Nautique’s everywhere and the Nautique Central G23 wake was macking! It was awesome to see everyone so stoked about Nautique and being out on the water.