Local Rivalries Ignite

San Clemente, CA (June 2, 2010) SURFER Magazine's Oakley Surf Shop Challenge prepares for its second Southern California stop. Scheduled to hit the famed 54th Street beachbreak in Newport Beach, California on Friday, June 4, shop teams from Orange County to Los Angeles are poised and ready to claim top honors for their store.

This year marks the first time in Surf Shop Challenge history that Southern California has been split into two regions. The introduction of the West region offers a clean slate to long time competitors who have repeatedly fallen just short of victory and new entrants alike.

After watching reigning Southwest Regional Champs, SurfRide, let a repeat performance slip through their fingers in San Diego's inaugural qualifier, shops preparing to compete in the newly formed West qualifier know that it will be open season this Friday as each strives to earn their place in Surf Shop Challenge history.

For long-time rivals, Jack’s Surfboards (2005 Southwest Regional Champs) and Huntington Surf & Sport (2006 Southwest Regional Champs) this event could provide the platform to settle their dispute once and for all…or at least until next year.

Oakley Surf Shop Challenge

Micah Byrne ripping at SURFER Magazine's Oakley Surf Shop Challenge Southwest Qualifier in 2009.

"We've always had a deep-seeded rivalry with the boys across the street and it's going to be much more prevalent minus the San Diego teams," admitted Micah Byrne, Huntington Surf & Sport's (HSS) team captain.

San Diego teams or not however, HSS's strategy remains the same. "Surf our best and talk some trash in the process," says Micah. This philosophy holds true across all stops in the Surf Shop Challenge series, for while there is a tangible prize for the winner of each region, there are also exclusive bragging rights on the line.

"It's always a good atmosphere in the contest," adds Micah. "Everyone wants to win, but also have a good time.  If that means talking trash in the dugout, or clapping when the other team falls, it's all in good fun."

Both, Jack's and HSS, are heading into this Qualifier with veteran team members who have been around since the glory days. With these two teams both boasting rosters studded with local stars hungrier than ever to knock their long time rival out of the running combined with the incredible talent of all the other teams equally eager to walk away from the event with a Regional title of their own, Newport Beach is about to witness a Surf Shop Challenge Qualifier like it's never seen before.

"We'll see who comes out on top as the 'Kings of Main Street,'" concludes Micah. And that we will.

The battle begins at 8:00 AM (PST) on June 4 at 54th Street in Newport Beach, California. Come out and bear witness to history-in-the-making and demo a Firewire surfboard while you're at it.

Invited West Shops:

Becker Surfboards Torrance, CA
ET Surf Hermosa Beach, CA
Frog House Surf Shop Newport Beach, CA
Huntington Surf & Sport Huntington Beach, CA
Jack’s Surfboards Huntington Beach, CA
Katin Surf Shop Huntington Beach, CA
Killer Dana Surf Shop Dana Point, CA
Laguna Surf & Sport Laguna Beach, CA
Spyder Surfboards Hermosa Beach, CA
SurfSide Sports Costa Mesa, CA
T-Patterson Surfboards San Clemente, CA
Val Surf Valley Village, CA

Regional Champs from the West will head just down the street to Huntington Beach on September 13, where they will face off against each other and the remaining six Regional Champions in a winner-take-all, one-heat one-champ final.

This year's regional winners will not only earn an expense-paid trip to the National Championship for their chance to score the $10,000 grand prize, but each will also receive a full-page shop profile in SURFER Magazine with their two shop riders also receiving a Firewire surfboard and a custom-designed Buell wetsuit.

For photos, video footage, results, and more check out SurfShopChallenge.com.

Special thanks to Oakley and event partners Muscle Milk, New Era Caps, Firewire Surfboards, Bubble Gum Surf Wax, ASR, and Buell Wetsuits for all their support. Without their involvement the Surf Shop Challenge series would not be what it is today.