San Clemente, CA (February 15, 2011) – SURFER Magazine's Oakley Surf Shop Challenge (OSSC), the event series that teams shop employees with shop pros for a chance at $10,000 and the title of the best surf shop in the U.S., will kick off at Seaside Reef in Cardiff, CA, on March 11. This year will see 280 surfers from 70 shops around the country compete at seven regional stops before culminating at the Huntington Beach pier in September for the National Championship.
The series, which began in the early '80s as a single Southern California contest, stays true to its philosophy that core surf shops play a pivotal role in the success of the action sports retail industry as a whole. "The series is an excellent way for Oakley to support the healthy competition that happens among surf shops across the U.S.," says Ronny Nelson, Oakley Sports Marketing Manager. "We know what a huge role these shops play in the success of our brand and the entire action sports retail industry. This is our way of giving back to these guys and stoking them out in a major way."
Today the OSSC has expanded to include every major surf retail market in the country—not to mention some of the most renowned surf spots North America has to offer. Each regional winner will not only earn an expense-paid trip to the National Championship, but each will also receive a full-page shop profile in SURFER Magazine, and product from all sponsors.
"Oakley's support has really stepped up the reach and impact of the series, giving more shops in more areas the opportunity to compete," says SURFER's Associate Publisher, Jeremy Schluntz. "Regional winners are flown to California in September and treated like royalty. Core retailers deserve our thanks, and we're so happy to help celebrate all they do for our industry."
Last year's National Champions and grand prize-winning team was North Carolina's Sweetwater Surf Shop in Wrightsville Beach. With a come-from-behind victory in their first year of competing, the team—comprised of Tony Butler, Owen Moffett, Michael Powell, Mason Barnes, and Ross Stevens—seized the win with less than a minute remaining in the finals.
Defending their title this year will be a tough task. Sunrise from the Southeast region finished only 2 points behind Sweetwater, while Western regional champs Jack's Surfboards and Southwestern champs Hansen's Surf Shop held at a close third and fourth. All the teams will be hungry for a comeback in 2011, and another chance to claim the national title, the $10,000 prize purse, and an entire year of bragging rights. For 2010 photos, video footage, results and more check out SurfShopChallenge.com.
The regional contests will begin in March and run through the end of August, with the National Championship taking place in Huntington Beach, CA, in September.
Special thanks to Oakley and other event partners Futures Fins, Buell Wetsuits, and Bubble Gum Wax for all their support. Without their involvement the Surf Shop Challenge series would not be what it is today.
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 five qualifying regional events around the country, culminating in a national championship at the famed Huntington Beach Pier in sunny Southern California. 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.
The global leader in performance sunglasses, goggles and prescription eyewear, Oakley also offers technical and lifestyle apparel, footwear, watches and accessories. The company was created for athletes who see impossibility as just another challenge, and their dedication inspires Oakley to seek out problems, solve with innovation and wrap invention in art. Exceeding the limits of possibility for more than thirty years, Oakley serves the demands of world-class athletes with unbeatable technologies including High Definition Optics® (HDO®). Additional information is available at www.oakley.com.
In 1960, SURFER Magazine began as the original. After 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.” The SURFER brand has also grown to include Surfermag.com, Fantasy Surfer, The Hot 100, My SURFER Cover and a myriad of SURFER message boards. All of these assets combine to make the SURFER network the most current and reliable channel of information to the surf community. The magazine is published by Source Interlink’s Action Sports Group (ASG)/Grind Networks, which reaches more than 10 million active sports enthusiasts through an integrated network of magazines, online properties, events and television programming. For more information, visit surfermag.com
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