SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., May 15, 2013 - The biggest challenge for the 2013 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge Hawaii Champions, Team Hawaiian Island Creations (HIC), wasn't the stacked field of competitors - it was the waves. Ala Moana Bowls produced an inconsistent one-to-two-feet for the one-day team contest that pits surf shops against each other for a chance to compete at the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge Championships in Bali. Despite the meager surf, Team HIC emerged victorious led by Ala Moana Bowls local Kekoa Cazimero.
"Bowls is my spot, brah," said Cazimero, 23. "It was super small, challenging surf, but it just shows who the guys are that really know how to surf that wave and know where it's going to break."
The Oakley Surf Shop Challenge teams are comprised of two team riders and two shop employees. Cazimero, confident about all of his teammates' surfing ability, is eyeing the overall championship in June.
"We want to go up there with the same game plan," he said. "Everybody on the team surfs solid, and we have a legit team with two pro guys that ride for HIC, as well as two guys who work at HIC. We got good people and good strategy so we're looking to win the whole thing in Bali."
While Cazimero had the most local knowledge of Ala Moana Bowls, his teammate, Davin Jaime, had the flare in the small surf. Jaime, an HIC employee, was the only surfer to land a reverse 360 in the Final nailing an 8.8 out of a possible 10 points for that ride. He was a part of Team HIC in 2011 when they won the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge in Hawaii, back when the Championship was held in Huntington Beach, California.
"I'm psyched we won this year again," said Jaime, 25. "I've been to Bali a lot of times and it's like my second home. I'm looking forward to surfing really good waves because you know Huntington sucks, so we're really glad to have a really good spot to surf [for the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge Championship].
Team HIC's Joel Centeio echoed Jaime's excitement for their upcoming trip to Bali. Centeio is a seasoned contest surfer, but he enjoys the team aspect of the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge.
"This contest is so much fun and obviously it's different because it's a team thing and you don't want to let your team down," said Centeio, 30. "I always look forward to this contest because our team is super solid."
Pipe Dreams Surf Co. had a strong showing taking second place, with newcomer Drift Surf taking third and five-time champions Town & Country Hawaii coming in a disappointing fourth.
Along with a free plane ticket to Bali and spending money, HIC will combat six other regional qualifiers for $10,000 in the Championship event, held in June at Keramas. The series makes its final regional qualifying stop at Newport Beach, California at the end of May. For all of the latest information including photos, video footage, results and more, check out surfshopchallenge.com.
Special thanks to Oakley, SURFER Magazine and other event partners, Bubble Gum Surf Wax, Futures Fins, New Era, SOL REPUBLIC, and Watermans Sunscreen for their support, without which the Surf Shop Challenge series would not be possible.
1. Hawaiian Island Creations (31.16 pts)
2. Pipe Dreams Surf Co. (28.60 pts)
3. Drift Surf (20.73 pts)
4. Town & Country Hawaii (20.12 pts)
2013 OSSC and OHSSTC Schedule:
• April 5 - Southwest - Seaside Reef, Cardiff, Calif.*
• April 9 - Southeast - Ponce Inlet, Fla.
• April 13 - Mid-Atlantic - Kitty Hawk or Nags Head, Outer Banks, NC
• April 16 - Northeast - Manasquan Inlet, Manasquan, NJ
• April 19 - Northwest - Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz, Calif.
• May 10 - Hawaii - Ala Moana Bowls, South Shore, Haw.
• May 31-June 1 - West - 54th/56th Street - Newport Beach, Calif.*
• June 17-22 - National Championship - Keramas/Canggu, Bali, Indo.
*Denotes Oakley High School Surf Team Challenge stops