CARLSBAD, Calif., Oct. 5, 2016 - Seven teams from around the U.S. are en route to Southern California to compete at the 2016 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge National Championship, October 6-7. This year has seen nearly 300 surfers from 70 shops around the U.S. compete as four-man teams (two shop pros and two shop employees) at seven regional stops. The winning teams from each of those events received an all-expense-paid trip to San Clemente, California courtesy of Oakley to compete in the National Championship for a grand prize trip to the 2016 SURFER Awards at Turtle Bay on the North Shore of Hawaii and title of "America's Most Core Surf Shop."
Two-time reigning National Champions Sunrise didn't make it back to defend their title this year. Quiet Flight swooped in, with former World Championship Tour surfer CJ Hobgood leading their charge, and ousted the seven-time Southeast Regional Champions.
Quiet Flight, who will be making their first National Championship appearance, will be going up against a roster of veteran Oakley Surf Shop Challenge National Championship competitors. Surf Ride (Southwest), Sweetwater (Mid-Atlantic) and Huntington Surf & Sport (West) have all won the National Championship at least once and Huntington Surf & Sport also has the advantage of a former WCT competitor, Brett Simpson, on their team. Heritage (Northeast), Town & Country (Hawaii) and Pacific Wave (Northwest) have all earned a berth into the National Championships at least four times previously and are hungry for their first win.
The following 2016 Regional Qualifiers will compete in the National Championship this weekend:
- Southwest - Surf Ride
- Mid-Atlantic - Sweetwater Surf Shop
- Northeast - Heritage Surf & Sport
- Southeast - Quiet Flight Surfboards
- Northwest - Pacific Wave
- West - Huntington Surf & Sport
- Hawaii - Town & Country Surf Factory
Official Forecaster Surfline.com is predicting new, moderate south swell to build and peak, with chest-to-shoulder-high surf hitting head+ at times. Those conditions will hold into Friday morning and then ease into the afternoon. Competition will run 8 am to 3 pm on Thursday and 8 am to noon on Friday (conditions permitting).
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