SURFER Magazine is pleased to announce the completion of stop one of the 2019 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge. Cooperating winds and peaky 3-4ft+ waves throughout the day made conditions at Seaside Reef in Cardiff, CA prime for the thirteen shops who competed for top southwest honors and the coveted ticket to Nicaragua.
After four qualifying rounds in clean morning conditions five squads secured their positions in the final. Shops represented in the final heat were Hanger 94, Rusty Del Mar, Sun Diego Mission Beach, Surf Ride Oceanside, and Surf Ride Solana Beach. Conditions proved to be a little trickier for the final round as light onshore winds began to threaten.
Surf Ride Oceanside was consistent through the entire day, finishing with the second highest team score behind Sun Diego Mission Beach in round one and then carrying that momentum to the finals where they had strong start. Early in the final round, their second surfer, team rider Levi Slawson, whammied his first wave, a 9.40 (total wave score 18.80) that proved critical towards their total point tally. With the final heat coming to close, Rusty Del Mar's fourth and final surfer was unable to secure the 8.71 required to take the lead, thus crowning Surf Ride Oceanside as the winners. The 2018 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge National Champions will now have the chance to defend their title in Nicaragua.
"The waves were a bit all over the place but we were able to get a few good ones", said Surf Ride team rider Levi Slawson about the final heat. "I happened to get a perfect wave, the 9.4 whammy, and then all the boys just clutched it up and now we're going to Nicaragua!"
Congratulations to Surf Ride Oceanside team members Braeden Steele, Levi Slawson, Brent Reilly, Tanner Waite on taking the Southwest win. The 2019 win marks the eighth Southwest regional Surf Shop Challenge title for Surf Ride Oceanside. (2019, 2018, 2016, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2009, 2008)
The Nixon Base Tide PRO-formance Award was presented to Surf Ride Oceanside competitor Levi Slawson for his aggressive backside tail release to airdrop during his team's qualifying round.
New for 2019, the Nixon Base Tide PRO-formance Award is presented to the athlete who performs the most radical and progressive maneuver during competition at each event, as decided by the judging panel. Winners receive a custom 2019 Nixon Base Tide Pro watch and other Nixon accessories.
Special thanks to Oakley, SURFER and event partners Body Glove, Flexfit, Futures, Nixon, Mark & Dave's, Merge 4, Reef, and Yeti for their support, without which the Surf Shop Challenge series would not be possible.
Up next is the Southeast regional qualifier at New Smyrna Beach Inlet, New Smyrna Beach, FL where Sunrise Surf Shop will look to build on their regional dominance for a chance to compete at the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge National Championship in Nicaragua.