Newport Beach's 54th Street hosted the final regional qualifying event for the Oakley Surf Shop challenge, where fourteen teams battled for the final spot to compete in Bali for the championships. A light onshore wind, drained out tide, and small-scale swell produced inconsistent 2- to 3-foot surf throughout the morning. Jack's Surfboards, last year's national champions, looked poised to repeat their performance, but in the end were overcome by team Revolution, led by long time standout Nathaniel Curren.
"I was part of the team when we won nationals nine years ago," says Nathaniel. "We already got a trophy and we want another one."
Oakley Surf Shop Challenge allows two team riders along with two shop employees to compete in a tag-team format with one-hour heats, making it important for every team member to get scores. After the opening heats, the five teams with the highest combined heat scores are placed into the final, eventually crowning one winner.
Jack's Surfboards carried momentum throughout the competition, setting the bar in Heat 1 with a total score of 34.92, which would prove the highest of the day. But during the final, Chris Waring struggled to find a solid wave and the momentum shifted in Revolution's favor. Nathaniel Curran led the charge, posting a 7-point score for a big straight air.
"The final was stressful," claims Revolution's Jacob Kelley, who opened the final with an 8-point ride. "We started off strong early and then kind of slowed down so it was like a waiting game rather than a come from behind victory."
Revolution, located in Camarillo, CA, will now battle it out with Hawaiian Island Creations (Hawaii), Channel Islands (Northwest), 7th Street Surf Shop (Northeast), Sweetwater (Mid-Atlantic), Sunrise Surf Shop (Southeast), and Surf Ride Oceanside (Southwest) on an all expense paid trip to Bali, Indonesia. The competition in Bali will be the same format, awarding the national champions $10,000 and bragging rights. For more information, visit surfshopchallenge.com.
1. Revolution (29.03)
2. Jack's Surfboards (20.87)
3. Kanvis By Katin (16.40)
4. Huntington Surf & Sport (14.13)
5. Frog House (11.93)