Trust me, I’ve seen a lot of surf contests. I was on the beach watching Joey Cabell win the 1967 Makaha Championships and two weeks ago sat at my desk and watched Italo Ferreira nip Kolohe at D-Bah, having either tugged on or handed out wet jerseys for virtually every competitive acronym between. And with the exception of the advent of man-on-man competition back in the mid-1970s, I have to say there hasn’t been much innovation over the decades, with one through 10 scoring, the aforementioned wet jerseys, and lame commentary still the rule.
Which is why the first leg of the upcoming Relik Longboard World Tour caught my attention. Finally something different, something that’s never been done before. Relik’s Video Submission Open Qualifier has given longboarders from around the world a chance to compete for the biggest prize purse ever offered for a longboard event—$200,000 in total—as well as the privilege of surfing Malibu and Trestles with the water cleared. And it’s given the public a chance to vote online for eight lucky men and eight lucky women who’ll all earn a spot on the tour. Video submissions came pouring into Relik headquarters from around the globe, including those from such far-flung surfing outposts as Italy, the Philippines, Israel, and Vanuatu.
Those entries were winnowed down to 16 in both men and women’s divisions. These 16 were then presented for online voting at 2:00 p.m. PST on Tuesday, April 23. By Wednesday morning over 10,000 votes were cast. With more flooding by the minute. Literally, by the minute. But with voting set to close on Friday, April 26, there’s still time to join the thousands of surf fans having their voices heard. Go to Surfrelik.com, check out the Top 16 video submissions and vote for your favorite surfer — they could have you to thank for their Golden Ticket to the Relik events at Malibu and Trestles. And who knows? Tune up your cross step and cheater five, find a willing cameraman and next year that surfer could be you.
Vote for your favorite surfer here.