Val Surf takes the West Coast Regional Oakley Surf Challenge Crown!
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SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., May 7, 2014 – Surfing Lowers with only three other guys out is a privilege usually reserved for World Tour pros, or at the least high-ranking ‘QS warriors. But thanks to the 2014 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge (OSSC), surf shop team riders and shop employees had Southern California’s best wave all to themselves.
Seventeen surf shops from around Orange County and Los Angeles gladly made the trek down the trail for the OSSC West Regional and were greeted by an oil-glass Lowers lineup that was all theirs, all day. The contest format pits four-man teams of shop employees and team pros from shops around the region against each other, with a year’s worth of bragging rights, a sizeable amount of swag, and an expense-paid trip to Central America on the line.
Like moths to a flame, the offer of empty lineups at Lowers attracts a swarm of talent, with pros like Chris Ward, Mason Ho, Nate Yeomans, Griffin Colapinto, Dane Zaun, and more in attendance. At the final horn, however, none of them were on the winning team. It was the crew out of Val Surf Thousand Oaks who took the title, the gear, the bragging rights, and the plane tickets.
Pascal Stansfield, a team rider whose 9.1 in the Final put Val Surf firmly in first place, laid out their game plan going in plain and simple: “We drew straws for the order this morning. We kept it real light coming in, just here to have a great time. At the end of the day, this is all for the surf shops who created this industry. So we just decided to be stoked to be surfing Lowers, to enjoy the day and just surf. And yeah, somehow we came out on top. I can’t believe we beat those guys…they’re a lot better surfers than us.”
Stansfield was joined by Andrew Jacobson, a team rider, and Skylar and Chance Lawson, two shop employees and brothers, to make up the Val Surf team. Jacobson, their whammy rider, came out of the gates with a whammied 8.4 in the Final, backed up by Stansfield’s 9.1 and further supported by a 4 from Chance Lawson and a 6 from Skylar Lawson. They defeated Huntington Surf and Sport, Catalyst, and Jack’s Surfboards for the big win.
Skylar Lawson, whose score sealed the victory for Val Surf, made it clear he’s worth his shop wages, and after the heat couldn’t contain his excitement. “We’re here at Lowers, this is as good as it gets,” said Lawson, a shop employee. “It should be a Tour event here at Lowers, but instead it’s just a regular contest, and we won it.”
The crew out of Thousand Oaks was already mentally packing boardbags for Nationals as they left Lowers. So now, on to their next stop, somewhere in Central America, where they plan to use the same strategy to success. “So stoked. We’re going to be drinking beer the whole time,” said Lawson. “Well, until we have to surf.”
The 2014 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge continues at Ala Moana Bowl in Hawaii on May 15.
1. Val Surf –Thousand Oaks – 36.34 pts
2. Huntington Surf & Sport – 30.95 pts
3. Catalyst – 30.33 pts
4. Jack’s Surfboards – Dana Point – 18.96 pts
The complete 2014 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge calendar:
· March 28-29 – Southwest – Seaside Reef, Cardiff, Calif.
· April 11 – Mid-Atlantic – Kitty Hawk, Outer Banks, NC
· April 14 – Northeast – Manasquan Inlet, Manasquan, NJ
· May 2 – West – San Clemente, Calif.
· May 15/16 – Hawaii – Ala Moana Bowls, South Shore, Haw.
· July 23/24 – Northwest – Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz, Calif.
· August 11-12 – Southeast – Ponce Inlet, Fla.
· TBD – National Championship – Central America
For all of the latest information including photos, video footage, results and more, check out surfshopchallenge.com.
Special thanks to title sponsor Oakley, media sponsor SURFER Magazine and co-sponsors New Era, Futures Fins, Watermans Sunscreen and Banzai Bowls, without which the Surf Shop Challenge series would not be possible.
About Surf Shop Challenge
Originally conceived to provide a fun and competitive format for the hardcore surf shop riders, the SURFER Shop Team Challenge was one of the most popular and exciting Southern California contests of the early 1980s. Through the years the contest has evolved, growing into seven qualifying regional events around the country and culminating in a national championship abroad. The underlying principles, however, have remained the same. The Oakley Surf Shop Challenge is still about giving back to the shops, the true backbone of the industry and the heart of the sport of surfing. Each year the competition level rises, the stakes become greater and the prizes become bigger.
About Oakley, Inc.
The global leader in performance sunglasses, goggles and prescription eyewear, Oakley also offers technical and lifestyle apparel, footwear, watches and accessories. The company was created for athletes who see impossibility as just another challenge, and their dedication inspires Oakley to seek out problems, solve with innovation and wrap invention in art. Exceeding the limits of possibility for more than thirty years, Oakley serves the demands of world-class athletes with unbeatable technologies including High Definition Optics® (HDO®). Additional information is available at oakley.com
In 1960, SURFER Magazine began as the original. After a long history of delivering provocative and insightful editorial features, revealing interviews and award winning state-of-the-art photography, SURFER remains the authoritative voice of the surfing world and thus earned the moniker “the bible of the sport.” The SURFER brand has also grown to include Surfermag.com, Fantasy Surfer, and the SURFER message boards. All of these assets combine to make the SURFER network the most current and reliable channel of information to the surf community. The magazine is published by Source Interlink’s GrindMedia, which reaches more than 22-million active sports enthusiasts through an integrated network of magazines, online properties, events and television programming. To learn more, visit surfermag.com
Source Interlink Media’s GrindMedia is the world’s largest action/adventure/outdoor media company reaching more than 45 million engaged consumers every month through its print, online, mobile, TV/video and events platforms. Among its 29 leading media assets are brands such as GrindTV.com, SURFER, SURFING, TransWorld SKATEboarding, Bike, POWDER, TransWorld Motocross, Snowboarder, Canoe & Kayak and more. Delivering significant reach across both action sports enthusiast and various in-market consumer audiences, GrindMedia also produces more than 40 leading events and webcasts such as Surfer Poll Awards, TransWorld SKATEboarding Awards, Powder Video Awards, Lowers Pro and EnduroCross. GrindMedia is also the exclusive action and adventure sports content provider for Yahoo! Sports.To learn more, visit grindmedia.com or visit grindtv.com.