If you are a fan of surfing like I am then the 2009 Surfer Poll and Video Awards is one of the highlights of the year. I was fortunate enough to attend the event and it did not disappoint. Red carpet entry bright lights, video cameras, and pros as far as the eye could see. There were video pros, top 44 pros, a mean looking group of Hawaiian pros, Aussies and South African getting crazy. The event was hosted by a rotating cast consisting of Benji Weatherly, Fred Patacchia, and Sal Masekela of E! and X Games fame. None of the action was off limits, pros and regular fellas were shoulder to shoulder to catch all of the awards and to check out the ladies.
The ladies were definitely one of the standouts of the evening. It became a theme throughout the night that the ladies were ripping harder than ever and there was plenty of film to support it. Stephanie Gilmore took home top honors for the ladies with a solid field of ladies such as Coco Ho, Carissa Moore, and Alana Blanchard not far behind the rankings. All of them dressed to impress and ripping harder than most of us guys that were in attendance, seriously.
When it came to the men’s category Slater took home the number one spot, of course, but there were other highlights that were great to see like Ken Collins getting annihilated on a 50 foot wave that was projected onto 3 15’X15’ screens with an earth shattering sound system. Taj Burrows best trick which really got the crowd going and Standout Surfer of the Year Bret Simpson who had hometown backing and a great video clip to back the award.
The event went off without a hitch and it was a great honor to get to be in a room that small with that many of the industries elite from the behind the scenes guys, to the corporate suits, to the many different slathering of pros. I can’t wait to see what surfing will bring for the remainder of ’09 through 2010. If it continues on then the Surfer Poll and Video Awards for 2010 will not disappoint.