Every year around this time, there’s always some hype in the air in the shop. That hype is fueled by an amazing event that Oakley puts on – The Oakley Surf Shop Challenge.
For beginners, the contest is formatted like this: Every surf shop gets two of their team riders and two of their shop employees to represent them during the contest. Only one surfer per team will be out in the water at a time and after he catches his highest score possible (a maximum of three waves per person) he has to run to the beach to tag their teammate who will then go on to do the same thing. Each team gets ONE double whammy during each main heat – a double whammy is when a rider believes that he just scored a high scoring wave… if they raise both their arms in the air, they get to double their wave score. But you only get one double whammy per heat for the entire team! You take the highest wave score per rider and total those up and that is your total team score.
Anyways, Sunrise won seven consecutive regional titles before last year when they were put away in the finals by Quiet Flight Surf Shop. It ended their historic run. Sunrise was out for revenge this year and headed into the finals with an arsenal of Thompson brothers, Cody, Evan, and Tristan, and Garret Carmichael who is seasoned vet with the Surf Shop challenges. Sunrise has won 3 national titles and Garret has been apart of 2 of the 3 title runs.
“The waves were a lot better than we expected today and everyone showed up with amazing teams,” said Cody Thompson of Sunrise Surf Shop. “We knew it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. Everyone on every team stepped up, but luckily all our guys came through too and we came out with the win. I’m stoked to be a part of this event every year and big thanks to Oakley and SURFER as well as Team Sunrise” (surfshopchallenge.com).
Sunrise was competing next to long-time rivals Aqua East, Quiet Flight and several other surf shops. The heat was intense and high scores were dropped from every team. Wayne Satterwhite of Aqua East opened up the heat double whammying an 8.43 followed by another high scoring wave from Aqua East’s John Massey with a 9.4. Gabe Kling of Surf Station whammied a 9.23 and Daniel Glenn of Quiet Flight followed by whammying a 9.27.
Tristan started and score a 7.77 and tagged Evan Thompson. Evan found a nice set out the back and raked in a 9.67 which he then whammied to put Sunrise back up top. Cody was next in line and found himself walking back to the beach with a perfect 10… he was stunned. G-Rat was last up. He had to hold a decent score in order for Sunrise to hold their lead and he did exactly that. Garret scored a 6.57 which led Sunrise to set an Oakley Surf Shop Challenge record for the highest team heat score EVER… a 43.68 points!
Sunrise will now be heading to nationals in search of their fourth national title. The location has not been determined yet but we will keep you up-to-speed when we find out. We will also update you with additional photos and clips of the regional event when they come around! Go Sunrise!
**** Updated Highlight reel below!
Video courtesy of Oakley Surf Shop Challenge – surfshopchallenge.com
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