The 44th Annual Surfer Poll Awards at the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of O’ahu gathered the best surfers, filmmakers, and surf legends under one roof to honor the best films and performances of the year. It is customary for attendees to wear t-shirts and flip flops, for Kelly Slater to get the No. 1 slot, for deserving people like Dustin Barca to get an award for preserving Hawaii, for them to honor those whom the surf community has lost, and for Steph Gilmore to wear a quirky outfit (like a jumpsuit). In case you missed it, the results of the SURFER Poll Awards are in, and they are a tad unusual (more unusual than the normal unusual).
Check out the nominees for the Top 5 most shockingly weird moments of the SURFER Poll Awards:
5. Slightly less weird than the rest of the list, the girls are winning!
Even though the girls only have a top five (instead of a top ten) category, they are winning. The MC commended them for their ability to acquire a wider, albeit creepy, fan base via social media. The women gave impactful speeches. Steph Gilmore showed respect for Buttons, while Carissa Moore made an appeal for more women’s categories, praising Tyler Wright and another up-and-coming, female, big wave surfer. ASP is giving women more events and double the prize money to contend for next year. Go women surfers!
4. The "Worst Wipeout" video was so Irish!
The video was gnarly for several reasons. First of all, the award is typically voted by judges who are familiar with the dangers associated with surfing crazy waves. This year, it was determined by online viewers. Secondly, the footage is filmed in Ireland (Portugal, Mavericks, Teahupo’o, and Jaws usually present the biggest falls). It must have been the luck of the Irish! The winner, Peter Craig, proceeded to give a shout out to tow-in surfer, Chris Malloy. But the rest of the speech viewers had trouble making out, as it was given in a thick, Irish accent. Lastly, have you seen it? Ouch!
3. Alana Blanchard gets the No. 1 slot for women’s surfing, confounding many.
Alana Blanchard is beautiful, delightful, and can surf. No one will deny those facts. But, No. 1 in women’s surfing, huh? Hmm, the current World Champion, Carissa Moore, merely got No.3, and Stephanie Gilmore (five time world champion) only took the Top 5 Woman of the Year. The readers of SURFER Magazine voted this year, which contributed to this strange phenomenon (kudos to Alana and her intimidating, far-reaching fan base).
2. John John Florence is the SPA’s equivalent to the CMA’s Taylor Swift... only better.
Youth, talent, an impressively chic award show wardrobe, and curly, golden locks are not the only commonalities between Taylor Swift and John John Florence. They both won multiple awards! John John took home Top 2 Man of the Year, Best Short (Begin Again), Best Performance (Done), and Movie of the Year (Done). Wait, Taylor Swift only had three awards… John John one-upped Taylor Swift!
1. Dane Reynolds takes the award for best acceptance speech (Oh, and Top 5 Man of the Year).
Hopefully, others will learn from John John and Dane, and dress to impress! Not only did Dane don a suit instead of his usual Hawaiian-style shirt, but he gave a hilarious acceptance speech. He pulled out a piece of crinkled, notebook paper and began thanking several people, noting how he was spared of a “massacre” by Quiksilver.
Viewers can hardly wait for next year!
MEN'S POLL WINNERS
NO. 1 / KELLY SLATER
NO. 2 / JOHN JOHN FLORENCE
NO. 3 / MICK FANNING
NO. 4 / JULIAN WILSON
NO. 5 / DANE REYNOLDS
NO. 6 / JORDY SMITH
NO. 7 / JOEL PARKINSON
NO. 8 / TAJ BURROW
NO. 9 / GABRIEL MEDINA
NO. 10 / ANDY IRONS
WOMEN'S POLL WINNERS
NO. 1 / ALANA BLANCHARD
NO. 2 / SALLY FITZGIBBONS
NO. 3 / CARISSA MOORE
NO. 4 / COCO HO
NO. 5 / STEPH GILMORE
VIDEO AWARD WINNERS
A.I. Breakthrough Performer
Didier Tinhin, from Tropically Yours
Peter Craig, from Hallow Week
Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau, directed by Sam George
Begin Again, directed by Blake Kueny and John John Florence
John John Florence in Done
Movie of the Year
Done, directed by Blake Kueny and John John Florence
Watch the SURFER Poll Awards.