Crews are posting, clips are playing, humans are Liking, industry’s noticing — but some folks still don’t know just how all this creative flow will ultimately get distilled down to pick a single Chosen crew to get prized out of their minds with gear and good life.
It’s actually quite simple, according to Nike’s official rules page:
9 Semi-Finalists: Around July 30, Nike’s expert judges will pick nine semi-finalist crews to advance (one from each region). Semi-finalist crews will be selected based on how well the crew gets noticed through social hustle with their videos, as well as which crews best embody the values of style, creativity, camaraderie and progression.
3 Finalists: From July 30 to August 6, fans and friends worldwide will vote for their favorite crews online and on the beach at the US Open of Surfing. Everybody gets one vote. On August 6, the top three crews based on international voting will be announced and move on to the final round.
1 Winner: On August 7, before the US Open men’s final, the winning crew will be announced as picked by Nike’s team athletes, based (again) on style, creativity, camaraderie and progression. Winners in each round will be notified within three days of the judges’ decisions.
That’s it: from many to nine to three to one. Easy, right? But this means crews have many masters to please: first, the judges at Nike, who are looking for a major social presence and tons of buzz. Next, the fans, who have their own criteria and can’t be easily fooled. And finally, the Nike pros themselves, who have to dig a crew’s style enough to want to go on a trip with ‘em. Sure, easy. Better get hustling, crews. Creativity and originality are where it’s at. Be yourselves, be interesting, be Chosen. You’ve got less than a month.