(Huntington Beach, Calif.) June 5, 2008 – 2007 was good to the Encinitas surf shop known as Hansen’s. Not only did they build up a solid group of competitive surfers that were able to dominate the 54th street lineup during the Southwest Regional Qualifier, but they were able take that same team and same strategy to the Shop Challenge National Championships and, as underdogs, trounce the opposition there as well.
As the surf industry melting pot of sorts, the Southwest region has always produced some of the surf world’s strongest talent, and their local spots mean everything to them. Many of the team riders, shop employees, and even shop owners who compete in this event have been born and bred to surf the jetties in Newport, so when the waves turn on and the teams hit the water, the competition gets fierce. The roster of past regional champs includes many of the industry-leading surf shops that are largely responsible for the growth and evolution of the sport: Laguna Surf and Sport, Katin Surf Shop, Huntington Surf and Sport, and Hansen’s.
This year’s Hansen’s squad trades in Austin Ware for David Suhadolnik, a Seaside Reef local ripper that has been on the San Diego surf scene and a regular in the NSSA for the past five years. Team captain Jeremy Sherwin will be back along with the rest of last year’s championship team including Eric Snortum and Ryan Burch.
Two of the past regional champs, Huntington Surf and Sport and Katin Surf Shop, will be back to field some of their usual suspects. HSS sends Micah Byrne, Brett Simpson, Christian Saenz, and Kyle Kennelly, while Teddy Navarro, TJ Barron, Bryce Dehaan, and Drew Middleton will represent Katin.
The Southwest Regional Champ will head to Huntington Beach, CA, on September 8, where they will face the four other Regional Champions in awinner-take-all, one-heat one-champ final.
Northwest Regional Champion – Heritage Surf Shop, Sea Isle City, NJ
Southwest Regional Champion – Sunrise Surf Shop, Jacksonville Beach, FL
Central/ Northwest Regional Champion – O’Neill Surf Shop, Santa Cruz, CA
Hawaii Regional Champion – TBD, July 11, 2008, Ala Moana, Oahu, HI
WaveWatch.com, the official forecaster of the Quiksilver Surf Shop Challenge, is calling for generally nice conditions with low clouds and light south winds through the morning with moderate onshore flow and temperatures in the mid-70s in the afternoon. Surf will be a mix of S-SWswell (190-210) and WNW windswell. Wave heights will average around waist-chest high with some shoulder high+ sets on the lower tides.
ET Surfboards (Hermosa Beach, CA)
Frog House (Newport Beach, CA)
Hanger 94 (San Diego, CA)
Hansen’s Boardroom (Encinitas, CA)
Huntington Surf and Sport (Huntington Beach, CA)
Jack’s Surfboards (Huntington Beach, CA)
Katin (Huntington Beach, CA)
K-Five Boardshop (Encinitas, CA)
Killer Dana (Dana Point, CA)
Laguna Surf and Sport (Laguna Beach, CA)
Main Street Surf Shop (Newport Beach, CA)
South Coast (San Diego, CA)
Sun Diego (Carlsbad, CA)
Surfride (Oceanside, CA)
Surfside Sports (Costa Mesa, CA)
T. Patterson (San Clemente, CA)
ZJ Boarding House (Santa Monica, CA)
For stories, photos, video, and schedule, please visit Quiksilver.com/qssc08.
Originally conceived to provide a fun and competitive format for the hardcore surf shop riders, the SURFER Shop Team Challenge was one of themost popular and exciting Southern California contests of the early 1980s. After several years on hiatus, the competition made a wildly successful return four years ago as the 2004 Quiksilver Surf Shop Challenge. Each year the competition level rises, the stakes become greater and the prizes become bigger.
Competitor prizes for 2008 include product from Quiksilver, Vans Shoes, Sector 9, Aviso Surfboards, Komunity Project, and Quiksilver Travel. Regional champions earn a trip to California to fill their spot in the National Championships, as well as VIP passes to the 2008 SURFER Poll andVideo Awards. National champs will walk away with a winner-take-all $10,000 prize, a full-page ad in SURFER Magazine, an Aviso carbon fiber surfboard, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii for the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau, complements of Quiksilver Travel.
Special thanks goes to: Vans Shoes, Sector 9 Skateboards, Aviso Surfboards, Future Fins, Komunity Project, Quiksilver Travel, ASR, Surf Expo, Board Retailers Association (B.R.A.) and WaveWatch.com.