Quiksilver Surf Shop Challenge Central Northwest Qualifier Returns To Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz

Local Boys, O’Neill Surf Shop, Look To Repeat Regional Win

(Huntington Beach, Calif.) May 17, 2008 – Team riders and shop rats from fifteen surf shops on the Central/Northwest coast of California will converge this Monday, May 19 for the third stop of the 2008 Quiksilver Surf Shop Challenge presented by SURFER Magazine. After a venue change every year since 2004, the Central/Northwest Championships will finally spend two years at the same location-Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz, CA.

After absolutely dominating the competition on their way to the 2007 regional title, team O’Neill Surf Shop is running with the same roster as last year. Comprised of three seasoned veterans-Jason “Ratboy” Collins, Kieran Horn, Jesse Colombo and TJ Mikus-the group hopes to make another trip to the National Championships where they’ll strive to improve on their 2007 title run, which ended with a disappointing last place finish.

One of O’Neill’s greatest hurdles will be the team that hails from Camarillo, CA. Revolution Surf Co. owners/ employees/ and shop challenge competitors Jesse Mota and John Villela take this contest seriously, and it always shows in their results. They were National Champs in 2004, National runner-ups in 2006, and missed the 2005 Regional win by less than a point. Revolution wants to taste glory and they are looking to make the drive from Pleasure Point with a trophy in hand.

The Central Northwest event always seems to produce team rosters that are littered with notable names. In addition to Collins and Horn, team riders for this year include such standouts as Peter Mel, Kilian Garland, Adam Virs, Kellen Ellison and Dylan Graves. But, the shop challenge is about more than big names, it is about the guy behind the counter as well. With the passion these team riders have for competition and the passion these shop employees have for their shop, no team will easily waltz into the winner’s circle.

Wavewatch.com event forecast for Monday, May 19, 2008:
Latest data suggests there to be some minimal leftover swell coming from the Gulf of Alaska wrapping into Pleasure Point at about 2.4 ft @ 11 secs making for 2.5 ft surf (on the face) – waist high. Winds to be northwest 5 kts early building to 15 ks late in the day.  

The 2008 Quiksilver Surf Shop Challenge presented by SURFER magazine marks the fifth year of an ongoing effort to give core surf shops the opportunity to not only showcase the talent of their team riders and employees alike, but to also drum up much-deserved recognition for the shops themselves, businesses that represent the foundation of the surf industry. A free ad in Surfer Magazine, a $10,000 check and an all-expenses paid trip for six Hawaii for the Quiksilver in memory of Eddie Aikau makes this the richest prize purse for any competition of this sort, thus adding fuel to an already raging inferno. With the prize package and a year of bragging rights on the line, the Surf Shop Challenge invites shop team members to “bring their A-game” out from behind the counter to where it really matters most-the water. Regional competition will take place from April through September, with the final, National Championship event culminating at the south side of the World Famous Huntington Beach Pier.

For more information and schedule, please visit Quiksilver.com/qssc08.

Central/Northwest teams:
Arrow Surf and Sport – Santa Cruz, CA
Central Coast Surfboards – San Luis Obispo, CA
Channel Islands Surfboards – Santa Barbara, CA
Freeline Design – Santa Cruz, CA
Katin Surf Shop – Surfside, CA
Log Shop – Pacifica, CA
Moondoggies – Pismo Beach, CA
On the Beach – Monterey, CA
O’Neill Surf Shop – Capitola, CA
One Way Boardshop – Santa Maria, CA
Pacific Wave – Santa Cruz, CA
Proof Lab – Mill Valley, CA
Revolution Surf Co – Camarillo, CA
Val Surf – Valley Village, CAVentura Surf Shop – Ventura, CA       

Originally conceived to provide a fun and competitive format for the hardcore surf shop riders, the SURFER Shop Team Challenge was one of the most 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.

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.

For stories, photos, video and schedule, please visit Quiksilver.com/qssc08.