Fanning leads early on, Smith hot in his tracks.
It's a clean slate, a fresh start, a new beginning, and a bunch of other clichés. It's the dawn of a new year, and the 2008 Surf Exposure-Meter race is officially underway. Sure, we've only tallied a month's worth of photos, and, in all honesty it's way to early to make any sort of predictions. But, none-the-less, there are some interesting, new players in the top ten. Will they all be there next month? No. But they're up there now for all to see. So if you're a TM and one of your boys in sitting high in the rankings, gloat while you can. Any knuckle dragger can rise to the top in the first month, but only the cream of the crop can stick around at the top of the Surf-Exposure Media Whore Race. Let's take a look at who is up there now, how they got there, and what their chances of sticking around are.
1. Mick Fanning is in the lead because he scored a cover, a ton of edit coverage, and had some sturdy ad support from his sponsors. No doubt he'll be a major contender in the race this year. His World Championship coverage hasn't even hit yet.
2. Jordy Smith starts off strong this year and we're not surprised. Every photog with a right index finger, half-a-brain, and a tri pod was sanpping as many photos of the South African wonder kid on the North Shore this year, plus he's a must-watch on the WCT this year. A big profile in Surfing (complete with cover) and some ad support from O'Neill got him into number 2. He'll finish in the top ten for sure this year.
3. Jamie O'Brien is a shoe in for the top ten this year. Between his etnies and Rusty ads he did some damage in the advertising category, and he scored some edit to back it up nicely. Can he stick in the top three? No guarantees. But chances are he won't lose his top ten status all year.
4. Parko's guest editor status in Surfer scored him some love on the edit boards and the ads from Kustom didn't hurt his early season campaign. Keep an eye on Parko, though, He can tend to jump around a lot throughout the course of the year.
5. Not a terrible amount of points for Slater in January. A commendable 3,500 points, but for Slater that's not a great months. We're sure he'll be a top ten finisher this year, but how high he gets in the ranking will probably be determined by how he surfs on tour. Definitely keep an eye on him.
6. If you're Taj Burrow's sponsor, you're stoked. He made a pretty big splash in the January issues of SURF, Surfing, and Surfer. If the well-balanced mix of ad coverage and edit play continue, Burrow could do a lot this year. Not to mention he's tied with last year's winner/ 8-time world champ, Kelly Slater.
7. Andy Irons is a staple in the top ten of the exposure race and he'll continue to be. His sponsors aren't scared of throwing marketing dollars his way and he's not scared of scoring editorial coverage. It's a deadly combo. Irons will most likely finish in the top five, if not three this year.
8. Dion Agius scored a grip of points in SURF. He had a big shot in the opening of the issue and a full profile to boot. As far as staying power, we're not convinced he'll finish as high as he's started. Prove us wrong Dion.
9. Josh Kerr was all over the place in January consumer mags. He made a nice place for himself in both the edit and ad categories and will most likely be a contender this year as well. Can he hold on to the top ten? Could go either way. He'll probably need some serious help from his sponsors or some podium finishes on tour to make it.
10. Kamalei Alexander scored three spread ads from Analog..