O’Neill Hooks Up Top Shop Kids In San Diego

If you’re a vendor for O’Neill wetsuits, you may want to invest in a gun. Not one to shoot yourself with; one for charging Todos.

Michael Burns, O’Neill’s San Diego sales rep for wetsuits, holds a long standing tradition where he takes the top O’Neill retail salespeople in his territory on a three-day, all expense paid trip to Baja’s Todos Santos Island. (O’Neill also hooks up the winners with sweatshirts and other prizes.)

“The trip was originally started about fifteen years ago by the original Southern California rep, Tim Bernardy,” Burns says. “The contest helps promote suit sales.”


Burns has been holding the contest for ten years, and he says the sales associates get pumped on it and take the competition seriously. The contest runs during the peak of the fullsuit-selling season: November 1 to January 1. Burns dishes out a half point for booties, gloves, and rash guards, and awards a full point for a spring suit or fullsuit.

This year’s winners included South Coast’s Kevin Fuertes and Eric Spoon, Emerald City’s Jason Blake, Encinitas Surfboards’ Matt Chard, Surf Ride’s Brad Schade and Sean Matteson, and Clairemont Surf’s Rob Chalfant.

“The shops really enjoy it. They are already selling the suits, but it’s amazing how much they will pay attention to sales when there is a contest,” Burns says. “I’ve had employees show up on their days off when the competition was close.”

On March 10, Burns rallied his crew (minus Matteson, who had other surfing commitments) and headed to Baja’s Todos Santos Island for the three-day outing. The surf was small by Todos standards, but Burns, who paid for the trip himself, says they still scored some fun waves. “The crew had a great time with fun, overhead surf and great weather. All are looking forward to next year.”