Photos: Chris Kimball
It was an exciting night for many brands and retailers within the action sports industry Thursday, as close to 900 people converged on The Grove in Anaheim for the 10th annual SIMA Image Awards, honoring the best of the best in 2012.
As SIMA President Doug Palladini took the stage with opening comments, he reinstated the fact that the event’s move two years earlier from its original location in Cabo during Surf Summit has paid off in dividends by the increased amount of industry members who are now able to attend. The event was hosted by Pat Parnell, whose witty banter succeeded in drawing a few laughs from the fully engaged audience, many of whom were yelling out their bets for top honors.
The star studded cast of industry elite paraded the stage for nearly two hours, and included award winners like the Roxy crew for its No. 1 Marketing Campaign, “Let The Sea Set You Free.” Roxy gave all its thanks to the “absolutely incredible girls out there who love and support the beach culture.” An equally inspiring message came from Reef Founder and ISA President Fernando Aguerre, who received accolades for raising the most toward the Stokes Me contest last year. Aguerre says the only way to make a difference is not through monetary gain, but instead “If you reach out, if you touch someone in their heart everyday.” He went on to say: “This industry needs less alpha males and more females --we could use a lot of female inspiration.”
The loudest cheers erupted from the audience during the final few minutes of the ceremony when Breakout Brand of the Year was awarded to Brixton, who had more than a dozen crew members take the stage. Founder David Stoddard gave a gracious speech, which at the end was dedicated to friend and former co-worker Ian “Poods” Barry who passed away in 2012. Here’s the offical release from SIMA:
Eighty nominees representing the best of the surf industry from 2012 were honored last night at the 10th annual SIMA Image Awards ceremony. More than 850 attendees from surf companies and specialty retail shops packed The Grove in Anaheim, Calif., to celebrate the outstanding innovations and contributions made by the SIMA Image Awards nominees, and to see the winners announced.
2012 SIMA IMAGE AWARDS WINNERSOVERALL AWARDS
Breakout Brand of the Year: BrixtonBreakout
Retailer of the Year: Surf Ride, San Diego
Men’s Boardshort of the Year: Phantom Fuse by Hurley
Men’s Marketing Campaign of the Year: “60 Years of Innovation” by O’Neill
Men’s Retailer of the Year: Hansen’s, Encinitas
Women’s Apparel Brand of the Year: Quiksilver for girls
Women’s Marketing Campaign of the Year: “Let the Sea Set You Free” by Roxy
Women’s Swim Brand of the Year: L*Space by Monica Wise
Women’s Retailer of the Year: Jack’s Surfboards, Huntington Beach
Accessory Product of the Year: Supertide Watch by Nixon
Environmental Product of the Year: Recycler Boardshort Series by Billabong
Footwear Product of the Year: Van Doren Series by Vans
Hardgoods Accessory Product of the Year: Drylock Boot by Xcel
Surfboard of the Year: Neckbeard Squash by Channel Islands
Wetsuit of the Year: FLASHBOMB by Rip Curl
“The Image Awards is arguably one of SIMA's most important initiatives," said Doug Palladini, SIMA President and Vans’ Vice President of Marketing. "Innovation and excellence help keep the surf industry vibrant, and to recognize those achievements in our products, businesses, and our employees - the creative minds that keep our products and brands original - is very important. We're proud to see the SIMA Image Awards program continue to grow in prominence with more and more entries each year. It's really a competitive program. All of the nominees honored here tonight should be very proud of their accomplishments in advancing our industry." The SIMA Image Awards nominees were celebrated with a high-energy ceremony hosted by TV personality Pat Parnell, who was accompanied on stage by DJ Tina T who provided music for the winners' victory lap. Award winners accepted their honors from the likes of celebrity guest presenters, including lead singer of Pennywise, Jim Lindberg; Mark Pontius and Cubbie Fink of Foster the People; and, skateboard legend Christian Hosoi. A special thanks to Audi for their supporting sponsorship and helping to make this a stellar night for the surf industry. As the only awards program of its kind, the goal of the SIMA Image Awards is to identify the surf industry's most influential companies and recognize them for their efforts to advance and grow the industry during the past year. All regular and board builder SIMA members were given the opportunity to enter their own companies or brands, and retailers, in any qualifying categories. These entries were then reviewed and voted upon by an industry panel of experts comprised of both manufacturers and retailers. The outcome of the panel vote determined the five nominees in each category. Winners are determined by a final vote open to all SIMA member companies, as well as specialty retailers. A complete description of awards criteria, as well as a detailed explanation of the entry and voting processes and materials required can be found atwww.simaimageawards.com. To view more photos from the SIMA Image Awards ceremony, please visit the SIMA Facebook page or www.sima.com.