TURTLE BAY, Oahu (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kelly Slater, Carissa Moore, and Year Zero took home top honors last night at the 41st annual SURFER Poll Awards presented by Samsung and Verizon Wireless.
For the second year running, Turtle Bay on the North Shore of Oahu played host to the biggest night in surfing, where SURFER magazine honored the Top 10 men and Top 5 women—as voted by fans—as well as Movie of the Year, Best Barrel, Heavy Water, and other top videos and performances of 2011.
In the Men's category, Kelly Slater took home his 17th SURFER Poll No. 1 this year, despite the 11-time World Champ's 2010 acceptance speech that urged surfers to vote for Dane Reynolds this year. Following Kelly was Dane Reynolds, Owen Wright, Julian Wilson, Taj Burrow, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Jordy Smith, Andy Irons, and Bruce Irons.
"The first one I won was in 1992," says Kelly Slater. "I remember the cover shot was me, and it said Curren, Carroll, Potts' names too. That was pretty mind-blowing at the time to win against those guys. Now I'm still inspired by the crew of guys coming up right now—Dane, Julian, Medina, John John."
On the Women's side of the Poll, recently crowned ASP World Champ Carissa Moore ousted two-time SURFERPoll No. 1 Stephanie Gilmore to take the top slot on the Poll. Rounding out the rest of the top five was Coco Ho, Steph Gilmore, Alana Blanchard, and SallyFitzgibbons.
"I'm still grasping the situation," said a visibly shocked Carissa Moore, "but it's amazing to win this award. It's a great night in surfing and I'm so thankful for all my fans for voting for me."
For the Video Awards portion of the evening, Globe's Year Zero directed by Joe Guglielmino took home the Movie of the Year distinction, beating out this year's best surf films, including Lost Atlas, Kerrazy Kronicles, Get-N-Classic, and Come Hell or High Water.
In addition to the video awards, this year we were honored to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to SURFER Founder John Severson. Severson's vision and approach—highlighting the beauty of surfing and the lighter side of our culture—became the guiding light for surf media in the more than half century since he launched the first-ever surf magazine.
"In the beginning there was nothing," Severson said, "and today it's just amazing—the surfers are so good now, it's great. I wonder where we can go from here. I'm almost surprised that we can continue to evolve. And the magazine is beautiful, I have no complaints."
After an amazing year that included two Pipeline event wins, World Tour qualification, and most recently, a win at the Vans World Cup at Sunset, Oahu's John John Florence was granted the prestigious Andy Irons Breakthrough Performer Award.
SURFER Poll brought together the best surfers, the most talented filmmakers, and the legends of the sport, for a night of celebration and tribute.
"We love having the SURFER Poll in Hawaii," says SURFER's Editor Brendon Thomas. "We really want to thank the North Shore community for having us and we look forward to bringing all thebest surfers under one roof again next year."
If you missed the live webcast, log on to SurferPoll.com to see the full show, as well as behind-the-scenes photos, results, and more.
2011 SURFER Poll Results
Top 10 Men
1. Kelly Slater
2. Dane Reynolds
3. Owen Wright
4. Julian Wilson
5. Taj Burrow
6. Mick Fanning
7. Joel Parkinson
8. Jordy Smith
9. Andy Irons
10. Bruce Irons
Top 5 Women
1. Carissa Moore
2. Coco Ho
3. Stephanie Gilmore
4. Alana Blanchard
5. Sally Fitzgibbons
Andy Irons Breakthrough Performer
John John Florence
Movie of the Year
Come Hell or High Water
Josh Kerr, for Kerrazy Kronicles
Nathan Fletcher, for Teahupoo Uncut, Get-N-Classic, Rumors
Alex Gray, for Teahupoo Uncut
Rodrigo Koxa, for Teahupoo Uncut
Best Digital Short