Viva La Revolution!
Revolution Surf Shop Claims 2004 Quiksilver Surf Shop Challenge presented by Surfer Magazine
So it's come down to this: Four teams left, all hailing from four very different parts of the country, set to do battle it in the Lower Trestles' lineup for $10,000 in cold hard cash, winner take all. The 2004 Surf Shop Challenge presented by SURFER Magazine was to be determined by Whalebone Surf Shop arriving via Nags Head, North Carolina. Quiet Flight out of Cocoa Beach, Florida. And by way of the California connection, Laguna Surf and Sport out of Laguna Beach and Revolution Surf Shop out of Camarillo. To say teams were fired up is an understatement. "Everybody's amping. Lowers all to ourselves, ten grand up for grabs, this is gonna be fun!" Quiet Flight's Bryan Hewitson excitedly remarked before the start of the hour-long final.
With travel expenses picked up by Quiksilver, and a solid few days of wining and dining with the Quik crew, it's no wonder the shop teams were so giddy; they received bonafied surf star treatment. Besides, how could you not be stoked to be having filet mignon dinner with Pottz and Boothy?
At a team mixer the night before the final, Jeff Booth, Shop Challenge mastermind and one-time event winner remarked, "This is a really special event. It reaches people on a very grassroots level. We all have surf shops we grew up in. We bought our first board there. We went there when we needed a new wetsuit. And we especially went there we wanted to find out where the next party was. Any shop can put a team together, and we hope everyone will. I'm stoked to be here and Quiksilver's stoked to be backing it."
"SURFER Magazine began in the shops," followed-up Rick Irons. "So to be able to give back and show how much surf shops mean to the sport of surfing is really great. Besides, why wouldn't you want to be here?'"
As Round Four of the Boost Mobile Pro got underway on Saturday, September 17th, the shop teams made their way down the trail, posting up on the famed cobblestone point. With classic overhead Lowers on offer there was an anxious excitement underlying everybody's cool demeanor. As the Expression Session wound to a close it was finally time for the shops to take the water. It was their turn to shine.
All guns came out blazing. Bron Heussenstam doubled whammied an 8.6 to give Laguna Surf and Sport momentum. Hans Hagen backed him up with a clean, polished style, refined from years in the Trestles' water. Bryan Hewitson anchored the Quiet Flight team, and with all of his years of competing in pro events he solid. Even the underdogs from Whalebone put on a good showing, especially by the likes of XX and XX. But it was the Revolution boys that stole the show. Nathaniel Curran absolutely blew up, claiming a 9.0 for his double whammy wave, and then miraculously backing it up with a 9.6 (one of the best wave scores of the entire Boost Mobile Pro weekend). Laguna Surf and Sport's young Matt Johnson could have closed the gap, but the nerves of center stage got the best of him and he failed to come through with a big score. No luck this time.
Maybe the most inspiring moment of the whole event came with four minutes left in the field and Javier XX of Revolution alone in the Lowers' lineup. For four minutes any wave, any set that came through was his for the taking. Even if you don't rake in ten grand, that's a pretty decent reward.
Later in evening the awards party got rolling. Caddyshack in theme, '80s glam rock in entertainment, the bash was nothing short of belligerent revelry. A Tiger Woods look-alike was on the prowl. There was a girl that was a spitting image of Anna Kornikova. And then there was Serena Williams, or was it Sunny Garcia? As a confused Jeff Booth stated, "I just past Axel Rose, Tiger Woods and a transvestite Serena Williams." Sunny won a new set of golf clubs for the effort.
A few cocktails deep and it was time to announce the winner. As the champagne corks burst and the crowded house let out a scream it was Revolution Surf Shop hoisting the $10,000 check above their head. "This whole weekend has been like a dream, but then to win the whole thing, it's amazing." explained Revolution co-owner. "I'm so stoked for all of the guys on the team, it feels good to win this together. I'm stoked for everybody who participated, it's been unreal."
In the end it might have been Mike Schirmer from Whalebone Surf Shop that put it best, "I've been eating steak dinners every night, got to surf Lowers with nobody out, the parties have been insane, we got to come out here and represent. I couldn't ask for anything better."
Just wait 'til next year.
2004 Quiksilver Surf Shop Challenge Results:
1. Revolution Surf Shop
2. Laguna Surf and Sport
3. Quiet Flight
4. Whalebone Surf Shop