Greg Long to be Honored as SIMA’s Waterman of the Year

Congratulations are in order for Greg Long, who’ll be honored as Waterman of the Year at the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) Waterman’s Weekend in August 2011.

Hailing from San Clemente, California, Long is at the forefront of big wave surfing, advancing the sport while giving back through his involvement with community groups and environmental causes.

Waterman of the Year Greg Long is often referred to as “the best young big wave surfer on the planet,” continues SIMA’s press release. Like the waves he surfs, his resume of accolades is equally as impressive: winner of the 2003 Red Bull Big Wave Africa, the second longest running big wave paddle event in the world; 2008 champion of the Mavericks Surf Contest; in 2008 he earned an official invitation to the most prestigious big wave event of all time, the Quiksilver Eddie Aikau, held at Waimea Bay Hawaii, and won the event in 2009.

Long has become one of only two surfers in the world to be invited to all three major big wave paddle events. Long is also the winningest surfer at the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave awards, and has been featured in magazine publications such as Sports Illustrated; Outside; Men’s Fitness; and numerous others, as well as newspapers and surf films across the globe. When he’s not tackling the world’s biggest waves, Long gives back to the community by giving motivational presentations to schools and community groups, as well as through his involvement in environmental organizations including Surfrider, Save the Waves, Wildcoast, and The San Onofre Foundation.

“As arguably the leading figure in big-wave surfing today, it is an honor to recognize Greg Long as Waterman of the Year,” said Doug Palladini, SIMA President. “What Greg is doing to advance the sport of surfing is truly awe-inspiring, and he embodies the term ‘waterman’ to the fullest extent. We look forward to celebrating his accomplishments and contributions to our sport at the Waterman’s Ball.”

SIMA’s Waterman’s Weekend will be held August 11th and 12th later this year in Laguna Niguel, CA. In addition to honoring Long, Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner will be honored as Environmentalist of the Year, and George Downing will receive SIMA’s 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award.