“The waves have been insane,” Surf Ride Oceanside’s Dayton Silva said about the firing conditions for the 2018 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge Championship in Nicaragua last week. “Just barrels all day everyday. It doesn’t matter when you go, you’re going to get barreled.” And by the looks of the highlight reel above and the gallery below, all seven surf shop teams competing definitely clocked a lot of tube time both in and out of the jersey during the contest window.
All photos by JP Van Swae.Six teams earned an all-expense-paid journey to the world-class Central American surfing destination after winning a regional qualifier event. A seventh and final spot was selected through the 2018 GoPro Wildcard Contest online voting poll. The 2018 championship event consisted of teams representing Sunrise Surf Shop (SE), Surf Ride Oceanside (SW), Berdels (NW), Huntington Surf & Sport (W), Hi-Tech Surf Sports (HI), 7th Street Surf Shop (NW), and Secret Spot Surf Shop (Wildcard).
In pumping 4-7ft surf with offshore breezes, the seven quads took to the water at Playa Colorado. After two preliminary heats and a last chance qualifier, Surf Ride Oceanside, Huntington Surf & Sport, and Hi-Tech Surf Sports would have the chance to knock out 5-time Shop Challenge Champion veterans, Sunrise Surf Shop.
Defending 2017 champs Sunrise Surf Shop took a commanding lead early and found themselves sitting in first place with a 31.96 total heat score in the closing moments of the final. With under two minutes remaining Surf Ride Oceanside’s final surfer Christopher Murnane needed a 4.98 while Huntington Surf & Sport’s Taylor Pai needed a 5.07. In a dramatic finish Christopher Murnane was able to secure a 5.07, catapulting Surf Ride Oceanside into the top spot with a final heat score of 32.06.
“We started it off super slow,” explained Surf Ride’s whammy surfer Gabe Garcia, "and then our boy Chris came in and dropped the 5 to get us in the winning spot right at the end!" Surf Ride team rider Dayton Silva continued, “It’s been so much fun and we’re stoked to be bringing the trophy home!”
Ultimately Surf Ride Oceanside edged out the defending champs, Florida’s Sunrise Surf Shop, in the final for the win. Check out a full contest recap here.
Congratulations to Surf Ride Oceanside team members Simon Hausmaninger, Gabe Garcia, Dayton Silva, and Christopher Murnane on their 2018 OSSC Championship!
For more highlights from the 2018 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge season, click here.
Special thanks to Nica Heartbeat Health Center for being onsite to provide first aid services during the event.
Here is the full #SURFSHOPCHALLENGE 2018 schedule:
2018 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge Schedule
- May 16 – Southeast – New Smyrna Beach Inlet, New Smyrna Beach, FL
- WINNER: Sunrise Surf Shop
- May 22 – Southwest – Seaside Reef, Cardiff, CA
- WINNER: Surf Ride Oceanside
- May 24 – Northwest – Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz, CA
- WINNER: Berdels
- June 8 – West – 54th or 56th Street, Newport Beach, CA
- WINNER: Huntington Surf & Sport
- July 12 – Hawaii – Ala Moana Bowls, South Shore, HI
- WINNER: Hi-Tech Surf Sports
- August 15 – Mid-Atlantic – Outer Banks, Nags Head, NC
- WINNER: 7th Street Surf Shop
- GoPro Wildcard Video Contest
- WINNER: Secret Spot Surf Shop
- October 24 – National Championship – Playa Colorado, Rivas, Nicaragua
- WINNER: Surf Ride Oceanside
The unique event series, which has been running since the 1980s, puts four-man surf shop teams (two sponsored surfers and two shop employees) against each other. The winning team from each of the six regional qualifiers will win an all-expense-paid trip to compete in the National Championship at Playa Colorado in Rivas, Nicaragua for a chance to win a cash prize package and the ultimate title of America’s Most Core Surf Shop.