An Online Year In Review

Like most years, 2008 was a huge year in the world of surf. Kelly Slater won his ninth world title. New slabs were discovered around the globe. Ghost Tree erupted. Then watercraft were banned from the area. The ocean tragically claimed lives. Artificial reefs sprouted in Europe. A mysterious fishing vessel crashed smack dab in the middle of one of the world’s best waves the week of a world tour event. The fact that Paris Hilton learned to surf and Kelly Slater got his own beer and golden statue seem notable enough, but the following list represents the ten most viewed articles of the year on It seems SURFER’s readership is overwhelmingly drawn to sharks and boat wrecks. No surprise there.

10. SURFERS VOTE IN 2008: Who Will You Vote For in 2008

Surfers weigh in on election 2008.

9. STANDING STILL: Developments In Artificial Waves

The murky development waters in the world of wave pools, surf pools, and water parks just got a little clearer. In the past, there have been a lot of promises, but very few deliveries.


Friday May 2nd, 2008 at 3:15 PM, John Michael Wagner of San Diego, California, known as "Wedge" to surfers was surfing an island break 20 miles off the coast of Ventura County, California, when he suffered a fatal neck injury after being launched out the back end of a wave and came down into shallow water.

7. CONTEST CRASHERS: Tawainese Fishing Boat Shocks Padang; Authorities Investigate

The notorious Tawainese longliner fishing boat, Ho Tsai Fa No. 18, ran aground on the reef at Padang Padang in Bali, Indonesia at 7PM on Friday night – just in time for opening day of the highly anticipated Rip Curl Padang Cup event the following morning.

6. CHRIS WARD ARRESTED: Charged with Assault with Weapon Other Than Firearm

According to the Mammoth County Police Department, last year’s world number 17 surfer, Chris Ward, was arrested outside of the Whiskey Creek Bar on January 7 in Mammoth, CA on charges of “assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm” after an alleged altercation with three women turned into a full-scale fight.

5. DANE WILLIAMS RIP: Hurley Employee Found Dead

According to a report published by CBS News, the body of Dane Williams, Huntington Beach local and member of the Hurley marketing department, was found dead in the City Heights section of San Diego, 20 miles from where he was last seen.

4. ATTACK EYEWITNESS: Longtime Solana Beach Surfer Ira Opper Describes Attack

Within three to five more minutes, the lifeguards and the paramedics had the victim in the back of one of the lifeguard trucks, they brought him up to Fletcher Cove and probably for the next twenty minutes, they performed CPR.


Monterey Bay surfer Peter Davi, 45, drowned at Ghost Tree on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Monterey County Coroner’s Office.

2. SURFER Magazine’s 2008 ASP Top 45 Review

The Top 45 Review is SURFER Magazine’s definitive guide to the 2008 ASP World Tour. On Tour there are Superfreaks, Technicians, Blue Collar Workers, and every type of surfer you can imagine, but we’ve broken it down for you in categories with statistics to back up the claims. Look out for the 2009 Top 45 Review coming soon!

1. FATAL SHARK ATTACK: Great White Shark Attack In Solana Beach

“Then, while I was on my way back home during the paddle, a helicopter came crawling out of nowhere screaming over the ocean, 'There has been a fatal shark attack in the area! Exit the ocean! There has been a fatal shark attack in the area. Exit the ocean!'"