Pacific Wave Surf Shop of Santa Cruz has just won the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge Northwest Regional Qualifier. After failing to make the finals in 2018 and giving up the regional title to Berdels, the now six-time Northwest winners are heading back to Mark & Dave's place at Playa Colorado to compete in the National Championships.

Alessandro Slebir. Photo: JP Van Swae

The stage was set for the nine shops competing in stop three of the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, CA. With overcast skies and clean, two- to four-foot waves on tap, four squads advanced to the finals after three opening qualifier heats. The crew representing Freeline Surf Shop–comprised of celebrated rippers Nat Young and father-son duo Peter Mel and John Mel–secured the highest team score in round one with a 34.74 point total. Channel Islands Surfboards, O'Neill Surf Shop and Pacific Wave Surf Shop also qualified for the final round.

Pacific Wave Surf Shop, the now 6-time OSSC Northwest regional champs. Photo: JP Van Swae

During the final heat, Nat Young put the first score on the board for Freeline with a solid 9.7, the event's high score, but that wouldn’t be enough to seal the deal. Time management proved to be a key strategic factor as wave conditions became a little inconsistent. As seasoned Oakley Surf Shop Challenge veterans, the squad from Pacific Wave Surf Shop managed their time well and finished the heat with a total team tally of 30.3 points. Freeline Surf Shop came in at a close second (with a total of 29.73) but the dwindling clock would not allow their final surfer to catch more than one scoreable wave, a 2.9.

Emmett Balassone. Photo: JP Van Swae

"We're super excited," said Pacific Wave's Austin Smith-Ford. "It was the first year being back at The Lane and my whole team was feeling right at home. I can't believe we won. The teams were all so good this year and we had a really competitive final that came down to the wire. We couldn't be any happier and we'll see you soon Nicaragua!"

Congratulations to Pacific Wave Surf Shop team members Randy Bonds, Austin Smith-Ford, Emmett Balassone and Alessandro Slebir on their Northwest OSSC title.

Contestable. Steamer Lane never fails. Photo: JP Van Swae

The Nixon Base Tide PRO-formance Award was presented to Sam Coffey of O'Neill Surf Shop for his lofty frontside air reverse in the finals.

Here is the full #SURFSHOPCHALLENGE 2019 schedule & waiting period


2019 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge ScheduleMarch 29 – Southwest – Seaside Reef, Cardiff, CA

WINNER: Surf Ride Oceanside

April 24 – Southeast – New Smyrna Beach Inlet, New Smyrna Beach, FL

WINNER: Sunrise Surf Shop

May 9 – Northwest – Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz, CA

WINNER: Pacific Wave Surf Shop

June 6/7 – West – 54th or 56th Street, Newport Beach, CA

July 11/12 – Hawaii – Ala Moana Bowls, South Shore, HI

August 13/14 – Mid-Atlantic – Outer Banks, Nags Head, NC

September 9-13 – National Championship – Mark & Dave's, Playa Colorado, Nicaragua