TURTLE BAY, Oahu, Hawaii (December 7, 2010) -- Top distinctions were awarded to Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, and Modern Collective last night at the 40th annual SURFER Poll Awards presented by Samsung and Verizon Wireless. Hosted by Sal Masekela and Fred Patacchia, and dedicated to the memory of Andy Irons, it was a night of laughter, emotion, and celebration.
"What an amazing night," says SURFER Publisher Tony Perez. "It could not have been possible without the local community, the brands, and the whole SURFER staff. Already looking forward to be back in Hawaii next year."
After his 10th world title victory, it was no surprise that Kelly Slater once again won the men's top spot for the 16th time. Slater recounted a fond story of Andy Irons, then encouraged everyone to vote for Dane Reynolds next year, "because he's never won anything, and just to hear his acceptance speech."
Following Slater in the No. 2 spot was Dane Reynolds, succeeded by Jordy Smith, Mick Fanning, Taj Burrow, Andy Irons, Rob Machado, Joel Parkinson, Julian Wilson, and Owen Wright, who rounded out the Top 10.
In the women's category, four-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore claimed her second win in a row. Carissa Moore took the No. 2 spot, followed by Coco Ho, Sofia Mulanovich, and Alana Blanchard.
For the Video Awards portion of the evening, Modern Collective took home the Movie of the Year distinction, while Jamie O'Brien and his new film, Who is J.O.B., took home seven nominees and awards for Best Performance presented by Skullcandy and Heavy Water. Australia's Craig Anderson walked away with the Breakthrough Performer of the Year award presented by New Era.
The high point of the evening, however, came when Bruce Irons took the stage to accept his brother's SURFER Poll No. 6 award. After an emotional tribute video to AI, the entire room was silenced as Bruce made a heartfelt speech honoring his brother. Andy went on to take home the Best Barrel award as well.
Almost every winner dedicated their award to Andy and expressed their appreciation that the Surfer Poll awards were moved to the North Shore, the birthplace of surfing.
"What a night!" said SURFER Editor-at-Large Joel Patterson, who directed last night's event. "We took a gamble moving the show away from the safety of California to a totally new place, and it paid off. We planned the show for six months, so it was so great to turn it over to Sal and Freddy and watch them run it so expertly."
If you missed the live webcast, FUEL TV will be airing an hour-long show on the SURFER Poll Awards on January 5, 2011, at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Special thanks to presenting sponsors, Verizon Wireless and Samsung, and additional supporters of the 2010 SURFER Poll: American Suzuki, Red Bull Surfing, Skullcandy, Pacifico, New Era, Peligroso Tequila, FUEL TV, and the Vans Triple Crown
Complete SURFER Poll and Video Award Results
1. Kelly Slater
2. Dane Reynolds
3. Jordy Smith
4. Mick Fanning
5. Taj Burrow
6. Andy Irons
7. Rob Machado
8. Joel Parkinson
9. Julian Wilson
10. Owen Wright
1. Stephanie Gilmore
2. Carissa Moore
3. Coco Ho
4. Sofia Mulanovich
5. Alana Blanchard
Movie of the Year: Modern Collective (Kai Neville)
Best Documentary: Sea of Darkness (Michael Oblowitz)
Best Cinematography: Castles in the Sky (Taylor Steele)
Best Performance Presented by Skull Candy: Jamie O'Brien (Who is J.O.B.)
Digital Short of the Year: Dark Side of the Lens (Mickey Smith and Allan Wilson)
Best Barrel: Andy Irons (High-5)
Best Maneuver: Jordy Smith (Modern Collective)
Worst Wipeout: Derek Dunfee (Down with the Ship)
Heavy Water: Jamie O'Brien (Who is J.O.B.)
Breakthrough Performer Presented by New Era: Craig Anderson
Agent of Change: Mauli Ola Foundation