Got an itchy election finger like the rest of the populace? Don't worry. You don't have to wait until November to use it. SURFER Magazine opened voting today for the 2008 SURFER Poll, a tradition recognized as the most powerful voice in the wave-riding world—a voice given its power by the people. Now in its 36th year, SURFER readers have been asked to cast their ballot to elect their favorite shredders in the sport and, like the Democratic Party, we're offering nominees from both genders with the top ten male and top five female finishers honored in September when the polls close.
Unlike traditional American politics—an arena where, presidentially, we've been ruled by two families for two decades—the SURFER Poll actually sees healthy fluctuation in the ruling elite. The men's top ten and women's top five lists are constantly shuffling as the most relevant and exciting surfers at the vanguard of the sport rearrange their ranks. But that's not to say the top slot turns over every year. In fact, during the SURFER Poll's 36-year history, only 13 surfers have been crowned the Men's Champ. Those who have obtained this honor are fewer in number than those who've been crowned ASP World Champion.
Past winners include iconic surfers such as Phil Edwards, Tom Curren, Andy Irons, and, of course, 13-time SURFER Poll winner Kelly Slater. Female recipients include Lisa Andersen, Rochelle Ballard, and Sofia Mulanovich. But those big names shouldn't sway the vote. Fans are encouraged to be a part of the only election this year directly determined by the people by visiting Surferpoll.net, the official website of the 2008 SURFER Poll and Video awards presented by Suzuki Automotive. Online, they can choose their own candidates, nominate a film for movie of the year, check out photos, videos, skits, and more from the biggest awards ceremony in the business. But, like we said, the point of the whole operation is to give fans a voice, either by voting online or through the mail with the mail-in ballots provided in the July and August issues of SURFER Magazine. Voting ends on August 15, 2008.
"This is an important election for surfers," says SURFER Magazine publisher Ricky Irons. "This year, the stakes are higher than ever, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some of the guys, the 'candidates,' pull out all the stops to get the votes they need."
After the ballots are tallied, they'll be announced on September 9, 2008 at The Grove of Anaheim. Best known as the Academy Awards of the action sports world, The Surfer Poll and Video Awards show is significantly more fun than hunkering down with a bunch of political hacks and waiting for 50 states to turn red or blue. With the biggest personalities in the industry in attendance, it's always a night to remember.
The 2008 Surfer Poll and Video Awards presented by Suzuki Automotive will air on October 27 in the "Meet & Brotatoes" Monday night special block at 8pm ET/PT ON FUEL TV. The 2008 Awards will be covered fully by SURFER Magazine and FUEL TV.
Special thanks to the sponsors of the 2008 Surfer Poll and Video Awards: Suzuki Automotive, FUEL TV, Red Bull, Boost Mobile, and Toa Beer.