Surfermag.com had a great 2011 that started with an award winning redesign and ended with some record setting traffic around SURFER Poll time. In between we introduced the Photo of the Day, Rob Gilley's Waxing Gaseously, Shea Lopez's expert punditry, and the very popular How-To Blog. While our photo galleries received a huge amount of the site's traffic here are some of the stories that really moved the needle in 2011. Click the headlines to take you to the story.
1. Surfer Poll
Our annual readers poll and video awards pulled in more traffic than there was on the red carpet on the night.
2. Andy Irons Autopsy results
After months of delays, Andy Irons' autopsy results were released to the public in a whirlwind of speculation.
3. Mark Healey Rides Great White Sharks
For the benefit of our online fans we leaked a spread from our June Issue and it went viral. While the photo of Mark Healey riding a shark was only a small part of the profile, it was the part that made headlines around the world.
4. Jeremy Flores and Sunny Garcia engage in fisticuffs.
An unfortunate incident in the Burleigh shorebreak was caught on camera much to the disgust of the online surf population.
5. Sion Milosky Dies Surfing Mavericks
The death of Sion Milosky was yet another tragedy that bookended a difficult few months for the surf world. Sion's hard charging and kind heart won him fans the world over. He will be forever missed.
6. Martinez Disqualified From New York
Bobby-gate was so popular with our readers that it all but dwarfed the excellent surf on tap for New York's first (and only?) World Tour event. His on-air rant made headlines around the world and divided the opinion of the surf population.
7. Steph Takes Her Kit Off.
Ah, there's nothing like a little gratuitous nudity to get the masses clicking. The introduction of Janna Irons' week in review gave her raging attention deficit disorder a creative outlet and our readers a lighthearted view of the surf world every Friday. It also featured some of the weirdest stories of 2011. Check out Year in Review here.
In November the ASP awarded Kelly Slater his 11th World Title a heat early and set surfing back 25 years. Sure, Slater's victory was inevitable, but the gaff ultimately resulted in the resignation of the ASP's CEO Brody Carr.
9. Waking From the Dream
Matt Warshaw laments the ASP's decision to turn the 2011 World Tour into the Big City Tour. Ironically the big city events delivered some decent surf (especially NYC) and the Tour, despite numerous controversies, had a pretty good year wave-wise.
An opinion piece about Adriano DeSouza's floater lit the comments section up like a Christmas Tree (Holiday Tree?) with colorful language and flagrant allegations of racism. Nationalism, of course, was hardly mentioned.