The Show: It’s not easy to keep raising the bar for the SURFER Poll and Video Awards, but somehow every year we manage. General planning starts almost a year before the show itself, and by mid-winter a theme and direction for the show have been discussed and decided upon. Come summer, things really start falling into place as guest presenters, entertainers, and hosts are all decided upon. Keeping the show running smoothly and on time is critical, and by the end of the summer a script has been written, the invitations have been sent, and everybody on the SURFER staff braces themselves for the big night. Of course, there’s always going to be a hiccup or two, but when the curtain goes up it’s time to enjoy the evening, have a laugh with friends, rub elbows with the world’s most influential surfers, and have a enjoy the occasion.
The Videos: It’s been said that winning the SURFER Poll and Video Awards is as much of an accomplishment as winning a world title, and for surf cinematographers, it’s the only chance all year to be rewarded for their tireless effort both under the hot sun and in the darkest depths of the editing bay. The winner for each Video Poll category is chosen through a variety of steps. It starts with the filmmakers themselves submitting and nominating what they feel are the key moments in their latest body of work. From their each nominee is closely scrutinized by a panel of impartial experts, who, beginning this year, will choose the winners in the categories of Movie of the Year, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Filmmaker, and Best Cinematography, as well as the male and female performances of the year. The SURFER Magazine staff will choose the rest of the winners, including Breakthrough Performer, Best Maneuver, Best Tube Ride, Agent of Change, Worst Wipeout, and the Coors Heavy Water Award for an outstanding big-wave performance. Some winners are obvious, others require debate that can do on for weeks at a time, but every year it is with much care and deliberation that the SURFER Video Award winners are selected. Web Clip Of The Year: This year, we’re pleased to announce a new category for the SURFER Video Awards—Web Clip of the Year. Great video doesn’t only take the form of the feature-length film. With the proliferation of the popularity of websites like YouTube, Web shorts have become a category in themselves, and the Web Clip of the Year award is designed bring more attention and praise to the fantastic viral medium of the Web. The collective voice SURFER readers will be heard yet again as it’s you who will nominate and vote for your favorite clips.
Guest Presenters and Celebrities: Surfing is a tight-knit community, though you’ll be surprised by some of the unexpected guests at the SURFER Poll and Video Awards. Everybody from Prison Break star Dominic Purcell to superstar major league pitcher David Wells to gold medal snowboarder Shawn White were in attendance last year. Of course, there’re always all the surfers, but when you bump into a Hollywood starlet on your way to the bathroom, it brings an entirely different community of surfers and surf enthusiasts to light. Who will show this year? Guess you’ll just have to wait and find out.