This year’s announcement of the O’Neill Wave of the Winter is going to be a little different than any of the past eight years since the event started. A little fancier. A little more formal. In the past, we’ve had to track down the winner wherever they happened to be in the world in March to shower ’em in champagne and award the check. Kelly Slater (2014) and Ricardo Dos Santos (2013) in Australia, Reef McIntosh (2012) at LAX, Nathan Florence (2018) at Surfline’s Huntington Beach HQ. Koa Rothman (2017), Mikey O’Shaughnessey (2016), Jamie O’Brien (2015) and Kalani Chapman (2011) were luckily still at home on the North Shore when they received their check.
But this year, we’re hosting an official O’Neill Wave of the Winter Awards event at the Republik in Honolulu on March 28th. There’s going to be music — Ron Artis II and The Truth. There’s going to be pro surfers — many of the top ten finalists will be on hand. There’s going to be amazing video of all the season’s amazing waves. There’s going to be an official awards ceremony where the winner’s announced on stage. There will be drinks and Kona beer and fun and if you’re going to be in the area, you can buy tickets right here. For those not in Honolulu, we will be posting live updates on our social channels and will announce the winner on the site.