Cameras flashing, a spotless Red Carpet, whiffs of perfume and cologne in the air and everyone in the surf world looking dazzling!
Though all of this was to be expected at the 2015 Surfer Poll, the celebration where SURFER magazine honors the fan-favorite men and women as well as top videos and performances from the year, there were a handful of unexpecteds at the annual gala of surfing.
Like John John Florence, who everyone imagined would sweep up one, two or even three awards. But by the end of the night, John was smiling in front of a camera with 4 awards, triple the amount of any other professional surfer present. The 22-year-old secured the number 1 spot in the Men’s Poll – overtaking Kelly Slater, who came in second to John – as well as Movie of the Year for View from a Blue Moon, Best Performance and Best Maneuver.
“When I first started riding for Hurley, they asked me what I really wanted to do,” said Florence, wearing a wrinkle-free button up dress shirt. “I said I wanted to do the (World) Tour and I wanted to make a movie. “Those guys kind of gave me the freedom to do this and travel the last couple of years. I couldn’t have done it without all my friends, my family, my mom, my brothers, they supported me through the whole thing.”
The Florence family notched one more award for their North Shore mantlepiece with brother Nathan claiming the Best Barrel award for pulling in deep to a Teahupoo bomb.
Carissa Moore, the newly crowned three-time World Champion, was all beauty and smiles and expectedly took top honors in the female category.
“There is no way I won the SURFER Poll,” said Moore. “This is so cool. You know I have so many people to thank for this incredible year. I first off want to thank all the girls that are surfing so well this year. I want
to thank my dad, my boyfriend and my family of sponsors. I love the surfing community so much.”
Surfing fans recognized the Brazilian storm as well, voting Filipe Toledo, the rapidly spinning and charging and smiling Brazilian as the A.I Breakthrough Performance Award. Gabriel Medina, who as of early December remains in the hunt for the 2015 Men’s Title, secured a 5th ranking on the Men’s Poll.
One of the biggest surprises of the night came with the Best Series category. While the majority of the crowd expected Jamie O’Brien’s eye opening stunts in ‘Who is JOB 5.0’ to take home the trophy, it was actually Peter King and his #TourNotes series, which goes behind the scenes at every stop on the World Tour that won the fan’s vote.
“Everyone knows the JOB series is way better, [they] must have some inside track or something,” King said while laughing in his acceptance speech.
And all the other acceptance speeches, from John John to Mick Fanning and Sally Fitzgibbons, were sincere, full of thanks and appreciation, and comical in their own right (we’re looking at you, Dane Reynolds).
Movie of the Year
View From A Blue Moon (Blake Kueny and John Florence)
John Florence, View From A Blue Moon
Sampler (Marine Layer)
The Fisherman’s Son (Chris Malloy)
Best Web Series
#Tournotes (Peter King)
Niccolo Porcella, Teahupo’o
Nathan Florence, Teahupo’o
John Florence, View From A Blue Moon
Agent of Change
North Shore Land Trust
A.I. Breakthrough Performance
The strangest speech went to Kelly Slater, who filmed himself giving a thank you oration with his iPhone while in an airplane bathroom. The video drew laughs and quizzical looks throughout the crowd, but perfectly summed up the night that was the year in review for 2015: funny, full of surprises, and a retrospective reminder of just how close the global surfing community is to one another.
2015 SURFER POLL RESULTS
Men’s Poll Winners
#1 – John Florence #2 – Kelly Slater
#3 – Mick Fanning #4 – Julian Wilson #5 – Gabriel Medina #6 – Owen Wright #7 – Dane Reynolds #8 – Filipe Toledo #9 – Kolohe Andino #10 – Joel Parkinson
Women’s Poll Winners
#1 – Carissa Moore
#2 – Sally Fitzgibbons #3 – Coco Ho
#4 – Stephanie Gilmore #5 – Alana Blanchard