THURSDAY 1st MAY 2014: Over 250 Surf Industry retailers, reps and executives were on hand for the surf industry’s night of nights! This was the first time the awards were held on the Gold Coast and the night was hailed as best ever.
33 awards were presented across retail, product and brand categories with past world champions Mark Richards and Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew on hand to present.
The day started early for many with the annual Retail Allstars Vs Brands United tag team event. Both teams surfed really well in the small clean conditions with the Retailers taking it out this year to go 2 to 1 up. Hosted by Surfing Australia the event and also included a tour of the very impressive High Performance Centre at Casurina.
The Awards kicked off with Sales and Retail categories. James ‘Jim Bob’ Lanyon from Easey Street Group took out the Victorian Sales Rep of the Year and Will Mills from Will Mills Agency went home with the South Australian title for the second year running. Billabong Reps Chris Slattery from WA and Peter Dick from QLD also claimed a trophy each for state Sales Rep of the year. Rip Curl’s Adam Sharp took out the title for NSW Sales Rep of the Year, while Volcom won the coveted Sales Office of the Year.
In the Retail Awards Victoria’s Strapper Surf took out both the Victorian Retailer of the Year for Multiple Stores as well as Australian Core Board Store of the Year. Strapper’s Mike Di Scaiscio said “We are honoured to receive these award. Torquay is a very competitive space and it’s a case of either perform or die! All credit to our Strapper team led by Boardstore Manager Dylan Schulze, our Surfboard factory led by shaper John Robertson, for sharing the passion. Also a massive thanks to our loyal customers and suppliers for their support. So Stoked!”
Also going back from 2013 were Country Waves (WA Single Store), Last Wave Watersports (QLD Single Store), Wicks (NSW Single Store), Hodgy’s Surf Centre (Vic/Tas Single Store) and JT Surf (SA Multistores) taking home Retailer of the Year Awards for their states. SDS also took out the National Retailer of the Year for a second time. Other State winners were Mt Woodgee (QLD Multistores), Saltbush Surf (SA Single Store), Star Surf + Skate (WA) and Saltwater Wine/Stormriders taking not only the NSW Multistores but also the Judged category of Shop Fit of the Year for their newly opened Saltwater Wine – Horton Street store in Port Macquarie.
Maintaining their unbeaten record were Hurley with the prestigious Boardshort of the Year for The Phantom, Rip Curl’s Flashbomb for Wetsuit of the Year, Oakley’s Holbrook for Sunglass of the year and GoPro Hero +3 Black Edition for Surf Accessory of the Year all with their 3rd year in a row!
The HaydenShapes ‘Hypto Krypto’ blitzed the competition in Surfboard of the Year taking out the title for 2014. Havaianas won Footwear Brand of the Year showcasing how versatile a rubber thong can be. Brixton landed the Breakthrough Brand of the Year Award and Dragon took home the judged Online Channel Brand of the Year trophy.
The big winner on the night was Billabong who took out the judged categories of Product Innovation and Environment Award as well as Men’s and Ladies Marketing Awards and the top gongs in Men’s and Ladies Brand of the Year. Global Billabong Brand President Shannan North said it was particularly pleasing the awards recognised the breath of talent within the Australian team from innovation in design and marketing through to excellence in sales and retail. “There’s no better or more welcome recognition than that of your industry peers and this win is a reflection of the outstanding effort of all our team,” said Shannan.
A highlight of the night was the presentation of the Service to the Industry Award to the founders of Surfboard blank manufacturers Dion, Surfblanks and Burford Blanks. Midget Farrelly, Barry Bennett and Don Burford were recognised for their contribution to the industry and received their awards from four times World Champion Surfer Mark Richards.