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Breakdown of The 2009 SURFER Poll and Video Awards

Final Results and Analysis

| posted on July 22, 2010

Without further ado, we present to you the winners and nominees of the 2009 SURFER Poll and Video Awards presented by Suzuki Automotive and Ultimate Wave Tahiti. While each category boasted exceptionally talented and promising nominees, decisions had to be made, and we thought we’d give you a little insight into the how and why.

So here they are, the 2009 Surfer Poll Awards Winners:

MEN
1. Kelly Slater
2. Joel Parkinson
3. Dane Reynolds
4. Mick Fanning
5. Taj Burrow
6. Rob Machado
7. Andy Irons
8. CJ Hobgood
9. Jordy Smith
10. Bruce Irons

On the heels of his ninth world title and recently voted “The Greatest Surfer of All Time” by a panel of his peers and industry icons in the Big Issue of SURFER, it’s hard to dispute Kelly Slater’s decade long dominance of not only SURFER Poll but surfing in general. Parko’s climb to No. 2 marks a notable boost in momentum to his current world-title campaign, and Dane and Jordy’s invasion of the top ten could signal a toppling of the old guard.

Freesurfer and rebel force Bruce Irons rounds out the Top Ten, and Rob Machado’s finish in the top six prove that style is timeless.

WOMEN
1. Stephanie Gilmore
2. Sofia Mulanovich
3. Carissa Moore
4. Coco Ho
5. Alana Blanchard

Make way for the new Aussie Queen: Steph Gilmore. Finally unseating perennial SURFER Poll Women’s Champion Sofia Mulanovich, two-time World Champion Steph Gilmore brings a bright young face to the apex of the SURFER Poll podium. Her win comes as a portent of things to come as Coco Ho and Alana Blanchard also made their way onto the list of the five most popular female surfers on Earth.

SURFER VIDEO AWARDS

Movie of the Year: Still Filthy (Jarrod Tallman, Director)

• One Track Mind
• The Present
• BS!
• Still Filthy
• 5’5” x 19 1/4” Redux

Selecting Movie of the Year this year was kind of like choosing from set waves at Lowers: you couldn’t make a bad choice. With plenty of high-action, straightforward surf films to choose from, and more moderately paced flicks like The Present and One Track Mind offering diversity, it was Billabong’s ambitious sequel to Filthy Habits that captured the attention of our panel of judges. With its innovative surfing mixed with interesting destinations and brief homages to the past, we’re proud to anoint Still Filthy as the 2009 SURFER Poll and Video Awards Movie of the Year.

Best Documentary: Waveriders (Joel Conroy, Director)

• One Track Mind
• Fly in the Champagne
• Waveriders
• Echo Beach
• Musica Surfica

While each of the documentaries offered a window into gripping stories from within the world of surf, Waveriders’ take on surf culture from an Irish perspective may have been the most gripping and artful story of the bunch.

Best Cinematography presented by Ultimate Wave Tahiti: The Present (Thomas Campbell, Director)

• The Present
• One Track Mind
• There’s No I In Go Ry
• Lost Prophets

When it came to artistry and thoughtfulness regarding aesthetics, Thomas Campbell’s The Present seemed a rung above the rest. With gorgeous shots from all over the world, the panel immediately honed in on Campbell’s eye for detail. Best Male Performance: Dusty Payne (BS!)

• Dane Reynolds (The Present)
• Nathan Fletcher (Lavese Las Manos)
• Dusty Payne (BS!)
• Andy Irons (Still Filthy)
• Wade Goodall (Still Filthy)
• Ry Craike (There’s No I In Go Ry)

In a category packed with amazing performances, Dusty Payne’s role in BS! never lost steam from start to finish. With a $50,000 air and explosive inversions as just part of his repertoire, Payne put the power back in performance.

Best Female Performance: Chelsea Hedges (The Present)

• Chelsea Hedges (The Present)
• Sofia Mulanovich (The Present)
• Kassia Meador (Dear and Yonder)
• Belinda Baggs (Dear and Yonder)
• Rochelle Ballard (Surf Into Yoga)

Chelsea Hedges performance in The Present showcased some of the best tube-riding seen by any surfer, male or female, in a film this year. Kudos to Chelsea for hands-down claiming this prestigious category.

Best Barrel: Cory Lopez (5’5” x 19 1/4” Redux)

• Cory Lopez (5’5” x 19 1/4” Redux)
• Dan Malloy (The Present)
• Danny Fuller (Lavese Las Manos)
• Todd Morcom (Storm Surf)
• Kelly Slater (Days of the Strange)

Cory Lopez’s first wave at the now-famous Skeleton Bay in Africa says it all. On that wave Lopez clocked more time in the tube than most people will register in a lifetime. Pop in 5’ 5” Redux, select the Africa chapter, and ponder whether this tube will ever be topped.

Best Maneuver: Taj Burrow, frontside air (Still Filthy)

• Wade Goodall, 360 air (Still Filthy)
• Taj Burrow, frontside air (Still Filthy)
• Dusty Payne, Kuston Air Stike air (BS!)
• Mitch Coleborn, double-grab flip (BS!)
• Ry Craike, one-handed rodeo (There’s No I In Go Ry)

The 2009 Best Maneuver highlight reel plays like a video game. Each of these maneuvers is jaw-dropping in its own right, but Taj’s utter disregard for the health of his knees takes the cake.

Worst Wipeout: Skin Dog (BS!)

• Dan Malloy (The Present)
• Ken “Skin Dog” Collins (BS!)
• “Chris” (Surfing 50 States)
• Maya Gabeira (Dear and Yonder)
• Unknown (Destination Unknown)

We’re lucky Skin Dog is alive to accept this award today. Ghost Tree has never been kind to those who falter for even the briefest of moments, but Ken “Skin Dog” Collins lived to tell the tale.

Coors Heavy Water: Nathan Fletcher (Lavese Las Manos)

• Todd Morcom (Storm Surf)
• Nathan Fletcher (Lavese Las Manos)
• Richard Fitzgerald, Gabe Davies, Alstair Mennie, Duncan Scott (Waveriders)
• Dylan Longbottom (Still Filthy)

Everything about Nathan Fletcher’s Lavese Las Manos is heavy. From jaw-dropping barrels at Teahupoo to kamikaze drops at Pipeline to unthinkable aerials in wind chop, Fletcher in many ways embodies what the Coors Heavy Water Award is all about.

Breakthrough Filmmaker: Tiffany Morgan-Campbell (Dear and Yonder)

As a new entrant to the genre of surf films, Tiffany Morgan-Campbell presents a rich and textured look at women’s surfing today. Not content with the formulaic tendency of surf-film debuts, Campbell uses elements of documentary, performance, and thoughtful narrative as a promising stepping stone to a bright future in surf cinema.

Agent of Change: Dr. Dave Jenkins (SurfAid International)

“It was a matter of time before somebody went on land in Indonesia and really saw the disparity between the people on the boats and the people on land,” says Surfrider’s Jim Moriarity of the work Dr. Dave Jenkins has done with SurfAid International. Jenkins’ organization has been making huge, quantifiable differences in Indonesia, and we’re happy to honor his work.

Photo of the Year: “Secrets” by Todd Glaser

• Nominee #1: “Sand Trap” by Clark Little
• Nominee #2: “Secrets” by Todd Glaser
• Nominee #3: “Sea Smoke” by Nick LaVecchia
• Nominee #4: “Multitasking” by Brian Conley
• Nominee #5: “Perfection” by Trent Mitchell

As voted on by the public, Todd Glaser’s expansive blue image may be the best surf shot we’ve seen in a long time. And we’ve seen a lot of surf shots. There’s something very open and free about this photo of Greg Long pulling into a monster tube, and although it’s hard to put your finger on…you know it when you see it.

Web Clip of the Year: Jordy Flip

• Nominee #1: Dance Off
• Nominee #2: Yazzy Arctic Surf Documentary
• Nominee #3: Hitler Boat Trip
• Nominee #4: Mad Clips
• Nominee #5: Jordy Flip
• Nominee #6: Shipstern’s
• Nominee #7: Jamie O’Brien

We couldn’t be happier with our new category, the SurferMag.com Web Clip of the Year. From beautifully shot expeditions in the Arctic to impressively executed dance-offs, this category certainly spans the spectrum, but Jordy’s mind-blowing rodeo flip on the Red Bull Mentawais boat trip encapsulates what this award is all about; Less than a day after it happened, it was up on the Internet blowing surfers’ minds, and that’s why you voted for it.

Sponsor Me Breakthrough Performer: Brett Simpson

After much heated and divisive debate in the SURFER office, dissecting the accomplishments of several young surfers this year, one name stuck on the wall: Brett Simpson. While this may have been the most contentious category of the entire award show (at least for us), Brett’s accomplishments this year speak for themselves. Simpson has trudged through the WQS with soldier-like determination, maintaining a top-ten ranking, has developed an equally impressive freesurfing resume, has become a mascot for worldwide powerhouse Hurley, and to top it off, won the US Open of Surfing with all the eyeballs and pressure in the world bearing down on the hometown hero. Did we mention that his win gave him the largest professional surfing purse ever awarded in a surf contest? At the same event, Simpson also won the Hurley Pro at Lowers Trials, earning himself the wildcard. There, he kicked things off with a bang—knocking off perennial title-contender Taj Burrow in the first round. Congratulations to Brett Simpson. We’re expecting big things from this kid.