Best Barrel

Official 2011 SURFER Poll Nominees

| posted on November 29, 2011

The Best Barrel Award tends to be the “Desert Point Trophy,” with nominees coming almost exclusively from long reef points. But saying that this year’s crop are of the heavy variety would be a serious understatement. Here are the nominees for the best barrels appearing in full-length surf films this year.

2011 SURFER Poll Best Barrel Nominees:
Cory Lopez (Teahupoo Uncut)
John John Florence (Get-N-Classic)
Alex Gray (Teahupoo Uncut)
Josh Kerr (Kerrazy Kronicles)
Dean Morrison (A Dingo’s Tale)

  • Ben

    Maybe a statement on the progression towards airs, but those barrels were less remarkable than in years past. Seems like I just saw a clip of Camel getting a way sicker one at gnaraloo.

    • dromedary

      Wow camels is a crazy backdoor but the take off barrel didnt get filmed !

  • Aidan

    Agree with Ben entirely – that selection is quite thin, especially compared to previous years. Kerr’s barrel at 00:52 is particularly unremarkable, all things considered – it’s sick, but potentially ‘Barrel of the Year’? No sir, look a little closer at the reams of video you must have to choose from. This reeks of bias, sorry…

    • Brendon Thomas

      @Ben and Aiden: The best barrel nominees are chosen from film releases this year. I agree, I’ve seen way better barrels online over the last 12 months, but unfortunately they are not eligible for inclusion in the Surfer Poll and Video awards. In fact, major film releases this year were pretty light on barrels in general when compared to previous years. Ben might be right, there is a lot of focus on airs over barrels in video releases. Do you guys think that’s a good or a bad thing?

      • Aidan

        Thanks for the clarity Brendon – in that case it’s a fairly sad indictment on where surfing’s emphasis lies at the moment. Aerial surfing certainly has its place nowadays, but surely the one true love that we all share as surfers, regardless of craft, is getting barrelled off our nuts?!! pull in……please!

        • Brendon Thomas

          @Aidan: Amen to that!

  • Major Pain

    The BEST Barrel Ridden which I observed during The Nike US Open was by Sunny Garcia, as He Free – Surfed on the north side of The Pier. Shortly after I photographed Him, I began asking someone regarding A Grommie in The Water. Then, I looked to my left, and there was Sunny “Totally – Barreled.” …Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr – I “Missed – The – Shot.”

    The BEST that I did photograph, was one of Rob Machado during The Nike US Open “Expression Session.“

    Second Best: Kanoa Igarashi Free – Surfing at Salt Creek.

  • MIk

    Brilliant surfing… Maybe needs to be separated into paddle-in and tow-in? And what about the Kohl Christianson barrel at Cloudbreak? And Bruce Irons at Teachopuu? Surely that is on video?

  • ben

    Good comments Brendon… I think the absence of AI (RIP) plus no Slater, Bruce, or JOB feature may result in fewer impossible barrels made. Personally, I favor barrels over airs in videos unless the airs are quite remarkable (e.g. the Medina invert in France) and/or part of a well-rounded repertoire (plenty of guys with this: Kelly, Dane, Jordy, etc.). Maybe its cause I’m in my thirties, but when I watch a surf video I want to see really good surfers in beautiful, perfect surf, because for me the surf video is primarily mesmerization as opposed to amp (I understand, by the way, that I may be in the minority regarding this viewpoint).

  • evan

    Josh Kerr’s barrels were weak sauce! I’d vote Alex Gray

  • tony (ty) carson big island

    Dudes, the best barrel is always going to be the one __you catc

    Dudes, the best barrel, is always going to be the one ‘you’ catch, whether its 3 feet or twenty.

    h weather its 3 feet or twenty, its better to ride your own wave, than sonebodys else

  • tony (ty) carson big island

    Gotta do a retake on this one: Dudes, the best barrel, will always be the one ‘you’ catch, whether its 3 feet or twenty. Its always better to ride your own wave, than someones else.

  • Nathan

    Camel’s barrel in WA is awesome compared to most of these, Josh kerr’s would make anyone stoked but barrel of the year as if.