The 42nd annual SURFER poll awards were last week, and Kelly Slater (USA), 40, and Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 24, took home the top honors. Kelly took home his 18th SURFER Poll No. 1 award, while Steph took her 3rd.
For the third year running, the best surfers, filmmakers, and who’s who of the surf world converged on Turtle Bay on the North Shore of Oahu for the Biggest Night of Surfing. Awards were presented to the top surfers, as voted by fans, as well as the best movies and performances of the year.
Kelly won again this year. He first took the honor in 1993 when he was just 21 years old.
“It’s definitely nice to be recognized by the surfing community and to come out at the top position. I’m surprised John John didn’t get first. I also thought Dane was going to get it this year—maybe next year. I think they split each other’s votes. They stole the election from each other,” Kelly said.
This year saw two first-time additions to the Top 10. John John Florence, who in 2011 won the AI Breakthrough Performer Award, secured the second position on the list just behind Slater. Also making his SURFER Poll debut this year, Gabriel Medina became the first Brazilian to break the Top 10 on the coveted Poll. He also was awarded the distinguished AI Breakthrough Performer Presented by New Era award for 2012.
On the Women’s side of the Poll, the Top 5 from 2011 all remained on the list, with Alana Blanchard jumping up into the second position behind Stephanie Gilmore, who reclaimed the top spot for her third SURFER Poll victory.
“I am very excited about this year,” said Gilmore. “I was a little unsure of how it’d unfold, I wasn’t sure if I was going to come out on top because I didn’t win last year. I seriously had one of the best years of my life, and I guess everybody else thought that too. These awards are so important, because it’s the fans voting, so it means a lot.”
Here are the 2012 SURFER Poll Results:
Top 10 Men
1. Kelly Slater
2. John John Florence
3. Dane Reynolds
4. Gabriel Medina
5. Mick Fanning
6. Joel Parkinson
7. Julian Wilson
8. Taj Burow
9. Jordy Smith
10. Owen Wright
Top 5 Women
1. Steph Gilmore
2. Alana Blanchard
3. Coco Ho
4. Carissa Moore
5. Sally Fitzgibbons
AI Breakthrough Performer Presented by New Era
Congrats to all the winners, and you can watch the entire show at surfer.com. Continue reading