Fiji Women's Pro

2016 GoPro Challenge Kicks Off

Paula Lehman

The 2016 GoPro Challenge is adding a creative twist to the men's and women's Championship Tour events in Fiji. The submission window opened two days before the start of the Fiji Women's Pro and will close when the Fiji Pro ends, for a contest-within-a-contest in which event competitors can submit footage in hopes of prize money, prestige and general bragging rights.

How It's Done
GoPro Athlete Anthony Walsh takes Strider Wasilewski through GoPro 101.

The Challenge asks competing World Surf League (WSL) athletes to submit their own GoPro videos from the competition venue and surrounding areas. In Fiji, this includes Cloudbreak and Restaurants and, of course, any other seductive spots in the vicinity.

The winning video is selected by a panel of five judges -- three from the WSL staff and two from GoPro -- based on cinematography, degree of difficulty of shooting, perspective and overall beauty and lighting. Each requirement holds equal weight.

Two Surfers, One Winner
John John Florence trailed Bruce Irons at Backdoor for this GoPro Challenge Hawaii entry. With each submission, it's the shooter that gets the prize money, if the entry wins.

The winner at each stop scores US$15,000 if the clip was captured during official CT competition and US$10,000 if it's from a freesurf. In every case, it's the shooter who wins and not the subject, though they are often one and the same.

Last year was an exciting year for the GoPro Challenge. Bruno Santos became the second wildcard to win -- Tatiana Weston-Webb won the Fiji challenge in 2014 -- with a massive tube ride in Tahiti. Kai Lenny became the first Big Wave Tour winner, during the Pe'ahi contest.

The 2016 Challenge kicks off May 27 and closes at the end of the men's event, which could run as late as June 17.

2015 GoPro Challenge Winners

Fiji Pro Winner: C.J. Hobgood
C.J. Hobgood won the first GoPro Challenge of 2015 with a tube ride at Cloudbreak that had the whole channel cheering.
Tahiti Winner: Bruno Santos
Bruno Santos became the second wildcard to win the GoPro Challenge when he captured Teahupo'o breaking before tucking into the barrel.
Hawaii CT Winner: Dusty Payne
Dusty Payne drops a fourth clip into the GoPro Challenge Hawaii.
Pe'ahi Challenge Winner: Kai Lenny
The Maui local earned a solid score and a GoPro Challenge clip during the Pe'ahi Challenge.