As the ASP Men's World Championship Tour (WCT) launches into its rapid-paced second leg, Hurley is warming up for the Hurley Pro at Trestles, which is slated to start September 9.
To decide the company's entry for the wildcard spot, they've launched a video trial in which fans can pick their favorite to compete. The trials start with a 16-surfer bracket, narrowed down by fan votes for the final spot in the competition at Lower Trestles in San Clemente, CA. For last year's inaugural video trials, Hurley received nearly 100 submissions from across the U.S..
"We opened it up to the best surfers in America and the ask was very simple: Give us eight great waves," said Pat O'Connell, marketing chief at Hurley International, and former WCT surfer.
This year, Hurley's bracket of potential wildcards went global. In contrast to 2013's domestic submissions, surfers from the world over are now invited to submit their best performances for a shot in the lineup with the world's best come September. Hurley has accepted video submissions from any legal, permanent residents of Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, England, France, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Tahiti and the United States. Hopefuls had to be at least age 13--with big dreams and powerful surfing.
A quick look at the inaugural video trials is an indicator that anything can happen. A relative unknown Cam Richards (USA), then 17, found himself in the contest's Semifinals with former WCT competitor Dane Reynolds (USA).
With two pre-recorded waves to compare, the two surfers' real battle for the wildcard spot was on social media. Richards, who had competed on a few Pro Junior events, got bids from actor Jamie Foxx and Jaden Smith (Will Smith's son). Reynolds got himself an Instagram account, and Tony Hawk and TV personality Brody Jenner went to bat with hashtags galore. In the end, Reynolds came out on top, and competed at Trestles.
And as for how he fared? Reynolds was eliminated in Round 2 by his biggest social media supporter, Kelly Slater (USA).
For more information on the Hurley Pro Video Trials visit TheHurleyPro.com.