This past Thursday was a pretty awesome day over at the shop. No, it’s not because it was the day before Friday…and no, it’s not because there was free beer. (but free beer and tacos helped). Instead, what made last Thursday truly awesome, was the fact that we got to be one of the places selected to host O’Neill’s “Wave of the Winter” 2017 premiere.

O'neill wave of the winter

Holy Mackerel and Bangin Banjo beer on tap

The entire experience was a blast. We set up the big screen in the store. We brought in food and drinks. And, then the crowd rolled in. We had a big turnout from the community. Seasoned surfers, groms, and locals were stoked for the event. And to top it off, none other than surfing legend Corey Lopez came to hang out and watch the movie with us.

Island Water Sports Owners, Karly and Cheyne Cottrell with Pro Surfing Legend Corey Lopez

After some munching on tacos and grabbing a few beers from our generous donors, we all got to kick back, relax and enjoy the show.

O'neill Wave of the Winter

Pre-Movie Tacos from Tijuana Flats

The night concluded with a raffle where the winner received a generous prize pack from O’Neill and Island Water Sports. What a night! We would like to say a huge thanks to everyone who came out and attended the show, and a HUGE thank you to O’Neill, Surfline, Tijuana Flats, Holy Mackerel Beers, and Bangin Banjo Brewery for your help in making this event happen!

O'neill Wave of the Winter

Wave of the Winter Raffle

Each year surfers take on the biggest waves standout performances on the Seven Mile Miracle from November through February for O’Neill’s Annual Wave of the Winter Contest. The surfers who demonstrate, more than any other, outstanding skill, commitment to both the sport and community, courage and style while consistently riding the most challenging waves on the North Shore, during the entire WOTW contest period wins. The WOTW winner is chosen by taking into consideration Wave Size (25%), Degree of Difficulty of Maneuvers (25%), Style (25%), and Overall “Heaviness” Factor (25%). The Wave of the Winter Monthly People’s Choice Champion is chosen by the Surfline audience who vote on their favorite ride. The winning surfer receives $25,000 and videographer receives $5,000. The Overall Performance winner will receive $10K cash plus a $10K donation made in their name to an environmental non-profit of their choice; plus, a year supply of CLIF products. And, new this year, is the O’Neill Breakthrough Performer Award. This is an all-new division running in concert with the O’Neill Wave of the Winter and the Clif Bar Overall Performance Award. This unique category celebrates the accomplishments of the surfer, 19 years old or younger, who rises above all others in his/her age group with sustained, standout performances. The winner receives $5000.

2016-2017 Winners

Koa Rothman Wins 2016-17 O’Neill Wave of the Winter

O'Neill Wave of the Winter

“As soon as I started scratching into it, it started growing,” Rothman said of this special Pipe wave. “And it looked like a straight closeout. I almost straightened out, but I was like, ‘f++k it’ and went for it. I’ve never been that deep in a barrel, ever. I was just hanging on and trying to pump at the same time.” CLICK ON IMAGE TO WATCH THE VIDEO.

Breakthrough Performer Award Goes to Seth Moniz

O'Neill Wave of the Winter

Seth Moniz Named O’Neill Wave of the Winter Breakthrough Performer and deservedly so. The local kid charged all season long, submitting more WOTW entries than anyone in his age group. Plus, he help save Kalani Champan’s life. CLICK ON IMAGE TO WATCH THE VIDEO.


Jamie O’Brien: Clif Bar Overall Performer

O'Neill Wave of the Winter

Jamie O’Brien: Clif Bar Overall Performer: Winning the Clif Bar Overall Performance Award during the O’Neill Wave of the Winter event waiting period is no easy task — you’re up against the best tuberiders in the world in the best tubes in the world. This year, day in, day out, Jamie O’Brien was as on it as anyone and took home the cash — and made a sizable donation to his alma matter, Sunset Beach Elementary.

The Judges

Gerry Lopez (Head Judge) not only made Pipeline the world’s most important wave, he made the tube the ultimate prize in surfing. During the epic winter of 1969-’70, Lopez set the standard for barrel riding at the world’s most dangerous break while earning the Mr. Pipeline moniker. After missing the first-ever Pipe event because of misinformation, he won the next two Pipe Masters and made the finals four other times. From 1993-’97, the event was known as the Chiemsee Gerry Lopez Pipeline Masters.

Pancho Sullivan transcends rankings. Along the North Shore of Oahu each winter, when the so-called best surfers in the world show up at his doorstep, he’s a permanent fixture. And though he did “do the tour” — becoming the oldest surfer to ever qualify for the WCT in 2005 — he refused to let contests or waves dictate his path, always surfing “his way” and standing out on pure merit.

For Ross Williams, growing up in Haleiwa served this lanky regular footer well. Williams found he could excel in all types of surf from two to 20-feet and finished fourth at the 2001 in the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau at Waimea Bay. And even though he competed nine years on the ASP World Tour, perhaps Williams true surf stardom came from his multiple appearances in Taylor Steele’s Momentum movies.

For Shawn Briley, while the “New School” was figuring out how to surf the North Shore without dying, a teenage Shawn Briley was falling out of the sky at maxing Pipeline. Briley’s name became synonymous with “hellman” as a magazine covershots, video parts and at least one historic contest victory highlighted a brief but successful freesurfing career built on eccentric risk and solid fundamentals.