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Industry likes image of O.C. surf brands [The Orange County Register :: ]
[February 17, 2014]

Industry likes image of O.C. surf brands [The Orange County Register :: ]

(Orange County Register (CA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 15--Several Orange County surf brands received honors at the annual Surf Industry Manufacturers Association Image Awards, bringing more than 700 industry-insiders to the National Grove of Anaheim on Thursday night.

There were plenty of local brands that were no strangers to the stage. L(ASTERISK)Space, located in Irvine, once again beat out major surf brands to win the Women's Swim Brand of the Year for the seventh consecutive year. The company has nabbed the award each year since the category was introduced in 2007. Costa Mesa-based Hurley for the sixth year won Men's Boardshort of the Year with their Phantom Fuse 2.

"We love what we do," said Ryan Hurley, creative director for the brand. He then pointed to the crowd at pro surfer Rob Machado. "Rob is the first guy who said 'make me lighter, faster and more flexible'." The SIMA Image awards were started in 2003 to celebrate the success of the surf companies, many of which started in garages and went on to become multi-million-dollar brands. Nominees are decided by a panel of industry experts, and the winners of the 16 categories are decided by SIMA members and retailers.

Costa Mesa-company Rip Curl won two awards, the first for its "My Bikini" women's marketing campaign, and for the third year in a row, the "Wetsuit of the Year" for their its Flash Bomb Plus..

"We want to thank all our retail partners, who sell the dream every day. Hopefully we're keeping everybody as warm as possible, constantly through the entire year," said P.J. Elbing, director of technical products at Rip Curl.

Huntington Surf and Sport, whose flagship sits in Surf City at the corner of Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway, took home Men's Retailer of the Year. The store also won this same award two years ago. The store has expanded in recent years, adding about 3,000 square feet and building a new wetsuit section.

Owner Aaron Pei credited his store employees, including his two sons and daughter, and others who have worked for the shop for 30 years.

"We have an army here, they are all responsible for the magic at Huntington Surf and Sport," Pai said. "Surfer owned is the best, and we are surfer owned." A special nod was given to Jack's Surfboards for its efforts during the "Stokes Me" fundraising campaign. About 30 stores and companies got involved to raise $60,000 for 11 ocean-related various causes in the SIMA Humanitarian fund. Jack's, based in Huntington, raised more than $1,800 by asking customers to add $1 to their purchases.

"It was our pleasure to be part of such a good cause. It was something we really cared about," said Sammy Captain, general manager. "We pride ourselves in giving back to the community." Other winners included: -- San Clemente's Stance won Accessory Product of the Year for its socks; -- Cypress-based Vans won Footwear Product of the Year for its Surf Siders; -- Roxy, located in Huntington Beach, won Women's Apparel Brand of the Year; -- Costa Mesa-based RVCA won Men's Apparel Brand of the Year; -- New company Roark Revival, based in San Juan Capistrano, nabbed Men's Marking Campaign of the Year.

More information can be found at: Contact the writer: ___ (c)2014 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) Visit The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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