After the final tally, the people have spoken. Dane Reynolds edged out nine-time World Champ Kelly Slater in a two-week-long public vote for ten spots in the WPS All-Star event, which runs during this summer’s U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach.
Each user was able to cast 10 votes out of a field of 60 surfers, which included the ASP Top 44 as well as young innovators like Clay Marzo and Julian Wilson and living legends like Tom Curren and Occy.
“I think it’s great to have the people see who they want to see. It gives them a voice,” last year’s World Champ and U.S. Open runner-up Mick Fanning said. “I guess people really wanted to see Dane. He is probably the most exciting surfer on the planet right now and people want to witness that first hand.”
In years past, all the hoopla that accompanies the U.S. Open would often overshadow the actual surfing. But starting last year, Hurley put in the hard yards to draw some of the sport’s greatest talent to the HB Pier.
“The U.S. Open is a huge spectacle with so much energy going on, it’s wild,” Fanning continued. “It all depends on how you’re feeling so this could be good and bad. But I think it’s pretty fun and different.
And the now six-star PRIME WQS event, which will be a vital turning point in the new “One Ranking” ASP system, will also bring the fans the surfers they want to see through the WPS All-Star event.
“The U.S. Open of Surfing is just as much about the athlete as it is about the fan,” says Hurley VP of Sports Marketing Pat O’Connell. “And when we’re able to recognize greatness and elevate the experience both in the water and on the beach, everyone wins.”
Of course, it’s still up to the individual athletes to accept their nomination and participate in the event. But here’s how the final tally played out:
1. Dane Reynolds
2. Kelly Slater
3. Jordy Smith
4. Clay Marzo
5. Rob Machado
6. Julian Wilson
7. Taj Burrow
8. Mick Fanning
9. Andy Irons
10. Dusty Payne