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Oakley Surf Shop Challenge at Typhoon Lagoon Wave Pool

Oakley Surf Shop Challenge | Typhoon Lagoon Wave Pool Surf Contest | Surf Park Central

2014 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge Southeast Qualifier; Typhoon Lagoon, Orlando, FL; August 11th, 2014
Photo: Patrick Ruddy / Oakley

The 2014 Southeast Oakley Surf Shop Challenge was held at Typhoon Lagoon wave pool giving 40 of Florida’s best surfers the chance to get their shred on.

The second attempt at holding the 2014 Southeast Oakley Surf Shop Challenge at Ponce Inlet proved fruitless last week, with no contestable waves on tap. Fortunately organizers got creative and relocated the sixth of seven Regional Qualifiers to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, giving 40 of Florida’s best surfers from 10 different shops the chance to get their freshwater shred on.

Daniel Glenn boosting during the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge at Typhoon Lagoon Wave Pool | Surf Park Central

Quiet Flight teamrider Daniel Glenn tosses up a nighttime boosts in high-definition. “It’s only my third time here,” Glenn said. “But this venue is different and exciting. Who doesn’t want to surf in a wave pool?”
Photo: Ruddy / Oakley

With consistent waves barreling across the manmade concrete sandbar, Heat One set the pace for the rest of the day with the top three teams (Sunrise, IWS and Rip Curl) standing out as clear frontrunners to win the event. The relocation required some format changes, though, which made for an interesting challenge: only 150 waves could be ridden, each team would be split into two heats of five, and the top five teams would go on to the Final. 

Trever Challenor surfing Typhoon Lagoon during Oakley Surf Shop Challenge

Aqua East’s Trever Challenor lays down a buttery frontside turn on a wobbly late-set wave. Style is still style, even when it comes in a chlorinated pool.
Photo: Adam Bartoshesky

Watching the final was like watching a roller coaster with highs and lows for each shop as they jockeyed for the lead to hold the top points. Red Dog opened strongly with Noah Schweizer achieving a mid-range 7 on his second wave. But without the help from double whammy surfer, Eric Geiselman, the team fell short. This was also the case for Surf Station, who changed out their double whammy surfer from Dustin Richardson to hometown hero Gabe Kling. In heat one, Gabe dropped an 8.03, but was unable to match that result in the Final.

Tristan Thompson blasting fins free at Typhoon Lagoon Wave Pool during Oakley Surf Shop Challenge

Once the final got fully underway, it was clear that Sunrise, who’ve won the event six times in a row, would be a force to be reckoned with. New team member Tristan Thompson went big as the squad’s lead-off surfer.
Photo: Ruddy/Oakley

Rip Curl had a strong campaign throughout the event, but due to some unfortunate breaks and an early double whammy claim from Jeremy Johnston, the team ended their night in the 3rd-place position. The real battle came when Tanner Strohmenger from IWS upped his score by two points, totaling 6.67. This put the pressure back on defending champs Sunrise, who had won this contest six times in a row, with a couple of national championships thrown in for good measure. Final Sunrise surfer Dane Jefferys needed a 4.12 to take the lead and give Sunrise the win, and he ultimately delivered, sending on an all-expenses-paid trip to Central America to vie for the National Championship.

Evan Thompson power hack at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Wave Pool | Oakley Surf Shop Challenge

Evan Thompson, who batted third for Sunrise and kept them in contention with his trademark power hacks.
Photo: Ruddy/Oakley

After spending four months traversing the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea working on yacht, Tanner Strohmenger was no doubt ready to reassert him self in the surf world. He and his IWS teammates definitely thought they had it after his second wave in the final. But Sunrise somehow pulled out just enough to win by less than a half a point total.

Sunrise claimed its seventh consecutive OSSC Southeast title, and ninth overall, meaning they are pretty much The Men forever. Here’s what Tristan Thompson, Evan Thompson, Ryan Briggs, and Jefferys had to say about their strategy: “The pool definitely added some nerves in the beginning, but we eventually got used to it and got the chainsaw effect going. Also, it’s important to have the shop guys on a good wave, and out here tonight we didn’t have to worry about that, so the pool definitely made for an even playing field. Special thanks to Oakley, SURFER Magazine, New Era, Futures Fins, Watermans Sunscreen, and Banzai Bowls for putting this event on. We’ve won it now seven times and we couldn’t be more thankful for the support of everyone!”

Tanner Strohmenger surfing Disney's Typhoon Lagoon during the Southeast Oakley Surf Shop Challenge

IWS’ Tanner Strohmenger, who recently returned to the states after several months spent working on a yacht cruising the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, was ready to reassert his claim to Typhoon Lagoon fame (he placed 2nd here at the 2010 Quiksilver King Of The Groms). Tanner’s 6.67 in the final pulled IWS into the lead to finally dethrone Sunrise as Oakley Surf Shop Challenge Southeast champions…
Photo: Ruddy/Oakley


1. Sunrise Surf Shop, 34.03

2. Island Water Sports, 33.76

3. Rip Curl New Smyrna, 33.06

4. Red Dog Surf Shop, 25.70

5. Surf Station, 22.64

The full article above was posted on August 20th by Nick McGregor on

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