Best surf gear of the year

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It is that time of the year when the big guns of the surf industry get together for their SIMA (Surf Industry Manufacturers Association) meeting, put on their thinking caps and decide what was hot in the year of 2006. What were the most influential surfing brands and products. This is the fifth edition of the surf industry Oscars and without further ado the nominees are: (get ready for lots of lists and links)

SIMA image awards

This year, surf companies will be recognized in 12 categories:

  • Accessory Product of the Year,
  • Footwear Product of the Year,
  • Surfboard Model of the Year,
  • Wetsuit of the Year,
  • Men’s Ad Campaign of the Year,
  • Men’s Apparel Brand of the Year,
  • Men’s Boardshort of the Year,
  • Women’s Ad Campaign of the Year,
  • Women’s Apparel Brand of the Year,
  • Women’s Swim Brand of the Year,
  • Breakthrough Brand of the Year
  • Company of the Year.

SIMA president Dick BakerThe president of Surf Industry Manufacturers Association is Dick Baker and he was stoked and told us: “SIMA  is stoked present a great list of Image Awards nominees, we added more categories and revised the nomination process this year and we’re happy to see this has allowed a wider variety of companies to be recognized for their successes in the past year. At the risk of sounding cliché, all of the nominees should be excited to be in this group as it was your peers and competitors who selected you to be here.”


Surf industry company of the year

This award is not for the coolest company on the block or the company with the best products, this award goes to the company that did best financially, spreading the surf market, improving their performance, being a leader etc.

Breakthrough Brand of the Year

If you do not know them already (unlikely) – you will. This award goes to the movers of the year. It doesn’t matter if they make surfboards, clothes, shoes, wetsuit or surf shaped earings. What it matters is they are small (to medium) and they are on fire:

Ad Campaign of the Year (men’s)

Who got the most creative ideas and who pulled the best men’s advertising campaign in 2006. On screen, on paper in the air, doesn’t matter. Where is the Dynamite surfing ad :)?

  • Billabong’s Boardshort Campaign (visit)
  • Insight’s “Dead Modern” Campaign (visit)
  • Nixon’s 2006 Men’s Ad Campaign (visit)
  • Sanuk’s “Sidewalk Surfers” Campaign (visit)
  • Volcom’s “V.Co-Logical” Campaign (visit)

Clothing of the Year (men’s)

What clothes girls dug most on guys in 2006?

Boardshorts of the Year (men’s)

Surfing in these will add 5 inches to your airs:).

  • Advantage Phantom by Hurley (visit)
  • Andy Irons Rising Sun by Billabong (visit)
  • Bruce Pro Modulator by Volcom (visit)
  • Lopez Freak by O’Neill (visit)
  • Superfreak II by O’Neill (visit)

Ad Campaign of the Year (girls)

Who got the most creative ideas and who pulled the best girl’s advertising campaign in 2006. On screen, on paper in the air, doesn’t matter.

Clothing of the Year (girls)

What clothes guys dug most on girls in 2006?

Swim wear of the Year (girls)

Surfing in these will add 5 seconds to your tube time :).

We’re still not finished.

Surfing Accessory Product of the Year

This is the stuff you just couldn’t leave home without in 2006.

  • 9800 Gear Bag by Ogio (visit)
  • iPod Travel Speaker System by Roxy (visit)
  • Limited Series Sunglasses by Electric Visual (visit)
  • Lodown Tide Watch by Nixon (visit)
  • Vector Tech Foils by Future Systems (visit)

Shoes of the Year

Not just shoes any footwear will do. The most comfortable, good looking and innovative things to put on your feet were:

  • Dram Sandal by Reef (visit)
  • Photographer Series shoe by DVS (visit)
  • Rabbit Kekai Sandal by Olukai (visit)
  • Sidewalk Surfer by Sanuk (visit)
  • Slip-On by Vans (visit)

Barefoot adventure anyone?

Surfboard of the Year

These must be some good boards. In the turbulence of changes in surfboard construction these days, what floats on top can not be crap:

  • Channel Island Flyer 2 (visit)
  • Firewire Flexfire (visit)
  • Merrick K-Small Quad Fin (visit)
  • Rusty EPS Range (visit)
  • Surftech Tuflite Stretch Fletcher Four (visit)

Wetsuit of the Year

These are the wetsuits that take away another degree from your comfort zone water temperature, add another minute to your session or just look so damn good you want to go to work wearing one (and be ready for an afternoon session):

  • F-Bomb by Rip Curl (visit)
  • Infinity Series by Xcel (visit)
  • Mutant by O’Neill (visit)
  • Psycho II by O’Neill (visit)
  • Vapor by Body Glove (visit)

These are the nominees chosen over a few beers by a group of surfing industry experts. They got a big list of candidates that could be submitted by all SIMA members and narrowed it down to five nominees for each category. What was the best piece of surfing gear in 2006? There will be a final vote open to all SIMA member companies that will decide that. I’ll keep you posted.


  • bingo says:

    I I had to choose ;D:
    – Psycho II
    – Firewire Flexfire
    – Dram Sandal
    – iPod Travel Speaker System weeee..i’m a sucker for gadgets
    – no girls clothing, maybe I can choose the best looking models ;D
    – Andy Irons Rising Sun – cooles looking boardshorts ever
    – Volcom –
    – ad campaign – dynamite lol
    – breakthrough – Insight, love them!
    – Volcom, just love volcom

  • kevin says:

    In the last few years everybody started copying Volcom style so i think they deserve some credit for that. Take some random doodling shit from your three year old, a weird animal, a big eye, some pirate head, curly lines, blood drops, mesh it together, sandwash it and you a doone :)

  • kevin says:

    ..done making a Volcom style t-shirt

  • jure says:

    Those Hurley shorts are taking us back to the spandex era. I prefer normal more baggy boardshorts.

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