Stab Magazine | Surfing Picks Up Its Courtesy ESPY Nomination

Surfing Picks Up Its Courtesy ESPY Nomination

Help John and Tyler win an award they most likely won’t.

news // Jul 3, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Who doesn’t love John Florence? Especially this year. He’s been in a league of his own (despite currently resting second in the rankings). Remember his performance at Margaret River? Yeah, it’ll forever be engrained in our minds, too. 

A sad reality, however, is that our boundless gratitude for the young Hawaiian is (gasp) esoteric and (somewhat) unknown outside of surfing. But, that can be changed. And you can help.

How? Well, every year these things called the ESPYS roll around. They’re like the Academy Awards of athletics. Suits and ties, plaques, trophies, acceptance speeches, nominees rubbing shoulders with Hollywood types, a charismatic athlete-turned-semi-actor cracking one-liners in between video highlight reels and running it all. It’s a commercialised corny mess that still manages to draw value and media attention. So, everything the WSL awards show aspires to be.

John’s Margaret River performance alone should yield an award (aside from an event win), don’t you think?

And this year, Mr Florence, alongside current women’s number one Tyler Wright, has been formally invited to join in. The two standing World Champions have been nominated for ESPYS in the “Best Action Sports Athletes” category. A grouping that figures like snowboarder Shaun White, skater Nyjah Huston and Travis Pastrana have won in years past.

It’s not the first time surfers have made the shortlist of nominees. Back in 2014, Carissa Moore and Grant Baker were up for the same award. But neither went on to win. In fact, surfers haven’t had the best track record at the ESPYS, particularly the men. The ladies have had a bit more luck, with Stephanie Gilmore winning once in 2011 and again in 2013, Maya Gabeira winning in 2009 and Sofia Mulanovich winning in 2005.

Tyler’s tube game, as you can see above, is oh so very strong. Let’s get her to join the ranks of past ESPYS winners Stephanie Gilmore, Maya Gabeira and Sofia Mulanovich.

So if John were to win this year, he’d be the first male surfer to do so. He’s up against Nyjah Huston, Norwegian freestyle skater Oyster Braaten and Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris. Likewise, Tyler is up against Austrian snowboarder Anna Gasser, American skater Lacey Baker and Estonian freestyle skier Kelly Sildaru. 

The ESPYS are voter-run, so John and Tyler’s fate rests in the hands of the people. Which is a bit ominous, considering how wild the democracy rollercoaster has been as of late. But don’t let that stop you from letting your voice be heard. A win for both John And Tyler might not garner anything more than giving surfing bragging rights over the skaters and snowboarders for a year, but shouldn’t that be enough motivation on its own? 

You can vote for John here and Tyler here. Winners are announced at the ESPYS on July 12. Here’s to hoping John and Tyler leave Los Angeles with a crinkled up acceptance speech in one hand and a first-place trophy in the other on the 13.


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