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Oakley Helps Return Surfing to Summer X Games With "Real Surf" Video Contest

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Surfing is back in the X Games (kind of). This year, beginning in Brazil, the X Games audience will get to see the best airs and barrels, hacks and power turns from the likes of Jordy Smith, Gabriel Medina, 11-time world champ Kelly Slater and five other big name surfers, as they contest for an X Games Gold Medal. The twist: the action will be packed into 90-second video clips and part of the inaugural “Real Surf” presented by Oakley contest.

“Surfing’s a perfect sport for something like the X Games Real series,” said Jake Howard, the Surf Editor for XGames.com. “A lot of times an athlete’s best performances come outside of contest arenas, and this celebrates that side of the sport. Surfing’s unpredictable and spontaneous, everything is all so dependent on the conditions, being in the right place at the right time, as well as being in the right rhythm. Real Surf allows surfers to put their best out there for people to see.”

“Real Surf” follows in the footsteps of similar X Games contests for Skiing, Snowboarding and Skateboarding, all of which were very well received by the action sports community. The concept is meant to pair the world of free-riding with a competitive format to create content that is both innovative and entertaining. The format brings together decorated contest surfers (Smith, Medina, Slater, Josh Kerr) and puts them up against some of the top freesurfers (Matt Meola, Chippa Wilson, Albee Layer, Dion Agius) for an interesting depiction of where surfing stands today.

“I think it’s super cool to have surf back in the X Games,” said Jordy, whose clip features some incredible barrels at Kirra. “Surfing is progressing so fast at the moment with all the flips being made and guys paddling huge waves like Jaws. I had so much fun filming my section over the summer, trying to get clips every surf. I hope it’s received well by the public and this is the beginning of something huge.”

Voting began on April 2nd for the first round and will continue through April 21st, when the winners of the Judge’s Vote and the Audience Vote will be announced in Foz do Iguacu, Brazil on the final day of X Games competition. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are up for grabs in the Judge’s Vote, along with a $50,000 check for the winner, while the winner of the Audience Vote will win $10,000.

“Hopefully [Real Surf] means a lot of people get really excited about what these athletes are doing and it inspires them to go out and surf and push their own boundaries,” Howard said. “It’s inspirational to see what these guys are all capable of when there are no restrictions put on them. They all have their own interpretations of what progressive surfing is, and it’s great to showcase that, celebrate that and have surfing involved in X Games.”

Check out all of the “Real Surf” edits and vote for your favorite.