Considering the prestige it holds, the Australian Surfing Awards is one of those annual events that can easily pass without most surfers knowing it happened. This year, in its 36th edition, it was made even more obscure by the fact there’s a plague raging across six of the world’s seven continents. But COVID-19 be damned, the awards went ahead, hosted by Vaughan and Ronnie Blakey in a fittingly socially-isolated event that screened on Channel Nine on Sunday.

Everyone’s favourite CT rookie, Jack Robinson, took out the blue ribbon Male Surfer of the Year award ahead of Julian Wilson and Owen Wright, no doubt on the back of his stellar performance in Hawaii compared to the other two’s fairly lukewarm seasons on tour in 2019.

Unsurprisingly, Steph Gilmore scooped the Female Surfer of the Year award ahead of Sally Fitzgibbons and 2019 QS winner, Isabella Nichols.

Photo: WSL/Dunbar

Female surfing legend, Jodie Cooper, got the ultimate call-up, getting inducted into the Hall of Fame where her name will live forever alongside a motley crew of fellow icons, including MP, Westerly Windina and Occy.

South Coast charger, Russell Bierke, went back to back in the Heavy Water award, and his 2019 web release ‘Flow State’, made by filmmaker Andrew Kaineder, won the Nikon Surf Video of the Year. Ren McGann’s photo ‘The Right’ took out the Nikon Surf Photo of the Year.

In other awards, Glenn ‘Micro’ Hall was named Coach of the Year ahead of Jake Paterson and Richard ‘Dog’ Marsh, while Peter Owens of the Fight for the Bight Alliance scooped the ASB Greater Good award.

Vaughan Blakey also had the pleasure of giving himself an award after he and fellow Swellian, Jed Smith, took out the Surf Culture award for their podcast series Ain’t That Swell.


Full list of winners:

Male Surfer of the Year

Jack Robinson

Female Surfer of the Year

Stephanie Gilmore

Female Rising Star

Molly Picklum

Male Rising Star

Dakoda Walters

Heavy Water Award

Russell Bierke

ASB Greater Good Award

Peter Owens, Fight For The Bight Alliance

Peter Troy Lifestyle Award

Rob Bain

Coach of the Year

Glenn Hall

Innovation Award

Chris Friend, LiveHeats

Surf Culture Award

Jed Smith and Vaughan Blakey, Ain’t That Swell podcast series

Simon Anderson Club Award

North Shore Boardriders Club

Nikon Surf Video of the Year

Andrew Kaineder, ‘Flow State’

Nikon Surf Photo of the Year

Ren McGann, ‘The Right’