It’s almost time to make the annual trek down to Cabo for SIMA Surf Summit, and this year’s nominees have just been announced.Check them out, along with some memorable photos from last year’s awards.

Here’s the press release from SIMA:

The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) is proud to announce the list of nominees for the seventh annual SIMA Image Awards, the only awards program that gives the surf industry the opportunity to recognize fellow surf industry companies for their outstanding contributions to the industry.

The goal of the SIMA Image Awards is to identify the surf industry’s most influential companies and recognize them for their efforts to advance and grow the industry over the past year. This year, companies will be recognized in 15 categories: Accessory Product of the Year, Environmental Product of the Year, Footwear Product of the Year, Surfboard Model of the Year, Wetsuit of the Year, Men’s Marketing Campaign of the Year, Men’s Apparel Brand of the Year, Men’s Boardshort of the Year, Men’s Retailer of the Year, Women’s Marketing Campaign of the Year, Women’s Apparel Brand of the Year, Women’s Swim Brand of the Year, Women’s Retailer of the Year, Breakthrough Retailer of the Year and Breakthrough Brand of the Year.

“SIMA is excited to announce a very deserving line-up of 2009 Image Award nominees,” said Dick Baker, SIMA chairman emeritus. “To be a final nominee is an honor as each category received more entries than ever this year. We hope all nominees are stoked, as they were selected by their peers from a very competitive group of entries. This speaks to the growing reputation and influence of the SIMA Image Awards, and we look forward to honoring this year’s nominees at Surf Summit.”

2009 SIMA IMAGE AWARDS NOMINEES

OVERALL AWARDS

Breakthrough Brand of the Year

Criteria: Recognizing the small- to mid-size men’s or women’s brand that experienced breakthrough growth between January 1 and December 31, 2008. Consider surfboard, apparel, footwear, wetsuit and accessory brands that had a breakthrough year through product development and/or increased brand recognition and appeal. Nominated companies can be new or established brands, but must have annual U.S. sales of at least $1 million and no more than $25 million.

  • Atwater
  • Firewire Surfboards
  • Sanuk Footwear
  • Skullcandy
  • Von Zipper

Breakthrough Retailer of the Year
Criteria: Recognizing the specialty retailer with 15 U.S. brick and mortar doors or less that experienced success in 2008. Consider the specialty retailer that had a breakthrough year in terms of sales and increased store recognition and appeal.

  • Coastal Edge, Virginia/NC
  • Hanger 94, San Diego
  • Heritage, New Jersey
  • K-5, Oceanside
  • Quiet Flight, Florida

MEN’S AWARDS

Men’s Marketing Campaign of the Year

Criteria: Awarded to the men’s apparel, footwear, wetsuit, hardgoods, accessory or media brand that produced the most creative marketing campaign in 2008. Consider men’s brands that displayed a creative, cohesive and consistent brand message in print, digital and point-of-purchase materials. Campaign must have first appeared in consumer print publications with an on-sale date on or before October 1, 2008 (approx. the October or November issues of endemic magazines.)

  • …lost’s “The 'Old’…lost” Campaign
  • Billabong’s “Evolution of an Icon” Campaign
  • Hurley’s “Phantom – True Performance” Campaign
  • Nixon’s “Motion” Campaign
  • Sanuk’s “This Is Not a Shoe” Campaign


Men’s Apparel Brand of the Year

Criteria: Awarded to the men’s apparel brand that featured the most exciting designs, increased its brand appeal, and grew its business between January 1 and December 31, 2008.

  • Billabong
  • Hurley
  • O’Neill
  • RVCA
  • Volcom

Men’s Boardshort of the Year
Criteria: Awarded to the boardshort product that featured the most exciting design, appeal or innovation between January 1 and December 31, 2008.

  • Angulator Mod by Volcom
  • Metallica Limited Edition by Billabong
  • My Dog Spot by Quiksilver
  • Phantom® 120 by Hurley
  • TIA by O’Neill

Men’s Retailer of the Year
Criteria: Awarded to the specialty retailer that featured the best selection, product mix and merchandising in the men’s category between January 1 and December 31, 2008.

  • Hansen’s Boardroom, Encinitas
  • Huntington Surf & Sport, Huntington Beach
  • Surfside Sports, Costa Mesa
  • The Beach House, Santa Barbara
  • Whalebone, Virginia/NC

WOMEN’S AWARDS

Women’s Marketing Campaign of the Year
Criteria: Awarded to the women’s apparel, swimwear, footwear, wetsuit, hardgoods, accessory and media brand that produced the most creative marketing campaign in 2008. Consider women’s brands that displayed a creative, cohesive and consistent brand message in print, digital and point-of-purchase materials. Campaign must have first appeared in consumer print publications with an on-sale date on or before October 1, 2008 (approx. the October or November issues of endemic magazines.)

  • Billabong’s “Fever” Campaign
  • Hurley’s “Young Contemporary” Campaign
  • L*Space’s “What’s Your L?” Campaign
  • Roxy’s “Ia Orana (Hello Tahiti)” Campaign
  • Volcom’s “Easy on the Eyes” Campaign


Women’s Apparel Brand of the Year

Criteria: Awarded to the women’s apparel brand that featured the most exciting designs, increased its brand appeal, and grew its business between January 1 and December 31, 2008.

  • Billabong Girls
  • Hurley
  • Roxy
  • RVCA
  • Volcom Girls

Women’s Swim Brand of the Year
Criteria: Awarded to the women’s swim brand that featured the most exciting designs, increased its brand appeal, and grew its business between January 1 and December 31, 2008.

  • Billabong Girls
  • Hurley
  • L*Space
  • Roxy
  • Volcom

Women’s Retailer of the Year
Criteria: Awarded to the specialty retailer that featured the best selection, product mix and merchandising in the women’s category between January 1 and December 31, 2008.

  • Becker, Corona Del Mar
  • Hansen’s Boardroom, Encinitas
  • HSS Girls, Huntington Beach
  • Jack’s, Irvine
  • Spyder, Hermosa Beach

PRODUCT AWARDS

Accessory Product of the Year
Criteria: Awarded to the accessory product at retail between January 1 and December 31, 2008 that featured the most exciting design, appeal or innovation. Accessory products such as watches, eyewear, bags, fins, etc. can be considered.

  • Double Agent Headphones by Skullcandy
  • Infiniti Drylock Boot by Xcel
  • iPhone Application by Electric Visual
  • Master Blaster Headphones by Nixon
  • Ultimate Tide Watch by Rip Curl


Environmental Product of the Year

Criteria: Awarded to the most exciting, appealing and/or innovative environmental surf product at retail between January 1 and December 31, 2008. Consider apparel, footwear, accessory, wetsuit, surfboard or any other surf-related product that was created to lessen the impact on the environment, whether through its manufacturing process, materials or usage of the product itself.

  • Recycled Boardshort Series by Billabong
  • Slightly Choppy Eco-Friendly Boardshort by Quiksilver
  • Soleo Organics Sunscreen by Soleo
  • Stash Sandal by Reef
  • V.Co-Logical Creedlers Sandal by Volcom

Footwear Product of the Year
Criteria: Awarded to the footwear product at retail between January 1 and December 31, 2008 that featured the most exciting design, appeal or innovation.

  • Authentic by Vans
  • Dr. Simmons by Reef
  • Kia’i by Olukai
  • Sidewalk Surfers by Sanuk Footwear
  • Surf Turkey by O’Neill

Surfboard Model of the Year
Criteria: Awarded to the surfboard model at retail between January 1 and December 31, 2008 that featured the most exciting design, appeal or innovation.

  • C4 Waterman Subvector 9-3 Stand Up Board by C4 Waterman/Boardworks
  • GTR by Rusty Surfboards
  • Proton by Channel Islands
  • Shane Beschen Rocket by …lost
  • Taj Pro Model by Firewire Surfboards

Wetsuit of the Year
Criteria: Awarded to the wetsuit at retail between January 1 and December 31, 2008 that featured the most exciting design, appeal or innovation.

  • Cypher by Quiksilver
  • H-Bomb by Rip Curl
  • Infiniti Drylock Fullsuit by Xcel
  • Psychofreak by O’Neill Wetsuits
  • Solution Gold Back Zip Fullsuit by Billabong

All regular and board builder SIMA members were given the opportunity to enter their own companies or brands, and retailers, in any qualifying categories. These entries were then reviewed and voted upon by an industry panel of experts from both the manufacturing and retailing sides. The outcome of the panel vote determined the five nominees in each category. Winners will be determined by a final vote open to all SIMA member companies, as well as specialty retailers. The main contact at each SIMA member company can expect information for final voting this week. For more details on the entry and voting process visit www.simaimageawards.com

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony during SIMA Surf Summit 12 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, May 6-9, 2009. The awards ceremony will again feature a video component highlighting and introducing each nominee and winner.