Surfers from various surf shops around San Diego County compete in the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge held in 2-3 foot surf at Seaside Reef in Cardiff on Friday. Photo by Bill Reilly
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Surf shop showdown

ENCINITAS — After a one-year hiatus, the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge is back. The regional qualifying series kicked off March 25 at Seaside Reef in Cardiff.

The event series pits four-man surf shop teams (two shop pros and two shop employees) against each other.

The winning team from each of the seven regional qualifiers wins an all-expense-paid trip to Southern California to compete in the National Championship for a $5,000 prize purse, grand prize trip to the 2016 SURFER Poll at Turtle Bay on the North Shore of Hawaii and title of America’s Most Core Surf Shop.

In two-to-three-foot surf, it was team SurfRide from Oceanside that placed first in the finals, beating out the Rusty Team out of La Jolla, Surf Ride in Solana Beach, Sun Diego in Carlsbad, and Clairemont.

The challenge concludes either July 7 or July 8 at Ala Moana Bowls, South Shore, Hawaii.

Surfers warm up prior to the start of the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge held at Seaside Reef in Cardiff. Photo by Bill ReillyCompetitors gather around the judges' tent to review the competition rules prior to Heat 1. Photo by Bill ReillyThe 2016 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge kicks off on March 25 at Seaside Reef in Cardiff after a one-year hiatus. Photo by Bill ReillyCompetitors prepare to head out for Heat 1 of the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge held at Seaside Reef in Cardiff on Friday. Photo by Bill ReillySurfers from various surf shops around San Diego County compete in the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge held in 2-3 foot surf at Seaside Reef in Cardiff on Friday. Photo by Bill ReillySurfers from various surf shops around San Diego County compete in the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge held in 2-3 foot surf at Seaside Reef in Cardiff on Friday. Photo by Bill ReillyEncinitas resident and professional surfer Damien Hobgood surfs during the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge held at Seaside Reef in Cardiff. Photo by Bill ReillyDamien Hobgood paddles over the shoulder as he watches a competitor do a floater over a small section of a clean wave during the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge. Photo by Bill ReillyDamien Hobgood heads to the competitor tent after surfing in his heat. The Oakley Surf Shop Challenge was held in 2-3 foot surf at Seaside Reef in Cardiff. Photo by Bill Reilly