The winners of WeAreSurfer's "Athletes of the Year 2015" award have been named.
Wave riding had a pretty intense year. The most skilled surfers, kiteboarders, windsurfers and bodyboarders have, once again, pushed the boundaries of water sports.
Drama, innovation, records, stunts, and impressive personal achievements. The season was full of surprises, emotions, and changes. But there could only be four winners.
The "Athletes of the Year 2015" by SurferToday.com are:
What a year, Mr. Mick Fanning. The Australian had a bittersweet 2015. He started very well with a victory at Bells Beach. A few months later, in June,Fanning learnt to kitesurf. But the second semester was odd enough. He nearly survived a shark attack during the J-Bay Open final, and rapidly confronted all his fears with a stunning performance at Shipstern Bluff. Mick went on winning the Hurley Pro at Trestles, and forced an historically tight world title race. While surfing decisive heats in the Pipe Masters, Mick Fanning heard the news of the loss of his brother. For all he did and taught, he is the Surfer of Year 2015.
In one of the most turbulent years in the history of kiteboarding, Nick Jacobsen proved you don't need to compete in the World Tour to push the limits and bring innovation to the sport. Despite risking his life too often, the Danish rider did things that a normal person wouldn't do. He kite jumped off the top of Necker Island, he threw himself off Azzam's 30-meter mast, he published death-defying videos, and he even leaped off from Richard Branson's house in Moskito Island.
He is windsurfing, and no one seems able to dethrone him. Antoine Albeau had a stellar year 2015. The French bullet won two PWA events (Korea and Fuerteventura) but, most importantly, Albeau broke the windsurfing speed world record during the Luderitz Speed Challenge. The mark is now set 53.27 knots (98.65 km/h). He is fastest windsurfer on planet Earth, and also won his fourth consecutive PWA Slalom world title.
The French backflipper had the busiest agenda in professional bodyboarding. Costes never misses an event, and it doesn't matter if he has to cross the globe to compete in do-or-die heats. Pierre-Louis, now married and headquartered in Portugal, won the Pipeline Warriors (Hawaii), the La Salie Pro (France), the Sintra Portugal Pro, the Annaelle Challenge, and a fourth consecutive European title. He need more passionate riders like Pierre-Louis Costes.
Congratulations to the "Athletes of the Year 2015" by Wearesurfer.net !