Submissions are in, votes are tallied and the 2015 GoPro Challenge has crowned its first winner. C.J. Hobgood (USA) claimed the contest outside the contest with this glide-in at Cloudbreak that had the rest of the channel roaring.
The GoPro Challenge asks competing World Surf League (WSL) athletes to submit their own GoPro videos from the competition venue and surrounding areas, with clips accepted starting two days prior to the contest window and no later than the conclusion of the event. Epic conditions at the Fiji Pro and the Fiji Women's Pro made for some fantastic shots, but none more so than Hobgood's serene barrel ride toward the sunlight.
The winning video was selected by a panel of five judges -- three from the WSL staff and two from GoPro -- based on cinematography, degree of difficulty of shooting, perspective and overall beauty and lighting. Each requirement held equal weight.
Since his video was taken outside of the contest, Hobgood will receive $10,000 for his winning video, ticking off all the boxes of the judging criteria and using editing techniques that give the video a heightened sense of drama.
Want to know how to shoot winning clips? Check out this tutorial.
Hobgood's sunlit barrel was one of an array of stunning videos submitted by the elite men and women of the Samsung Galaxy Championship Tours. Here are some of the other nominees:
The next GoPro Challenge will be at the Billabong Pro Tahiti, Stop No. 7 on the Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour, which kicks off August 14. Check out all the submissions to the Fiji GoPro Challenge here.