Coming to X Games Foz is a collection of the world's most talented surfers, assembled for the first-ever installment of Real Surf.
Kelly Slater, the 11-time world champion, heads the list of invitees as a heavy favorite, but he has his work cut out for him. On April 2, when Real Surf fan voting begins, Slater will face off against fellow world tour rivals Jordy Smith, Josh Kerr and Gabriel Medina, as well as free-surf phenoms Matt Meola, Albee Layer, Chippa Wilson and Dion Agius.
Best waves, best maneuvers, best clips: Every surfer has spent the past several months dialing in their video submission. With X Games gold and $50,000 on the table, there's a lot at stake.
Due to technicalities with his video part, Julian Wilson withdrew at the last minute. He will be replaced by Maui's Albee Layer, the winner of Taylor Steele's 2012 Innersection contest. Layer, along with partner-in-crime and fellow Real Surf competitor Matt Meola, stands at the forefront of progressive surfing. With a full repertoire of aerial maneuvers at his disposal, as well as some serious chops in big surf, Layer is a well-rounded and extremely dangerous addition to the Real Surf lineup.
Video edits will be scrutinized by the distinguished Real Surf judging panel, which includes filmmakers Taylor Steele and Kai Neville, pro surfer Brad Gerlach, and Transworld Surf editor Chris Cote. The top three finishers will receive X Games gold, silver and bronze medals, as well as the aforementioned cash prize. Follow Real Surf on Twitter at #RealSurf. The "fan favorite" award will be determined by popular vote via XGames.com/realsurf.
Round 1 voting runs April 2-8. Round 2 voting is April 9-15, and the final round will be April 16-21. Winners will be announced during the X Games Foz broadcast between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET April 19 on ESPN.