Industry News 6/2/2015

EVENT: 26th Annual Waterman's Weekend Dates Set, Honorees Announced

The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) will honor six-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore as Waterman of the Year; Jane’s Addiction frontman, Lollapalooza creator and environmental activist Perry Farrell as Environmentalist of the Year; and patriarch of surfing’s first family, the late Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The 26th Annual Waterman’s Weekend will be held August 14-15, 2015, at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, Calif. The weekend begins Friday, August 14, at the Monarch Beach Golf Links with the Waterman’s Classic Golf Tournament, and concludes on Saturday, August 15, with the Waterman’s Ball and Auction.

Stephanie Gilmore, six-time world surfing champion, will add the title of 2015 Waterman of the Year to her long list of accomplishments. Born and raised in northern New South Wales, Australia, Stephanie has dominated women's professional surfing since she entered the scene in 2007. She won her first world title as a rookie, followed by three consecutive world titles - an accomplishment no other surfer has achieved in the history of men's or women's surfing. Beyond her six WSL world titles, Stephanie also has 24 Elite World Tour victories and has also been awarded both the Laureus World Sports Award in 2010, considered the most prestigious award in action sports worldwide, and the ESPN ESPY for Best Female Action Sports Athlete in 2011 and 2013.

“Steph has been one of surfing’s most dominant forces in the decade,” said SIMA President and Vans VP/GM Americas Doug Palladini. “Not only is she a fierce competitor and gifted athlete in the water, but she’s also a great representative for surfing culture at large and an excellent role model. Steph is always smiling, showing compassion, and inspiriting those around her. It’s a tremendous honor for SIMA to present Stephanie Gilmore with the 2015 Waterman of the Year award.” 

Best known as the frontman for Jane’s Addiction and creator of the Lollapalooza music festival, Perry Farrell is also an avid surfer and protector of our ocean environment. Perry and his wife, Etty, are frequent Waterman’s Ball attendees making him the ideal recipient of the 2015 SIMA Environmentalist of the Year title. He has also been a long-time supporter of Surfrider Foundation, which in 2004 paid tribute to Perry’s years of support by honoring him with its “Keeper of the Coast Award.” 

“Determining who to honor as Environmentalist of the Year is taken very seriously by the SIMA Environmental Fund Board of Directors every year,” said Paul Naude, SIMA Environmental Fund President. “With Perry, it was a very easy decision to make as he loves to surf, has come to Waterman’s with his family frequently and backs it all up by getting involved. Perry loves the ocean and his work with Surfrider Foundation is worthy of our thanks.”

Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, is the patriarch of the family that came to be known simply as the “First Family of Surfing” thanks to the decision by Doc and his wife, Juliette, to give up his career as a physician and live a life on the road so he could surf. A graduate of Stanford Medical School in 1946, Doc’s life as a traditional, for profit physician was somewhat short-lived as the desire to surf became a stronger calling. Doc and Juliette became parents to nine children, and they raised their family on the road using surfing and personal life experiences as the only education they needed. In 1972, Doc founded a surf camp run by his family where campers could live alongside and surf with the Paskowtiz family. The honor of Lifetime Achievement Award recipient could not be more apropos for Doc Paskowitz.

“Doc epitomized some of the best qualities of a true surfer and dedicated most of his life to sharing those with others,” said Naude. “For someone of his caliber to give up life as a doctor and raise nine kids on the road so they could all surf and experience life on the front lines is just amazing. Doc truly dedicated a lifetime to achieving what most surfers only dream of doing.”

The two-day fundraising event benefits the SIMA Environmental Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation that awards grants to various environmental groups based on their dedication to preserving and protecting the world’s oceans, beaches and waves. Last year marked the 25th Anniversary of the Waterman’s Ball which attracted more than 600 people and raised close to $400,000 for 20 ocean conservation groups. A list of the 2015 Waterman’s Weekend environmental beneficiaries can be found at

Sponsorship packages for both the 2015 Waterman’s Golf Classic and Waterman’s Ball are currently on sale. Individual tickets for the Waterman’s Ball are scheduled to go on sale in mid-June. For more information or to reserve a sponsorship package, please contact Kelly Keenan, SIMA Event Manager, by calling (949) 366-1164 x 3 or by e-mailing