A beach party. Night surfing. Big boosts. Jet skis! If the Red Bull Night Riders contest wasn’t lit enough already, the folks who are bringing back the popular nocturnal aerial contest are helping crown a People’s Champ!

That’s right, it’s all part of the Red Bull Night Riders PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD Presented by GATE.

The deets: They want you to vote for your favorite Night Rider from this year’s field of launch-enthusiasts. If you do it, you’ll get a code to redeem a Red Bull from GATE. Meanwhile, GATE will put the winner of the PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD in a red jersey, letting everyone know who reigns supreme in the hearts and minds of surf fans. Oh, and the surfer who receives the most votes will get a cool $1K.

It’s a stacked field this year, so good luck choosing a favorite. Check out the full lineup of competitors below and then vote.

Cody Thompson


Eldest of the trio of Thompsons in this year’s contest, Cody is also the most decorated of the Night Riders competitors. Perennially on the podium, Cody’s got two Night Riders titles under his belt. In between punting big airs at home and chasing tubes abroad, Cody helps other Northeast Floridians achieve their fitness goals via his training studio, Thompson Performance in Atlantic Beach. We’ll see him putting those workout gains to good use on Nov 22. 

Eric Geiselman

The eldest of yet another famous set of Florida surfing brothers, New Smyrna Beach’s Eric Geiselman made a name for himself by taking flight. As comfortable on rail as he is in the air, Geiselman’s also no stranger to the Red Bull Night Riders event–he competed here in 2010. Though he’ll be flying in from his current homebase of San Clemente, Geiselman remains a fan fave in Florida.

Evan Thompson

If the Jacksonville Beach Pier represents a home field advantage for anyone, it’s Evan Thompson. The middle sibling of the competing-Thompsons, Evan has won the Wavemaseter–the renowned Jax Beach Pier surf contest–six years in a row. With a fledgling surf instructing business, Thompson Surf School, he’s also likely to be a fan favorite, with his many charges cheering him on from the beach. 

Balaram Stack

Though the intellectually revered magazine, The New Yorker, once dubbed him a “local hero,” Long Island, NY’s Balaram Stack is widely regarded as the people’s champ of the East Coast. When it’s big and heaving, Bal’s on it. But when it’s playful and puntable–ala typical EC conditions–he’s out there boosting with the boys. No stranger to the Night Riders contest, Stack’s likely to feel right at home under the lights in Jax Beach.  

Tristan Thompson

Youngest of the Thompson trio in this year’s contest, Tristan first found the top of the Night Riders podium in 2014. He was 18. And since then, amazingly, his air game has grown. Another likely local favorite–he stacks the wax and slings blades at Sunrise Surf Shop down the street from the pier–Tristan will be gunning to edge out his elder siblings, as well as a trio of famous interlopers from up and down the coast, to bring home his second Night Riders crown. 

Cory Lopez

Photo: Ruddy

Though he likely needs no introduction, famed Floridian and former CT’er, Cory Lopez is one of the best surfers the Sunshine State has ever-produced. His storied career and competitive accomplishments haven’t led him to forget his roots, though. Each year, Lopez puts on the Bred 2 Shred contest at Ponce Inlet. Still frothing like a grom himself, the 42-year old Lopez will be whipping in and trying to soar above the field of young whipper-snappers on Nov 22. 

This is a special sponsored feature in partnership with Red Bull.