O’Neill is the company to watch in 2008 for one reason -- his name is Jordy Smith. In a bidding war that would have made George Steinbrenner proud, O’Neill locked up Smith, Surfer Poll’s 2007 Breakthrough Performer, to a contract that is rumored to make him surfing’s youngest seven-figure man. Look for O’Neill to continue their spending spree based off of one simple principle -- if you’re going to spend the money to buy a Ferrari you don’t just let it sit in the garage, you take it out and show it off. On the California front, O’Neill has assembled a team that, top to bottom, may quite simply be the best and most productive crop of young California talent. Tim Reyes, the Gudauskas brothers, Nat Young, and Nick Rozsa are all expected to have big years in ’08. Throw Smith and super grom John John Florence into the fold at an international level, and that’s a scary talent pool to work with. Makes you wonder what they have up their sleeve for an encore in ’08?
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