What is surfing? Is it a sport? A spiritual escape where one becomes intertwined and closest with nature? Or is it just people goofing around in the water? Depending on who you ask and at what point they are in their life you could get any one of these answers; and for me it’s a bit of a combination of them all. Sunday was leaning heavily more towards the goofing around side when we held our second annual Haoleween Surf Contest at Morro Rock in Morro Bay.
The swell forecast for Sunday was double to triple over head waves (15-18ft feet) and as I pulled into the dirt parking lot, the weight of the situation came down like the dense fog that surrounded the beach. Should we cancel? Move it to Corners on the other side of the rock where the waves are more sheltered and smaller than the North Western side that is a magnet for big swells corduroying their way down the pacific coast like a pair of hipster cutoffs? After unloading the coffee and muffins from my truck and surveying the empty line up where bomb after bomb rolled through, I decided what the hell, lets run it! After all I was judging it and didn’t have to paddle out anyway. So after a brief explanation of the format and rules (pretty much aren’t any), had everyone sign a waiver to please not sue me when they drowned, and a couple blasts of the airhorn the first heat was in the water. Paddling their old school longboards leash-less into the daunting maxing out surf. After a few cleanup sets everyone made it out and started picking off makeable (and lots of not makeable) set waves. The bar was set high right out the gate with a man dressed in doctor scrubs walking his board and nose riding like a ballet dancer while a high school kid that couldn’t have weighed more than 50 pounds soaking wet charged some absolute bombs while in a full orange convict jumpsuit before snapping his 3 inch thick surfboard clean in two and probably himself in the process. From there the highlights kept coming with Buzz Lightyear nose riding cleanup sets with reckless abandon while a cat delicately danced around on the inside lefts. The finals snuck up on us quickly and with money still on the line the standout Beer Man and Rambo both stood up on the same wave, and while still gliding across the wave face, cracked open beers and chugged them all the way into the sand. It was just what the day needed and they easily took home the cash for best party wave. The standout surfer and first place prize went to Rocket Man who not only caught some of the biggest sets of the day but also styled out and swung his vintage fiberglass tuna boat sized board around with effortless style. The awards ceremony back at the pub was awesome with tacos and beers being thrown back like we were all just found after spending a month lost at sea. We cannot wait until next year and hope to see everyone and more back again next year.
Here are the results from the contest:
1st place: Jackson Newel AKA Rocket Man
2nd place: Ryan Blackburn AKA Beer Man
3rd place: Kev Vanderzel AKA Doc
Grom Off: Seth Scoggins Hulla Bro
Best Burn: Aaron Young AKA Skeleton
Party Wave: Ryan Blackburn AKA Beer Man and Chad Jackson AKA Rambo
Hardest Charger: April Denny AKA Mermaid