Annual longboard contest brings three days of aloha to O’side

Annual longboard contest brings three days of aloha to O’side
Alex Altamirano hangs toes over the nose of his longboard at a past Oceanside Longboard Surfing Club Contest. The 32nd annual contest begins this weekend. Courtesy photo

OCEANSIDE — Beginning Friday, three jam-packed days of longboard and standup paddleboard surfing competition will honor tradition and show off new moves at Oceanside Pier.

Aug. 12, 13 and 14 bring the 32nd annual Oceanside Longboard Surfing Club Contest. It is one of the few surf competitions that includes tandem and noseriding categories.

Tandem competition judges couples’ performance as pairs ride in on one board. Men balance both the surfboard and the woman they hold. Women, who must weigh at least half the weight of their surfing partner, strike gymnastic poses while lifted overhead.

Another unique category is the 16th annual noseriding competition. Boards between 9 feet and 10 feet 3 inches are marked with tape 24 inches from the nose. Competitors are judged on how long they keep both feet in front of the line during their ride. It’s all about “time on the tip.”

There is also pro open and longboard surf club competitions, as well as standup paddleboard surfing heats. More than 30 longboard Coalition of Surfing Clubs will participate, including a strong representation of clubs from California, and teams from North Carolina and Texas.

Gretchen Harris, team captain for Oceanside Longboard Surfing Club, said competitors are judged on waves and maneuvers. She said younger standup paddleboard surfers use shorter 8-foot paddleboards, and perform as many tricks as short board riders.

Other competitions include a paddleboard team race, and adaptive surfing between top paraplegic athletes.

Surfing legends will also show off their skills in an exhibition heat. Harris could not confirm the list of legends for this year. Previous years have included Mickey Munoz, LJ Richards and David Nuuhiwa.

On shore there will be a festival village with vendor and food booths. Village highlights include Hawaiian dancers and a luau diner on Saturday.

Harris said the contest and festival are about gathering to surf, and supporting youth surfing and the surfing community. Proceeds go to local high school surf teams and the California Surf Museum. It’s all done for the love of the sport.

An award ceremony will be held on Sunday to divvy up a $5,000 prize purse for the the Guy Takayama Pro Open, and sister $5,000 prize purse for the Guy Takayama Pro Noseriding competition.

Top winners in other categories will be awarded trophies and gain bragging rights.

Events take place from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. during the three-day contest.

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