Longboard contest offers tradition, world-class surfers and ohana

Longboard contest offers tradition, world-class surfers and ohana
Oceanside Longboard Surfing Club contestant Richie Cravey’s noseride in 2015. Photo courtesy Pat Weber

OCEANSIDE — While most enjoy the expected fun that for-profit surf contests bring to local beaches, the 33nd annual Oceanside Longboard Surfing Club Contest provides a unique experience.

It brings surfing tradition, legends, homegrown top talent, and a sense of “ohana,” or family, to Oceanside Pier.

The three-day contest runs from Aug 11 to Aug. 13. Each day is packed with action water sports competition. There is longboarding, noseriding, tandem teams, paddleboard races and exhibition matches between teams of doctors and military surfers.

Surfing legends who will be present include club founding member and 1964 World Surfing Champion LJ Richards, and 1979 No. 2 ranked women’s surfer Jericho Poppler.

David Nuuhiwa will be “one to watch” during the noseriding competition.

Guy Takayama, legendary longboarder, shaper and contest organizer, said the 17th annual pro-am noseriding event draws top surfers who can stall the board as they spend time on its front 24 inches.

The noseriding event calls for competition on a 9-foot or longer board without a leash. The top two scores for each rider are compared to determine the winner. Noseriding competition takes place Aug. 11 and Aug. 12.

The tandem surfing competition will have more than eight pairs facing off. Expected 4- to 6-foot swells will add to the challenge of riding the board while holding a partner overhead.

Among tandem competitors are top pairs who have competed for 12 years, and will be vying for another win this year.

Team longboarding is the main event. Eighteen Coalition of Surfing Clubs will compete with four team surfers in each contest age/gender division.

The Windansea Surf Club, of San Diego and surrounding areas, is a longtime rival of the Oceanside team, which can brag all local talent.

Most event competitions carry a $5,000 prize purse that will be distributed among the top eight winners.

On the beach a festival village will feature live music, Polynesian dancers, a craft beer garden and food and product vendors. Bing Cosby, Jr., Oceanside Longboard Surfing Club president, describes it as “a big beach party.”

Add to that the aloha spirit of the event, which sparks fun impromptu moments, such as ukulele jam sessions with Takayama in the festival village beer garden.

Contest proceeds support Guy Takayama Foundation efforts, which provide college scholarships for underserved youth. Proceeds also support The California Surf Museum, the Scholastic Surf Series, Oceanside High School and El Camino High School surf teams and the Stella Maris Surf Association.

The longboard competition and noseriding event are series that also hold events in Texas and Virginia. Profits from all competitions support local charities.

The Oceanside Longboard Surfing Club Contest takes place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 11 to Aug. 13. Competition times will be posted and announced at the event.

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