Fall 2018: Ventura Surf and SUPer Grom Clinics
Check out the video action at these links:
In between the Pacific Paddle Games in Dana Point and the Red Bull Heavy Water in San Francisco (mid-October 2018), Kim and I road tripped up the coast. On the way we stopped in Ventura for two exciting events including a non-profit kids clinic. InZane Super Groms Kids Clinics teamed up with Pure Stoke for the clinic. The other event was the Ventura Paddle Surfing Championships. This was a blast as we lined up some great swell and got to partake in not only the SUP surf division but also one of California’s first hydrofoil surf divisions. I was super stoked to take the double win for the weekend. Actually, no matter what the result, I always walk away with a learning experience to improve my game for the next event.
SUPer Grom & Pure Stoke
Once in Ventura we went straight into our kids’ clinic with the Super Groms. We enjoyed a great turn out of about 10 to 15 kids throughout the afternoon. They were all filled with stoke and discovered a connection with nature and a passion for the ocean through Surfing and SUP. It’s always a pleasure and a rewarding feeling to be able to share our love for the ocean and our passions for surf sport with the keiki on my travels. Mahalo to all the #SuperParents and volunteers for bringing the kids down to have some fun and connect with nature. I love seeing kids open up to a new activity with passion. Teaching first time surfers has always been just as much fun for me as it is for my students!
After getting charged up with Pure Stoke and the clinic it was on to the Ventura competition the next day.
Surf: SUP and HydroFoil
No matter what event I am in, I always expect to find a growing and or learning experience where I can improve my performance and competition Surfing. This event was especially exciting as we competed in one of California’s very first Hydrofoil surf competitions. We were also blessed with a lot of swell while in California from recent hurricane activity off the west coast. In Ventura we scored some great conditions for competition. The competition took place at California Street and we had waves from waist high to head high delivered with super clean California conditions.
The break at California Street is predominantly a right but there were some fun lefts coming in from the west swell. This gave a lot of riding opportunity during the event with the rights that ran along the rock-point break along with quick punchy lefts. Great for airs. I chose my 7’2” x 24” pro model by Starboard to compete on as this is always my go-to board for competition and high-performance sup surfing. The goal is to meet the judges’ scoring criteria of speed, power and flow. For the Hydrofoil division I chose my Hypernut 6’9” x 23” with the Go Foil Kai setup- the waves were hollow and fast with head to overhead sets for hydrofoil. For those conditions, I ended up borrowing a Go Foil Kai Model from my cousin Andrew Quine who lives in Santa Barbara. This was because the only foils I had with me on this trip were the Starboard Wave 1700 GoFoil Iwa 1700.
Competing and Learning
After advancing on in 3 heats of sup surf and 2 heats of the Hydrofoil, I made it into the final for both events. The last day of the weekend’s competition was my kind of day with action in multiple heats and divisions throughout the day. In the sup surf final, I had California’s aerial tosser, Daniel Hughes, Anthony Maltese of Southern California and Caroline Angibaud of France advancing through the Open Sup divisions. Caroline was taking out men to get into the final. It was an airshow!
In the Hydrofoil final I surfed with Kent Hardley and Chris Gutzeit of the Cloud IX team who are also both local boys. Going out and having fun on the hydrofoil is one thing, but starting to wrap your head around judging criteria and how this new sport should be judged was definitely a fun challenge. I decided to serve the foil with similar criteria to surf competition, with speed, power and flow along with length of ride and utilizing multiple wave rides with pumps back out. Even in waves around head high the hydrofoil makes for a really exciting session, especially with some of the sets that reeled down the rock point with a hollow pocket where we were hitting speeds of 18mph+. I had a blast throughout the final and think I flew riding or pumping almost the entire heat. As long as I didn’t get disqualified for too many rides I felt I had a good chance for the win!
At the end of the epic weekend of action and at the awards ceremony I was stoked to come out on top and walk away with the double win! In the Sup surf my good wave selection paid off allowing for some long rides with combinations of maneuvers. The judges must have enjoyed the Hydrofoil heat, because the 3 of us competing in the Finals did for sure! I’m really looking forward to more Hydrofoil and Foil surf events in the future!!