Saturday Session at Oak Street

Very small wind swell but beautiful weather downtown Laguna Beach on Saturday. Lots of people out skimming, including a family all the way from Arizona. Great vibes, lots of fun! Here are few pictures taken by Tex.

 

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Santa Cruz Skimblast

What a great weekend it was in Santa Cruz, CA. Different location from the usual 26th avenue spot, the contest took place at the Seabright State beach. Gassy and overcast in the morning, sunny and a bit windy in the afternoon, there was plenty of great rides for the Skimblast Pro/Am.

Pictures by Olivia Roberts

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Saturday Session at Thalia

Super fun Summer time Saturday Session Downtown Laguna Beach. We brought hot coffee and donuts for everyone! Yew!

 

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Look back at the VIC 2006, by Tex Haines

My pavlovian response (dog hears bell and salivates because food usually accompanies the bell) the stimuli of an approaching contest is to go into a nervous state of fear and loathing. It starts 4 weeks before and I don’t recover until a week after the event. Fear that the waves won’t show up and 160 contestants will be exceptionally critical of the judging. Fear that some judging scandal will nullify all our efforts to give back to the sport. Loathing that in spite of all our efforts over the years, a certain percentage of the population will cynically label the whole effort as a big advertisement for Vic. A little reciprocity would be nice, but that isn’t the point.

We do it because we feel it is the right thing to do for the community, not necessarily for us.

Anybodys team rider can win. The risk of a lawsuit is enormous.

This years contest was a strange experience for me. I relaxed a bit and I monitored Triggs efforts to try online contest registration, and manage sponsor support, and all the million other details. I was to cover the jobs of acquiring permits and insurance, and scaffolding, and oversee the basic organization of the event and set up and tear down each day.

The-VIC-2006-2

It was very, very nice to have a less stressful July, for once in the last 30 years.

But, it was hard too. Hard to watch some of the critical details slip away. Hard to watch the judges selection. Hard to watch the carefully planned timetable slip away as tardy contestants and slow transitions between heats took their toll.
There are at least 100 fine points to skimboard contestants. Such as making sure the heats are well divided. Making sure the judges represent a variety of areas. Keeping the heat director on his toes to maintain the flow. Monitoring the cut-offs and stepping in quickly to discourage that tactic.

The devil is in the details. Why 12 minutes? Why 7 waves? Why rights and lefts? All these critical numbers have been arrived at over our 30 years of experience. 5 waves in 10 or 12 minutes leads to too many ties. 7 waves stresses the contestants just like the long rough at a golf championship. Mandatory rights and lefts are important, because that too provides critical separation between the contestants. What? You can’t go left and you think that is unfair? If the other guy can….he beats you. Grow up, lifes hard. It is a fundamental part of any test to find out what are the weaknesses, and the skills, and to separate on that basis. We welcome suggestions and have always tried to implement them if possible or reasonable.

So. Having taken my time out…. I am eager to get back into it next year. Pavlovian response? What choice do I have?

But, look for a lot of changes. It will probably be an invitational. Your entry form will be critical to the process. On it, you must list any contest finishes that will qualify you to enter.

Look for the formation of the Laguna Beach Skim Club. It will resemble the San Onofre Surf Club. It will be a community effort to run the contest or contests, and represent us in all matters political with the city and county. Next year the county wants to raise our permit fee from $300 to $5000 which would pretty much wipe out our budget for the pro purse. Why? Because the county sees the contest as a giant advertisement, a big promotion which garners Victoria increased sales even though the event itself looses several thousand dollars every year. The club will be a legal non-profit, with elected officers from Laguna and geared toward the general promotion and running of the World Championships.

On another note. What about Allyance? As you may know big sponsors are very, very hard to come by. We are still a very small, niche sport, well hidden behind the biggies, surfing, skateboarding, basketball, football, soccer, snowboarding etc.
Did you know bodyboarding does not have an official magazine? Did you know that there is basically no contest circuit for this sport. No one is going to walk up to a pro skimmer and offer him thousands of dollars to promote their product. Why? Because we are just not there yet. It will take the Pros organizing their own organization, electing and paying their own officers to represent them and lobby for sponsors and events to promote them. NO ONE IS GOING TO DO IT FOR YOU. We manufacturers can’t charge hundreds of dollars extra for our products just to support a rich contest circuit.
We will continue to do our best. But like the womens volleyball tour, there was nothing to win, until the pros themselves got organized and began paying their professional dues to make it happen.
Who will lead this? Who will take on the hard jobs working the phones and soliciting sponsors? How will you pay them?
Time to get going. Before you wind up like the bodyboarders. NO ONE IS GOING TO DO IT FOR YOU. And if you hire someone to do it for you, expect to get ripped off. That’s too easy.

We do it to give back to the sport. We minimize the advertising opportunity for Victoria. The focus is a celebration of skimboarding.

So look for a notice in the next month or so for the first meeting. We have enough dedicated parents and retired skimboarders to make this work. Meetings will be in the sand, at Aliso, on Saturday mornings, once a month. First meeting will see the choosing of officers and a division of the key jobs.

Tex

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Cabo Clasico! Congrats John Weber!

It was a classic dual. Johnny W.  vs. Bullo, vs. Scott Flores aka “Scrappy”. Representing a wide range of ages, the most local took the early lead. Bullo got several great rides early on, and it looked like a forgone conclusion that the guy who sees it the most would take it again. Then, in the last few minutes, the points aligned, and Johnny Weber caught a flurry of good rides. I switched positions right at this point, from barely in the dang shade of the rock, to the opposite position up the beach. I guess that shows what a change in perspective can do. My memory is lousy these days, and I’ve know this since I was 10, look mom, no “D’s”. But I recall one of his last waves was a tough wrap into a bottom box no bigger than than my knees. He nailed it, driving a long way, folded like only he can. I think that did it, but we will all learn for sure tonight at the party in 3 hours.  After much eating and drinking beforehand with the crew.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, brings all the best riders together like the Cabo Classico. North America and Mexico are brothers in kind for a weekend that lasts a year until the next weekend in 2018. Thank you Diego, Jorge, and Alfredo Sr. and Jr. Chimy, Nick, Kane, and anyone else who helped in this contest. Your shade was the best place to be, thank you so, so much, I will never forget my small umbrella again.
I was actually kind of glad that it was not pumping like two years ago. I spent three terrifying days on the beach worrying that someone was going to get seriously hurt. This year was mellow by contrast, but equally challenging, in the sense that good rides were few and far between. At least that’s how it looked to me. Actually once the competition began, the shear creativity of the riders revealed dozens of gems.
Yesterday we hustled down early to Lovers to run the Pros. The plan being to come back to the hotel for the Amateurs.  The plan was good, the wind held off, even blowing gently from the South, the 100’s of leaping stingrays were feeding on phytoplankton all over the place(I learned today from Jaime) and the sider was working noticeably better than the day before. The hunt for action kept the riders constantly moving between wraps at the secondary and siders starting next to the rocks.
Congratulations to all the riders. That second round of the Pros was brutal. Some really good riders were beat, and bummed, but some new faces emerged. How many times did I see a complete reversal of standings in the last few moments of a heat? Lady luck makes our sport a gamblers dream. The intense calculations, on the faces of the riders at the 5 minute and 3 minute countdowns is plain to see. Where do I stand, what are my odds, what do I need. You can’t always get what you want, but if you ask sometimes, you’ll get what you need. Pardon the inaccuracy of the lyrics.
Other cool stuff. Jack Howie prones out on a sider and stays with it to pop up to his feet and get the next best legal thing to sex. The judges all look at each other and simultaneously ask, was that legal indeed? YES! Of course, if you think about it. He never left his board, it was a legit way to keep going, and before the end of the contest I saw 4 or 5 other riders repeat the same strategy. Let’s just say, it was a tough sider to catch.
Jack also earned the highest score I gave that day. (5 being an average ride in that division,which for a pro is hardly average) He launched out the back in a rail grab and to his surprise pulled a full end over end rotation to land it dead flat on the water. It was the end over end which takes it way past the Westyloop which we have all seen a few times. That was worth an 8 on my card.
So here I am, waiting for the news. Looking forward to tonight. I have included a fair number of group shots. The sun having the magical power to get people to squeeze into a very small space. Shade and Cabo and some friendly competition. That’s about as good as it gets.
– Tex
Photos by Laguna SoCal and Tex

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