.

Surf's Up For Boardriders Club

The winners of the South Bay club's first surfing event in this season's series encounter small surf amid 200 competitors in several divisions.

Light offshore winds, clear skies, 1-3 foot surf, and a morning cold snap greeted a record turnout of competitors at 26th Street in Manhattan Beach on Sunday, Dec. 4 during the first contest of the South Bay Boardriders Club's season.

An in-form Rachel Tominaga, who surfs on the Mira Costa High team, won both the Junior Girls division and the Open Womens division, beating second place finisher and veteran surfer Becca Rosen, and third place finisher Natalie Anizivino, who had just returned from a stint on Oahu's North Shore in Hawaii. Anzivino was last season's overall points winner for the women.

Noted South Bay talent Kelly Zaun won the Juniors Boys division, and Ted Robinson, whose big turns were impressive in the misicule surf, claimed the Opens Mens and Masters divisions.

Tommy Ostendorf won Open Longboard, in which female multi-ocean athlete Candice Appleby placed fifth in the otherwise male-dominated division.

Groms, the 12 and under division, was won by Sam Reichel. Luke Snyder won the Micro Groms division and Scott Daley claimed the Legends (50+ years old) division.

Conner Beatty and Wyatt Boyd of the MCHS surf team placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Juniors Boys division.

Said SBBC founding member and professional surf photographer Mike Balzer, “Our last contest [a Manhattan Pier event in May] we thought was our biggest contest for entries, our championships. We had 156 entries—we were on the beach for 14 hours that day. It turns out for this event... we have 200 entries.

“One of the most exciting things is that the reason we wanted to do this [hold the competitive surf series] was for the young kids,” Balzer said. “And those division [for young kids] have grown since May.”

While the surf was small, most competitors still found contestable waves in the trying conditions, and the tiny surf made the longboard heats exciting to watch (as maneuvering longboard sufboards is easier—and more graceful—in small surf).

“I heard about it [the contest] from Anthony at..E.T. [surfboards]... and thought, 'What the heck,' there's not really much going for [professional competitive] longboarding anymore, so I figure: go and do the open division, surf with 'the boys' [men], and get some practice for whenever they run a contest for the A.S.P. [Association of Surfing Professionals] California,” said Appleby.

As a self-described “ocean addict,” Appleby competes in Stand Up Paddleboarding, longboarding, shortboarding, bodysurfing, and life guarding contests.

“I love the camaraderie [of the club]—if you lose it's great, if you win it's better,” said Derrick Compas of Hermosa Beach, who placed sixth in the Boys division. “I would suggest they do something like the Jimmy [Miller Memorial Foundation contest] where they trade boards,” he said when asked if the contest series could be improved. “You're unfamiliar with what you're surfing on [when one trades boards]—that would be really fun.”

When asked if the addition of an SUP surf heat would interest him, Derrick's father Steve Compas of Hermosa beach said, “That's another division for me—let's go ahead and add that.” 

Balzer is aware of the interest in a more diverse offering of divisions.

“We have had a huge amount of people asking for Stand Up Paddle. When I [talked to the] Open Women's competitors, they were going, 'You have to do Stand Up Paddleboarding!'” said Balzer, chuckling.

“The days will get longer—then we can possibly add something” like a new division--without moving into three competition areas or making each event last two days, Balzer said.

“We have 200 entries [as it is], and we're right up against sunset,” even while running two heats simultaneously, noted Balzer, who said that adding a third heat area—or second day of competition—would be the only way to add more divisions to the contest during the months that have less daylight.

  • Photos from the contest: 

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »