Shortboard winner Tommy “Oatmeal” Lusk. photo by Haven
On Saturday, August 2nd the International Surf Festival Surf contest took place in two to three feet waves just south of the Manhattan Beach Pier. With the first heat paddling at 7:30am, morning sickness greeted the contestants. By mid morning, the tide filled in and the onshore breeze chilled out providing favorable peaks.
Cody Stamis. photo by Brad Jacobson
Shortboard 16 and up division winner,Tommy Lusk has many nicknames like “Oatmeal,” and “Tom Deep.” After shedding over 80 pounds over the last year, don’t call him a “fatty.” Lusk connected with the corner pocket rights with solid multiple whacks all the to the beach. Second place finisher, (and last year’s winner) Cody Stamos was only .5 behind Lusk. Stamos did the most critical hits of the contest. In the final, he was only one turn away from beating Lusk. Rumor has it, Lusk was on “victory,” lap through the many restaurants and bars in his home neighborhood of the Riviera Village after the contest still wearing the medal.
photo by Brad Jacobson
Long or short, Candace Stalder did one of the most radical lip hits on her Dan Cobley blue longboard during the women’s final popping off the top and sticking it straight on the flats. In the closet heat of the contest, Stalder placed 2nd. Sofia Bartlow gets the “aloha” award of the day. Chipper and full of energy, she alternated longboard and shortboard throughout her heats and placed fourth place. Her and 5th place finisher Tamara Lentz (who also surfed the Men’s Longboard) also surfed in the SUP contest. Local Ripper Sara Korogi just couldn’t connect on any set waves, but still managed 3rd with her light footed hits. Winning the division, Sarah Curren nailed two set waves at the very end.
Sophia Bartlow on her backside. photo by Brad Jacobson
Master of the “whirly bird,” “360,” “tail 360,” “fin first take off,” and “fin first take off shuv-it,” local longboarder Dave Schaefer knows every performance longboarding trick in the book. He took his slip sliding act to the top of the podium for first. Tamara Lentz is everybody’s idol. As well as being a champion stand-up paddler, Lentz knows her way around 9 feet of foam, placing 2nd and being the only lady in the Longboard Division. Abel Ibarra had the smoothest style in the contest and casually placed 3rd.
Dave Schaefer . photo by Brad Jacobson
The 11-15 grom division showcased the future of the South Bay surf scene. Although being one of the younger contestants, Cody Purrell took home the bacon with his aggressive lip smashes. Following him in second, Nathaniel Harris took to the rights of the pier and with figure-eights, Mike Purpus-esque “round-house” cutbacks all the way to the beach. Matt Hodges connected a few rides to the inside for 3rd.
In a style reminiscent to a young Jamie Meistrell, Joey Simola used his quickness to milk all parts of the wave for first place. He’d find the power crevices on the nooks of every wave, taking it to the inside for a major rollercoaster fins-free maneuver. Second place finisher, Charlie Wanuiter placed second by connecting rights off the pier.
Rodney Buckk hanging heels. photo by Brad Jacobson
In the under 21 longboard division, it was refreshing seeing most competitors ditch the cord. Winner Ryan Ulrich, hogged the nose on the lefts and got a few solid lefts. Rodney Buck, shot the pier and had a few lip bounces for second place.
Mike Purpus is a switch hitter. The legend used every trick in the book, switching stance as he pleased for the victory in Legend’s Division. Abel Ibarra continued his smooth more traditional approach for second. Surfing well the entire contest, Biff Collins blasted the lip on the lefts for 3rd.