Kevin Cody

South Bay Boardriders Becker Surf contest in Manhattan Beach tests small wave surfing

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Sophia Arky and Mimmi Sullivan jockey for position in the shore pound during Saturday’s SBBC Becker surf contest in Manhattan Beach. Photo by Kevin Cody

When South Bay Boardriders Club president Tom Horton and contest directors Wright Adaza and Matt Walls looked at the 26th Street, Manhattan Beach contest site early Saturday morning, they discussed postponing the event. But instead, they honored the club’s tradition of never canceling a contest unless conditions were unsafe.

The decision proved to be the right one. The early heats, when the tide was high, tested the contestants’ ability to pull into 2-foot shore pound. But as the tide went out, the outside sandbars began offering longer rides and more maneuvers.

Becker Surf manager Bob Rich with the custom made awards presented to the winners in 11 divisions.

Almost 200 surfers competed in 11 divisions, ranging from assisted micro groms (9 and under) to legends (45 and over). Sponsors Becker and Subaru Pacific gave away two surfboards and five Body Glove and Billabong wetsuits.

“It was worth all the work to see the stoke on everyone’s faces,” Adiza said after Dana Point mom Paige Zelasco, who drives her daughter Bethany to contests up and down the coast, told him the SBBC contests “are the best run on the California Coast.”

Adaza credited the contest series’ success to Mike Balzer for serving as its director for nearly a decade. The club founder recently resigned from the SBBC board. ER

In addition to serving as president and contest director, Mike Balzer also photographed the club’s contests. Photo by Ken Pagliaro


South Bay Boardriders Becker Surf contest result, Saturday, Febury 26, 2017 at 26th Street in Manhattan Beach.

Early morning high tide and fast breaking shorepound challenged surfers in the Open and Junior Women’s competitors Photos by Kevin Cody


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