You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Surf contest at Lower Trestles brings friendly competition, fierce rivalry

Orange County Register 4/22/2022 Laylan Connelly, The Orange County Register
Three-time world champion Tom Curren surfs for the Santa Barbara Board Riders during a West Coast Board Riders Wheat Cup Qualifier at Lower Trestles, south of San Clemente, CA on Thursday, April 21, 2022. The event brings surf clubs from across the country for three days of competition to claim the first-ever U.S. Board Riders Club National Championship. © Paul Bersebach/The Orange County Register/TNS Three-time world champion Tom Curren surfs for the Santa Barbara Board Riders during a West Coast Board Riders Wheat Cup Qualifier at Lower Trestles, south of San Clemente, CA on Thursday, April 21, 2022. The event brings surf clubs from across the country for three days of competition to claim the first-ever U.S. Board Riders Club National Championship.

Hundreds of wave riders from beach towns along the California coast, and across the country, are battling for bragging right at Lower Trestles this weekend.

The famed cobblestone surf break just south of San Clemente is host for three days of competition through Saturday, April 23, to crown the U.S. Board Riders Club national champions.

It’s the biggest gathering of board riding clubs yet, a new wave of community-based groups that has turned surfing into a team effort, rather than an individualistic pursuit.

The action will culminate with the top team from the west going up against surf clubs from across the country to claim the first-ever U.S. Board Riders Club National Championship.

The event, put on by the West Coast Board Riders and the newly formed U.S. Board Riders Clubs, partnered up with surf brand Quiksilver for the friendly, but fierce, competition.

Thursday’s West Coast Board Riders Wheat Cup Qualifier pit teams from Santa Barbara, Northern Los Angeles, Carlsbad, Oceanside and Newport Beach against each other.

The top teams will battle it out Friday for the Wheat Cup Championship, going up against San Clemente, Santa Cruz, Encinitas and reigning champs Huntington Beach. The top two will move on to Saturday’s championship to go up against teams from across the country.

The West Coast Board Riders was founded in 2016 by friends Casey Wheat, Ziggy Williams and Chris Moreno as a way to unite city surf clubs through friendly competition “with a deep passion for surfing and positive movement, always paying it forward to those following behind us,” organizers said.

The first two days of competition are held in honor of Wheat, who died in 2020 at age 49.

When the trio first started the West Coast Board Riders, word spread of the club and other cities wanted to create their own and soon surf clubs started popping up in beach towns up and down the coast.

Wheat, who was inducted last year into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame, said in 2017 he had been inspired by the 200 or so surf clubs around Australia that hold competitions, mostly for bragging rights.

“Basically, what we did was spark the movement and started calling out other cities. Anytime you call someone out, it’s going to tap into their ego,” Wheat said in a 2017 article about the growing surf club movement. “It brought together the community, and that brotherhood from people from the same city.”

Related Articles

Taking note of how far the clubs have come since the first event that pitted Huntington Beach against Seal Beach, Quiksilver recently joined to sponsor the efforts.

“All of us at Quiksilver are excited to partner with WCBR for multiple events this year and participate in the continued momentum to protect our oceans and share the love of surfing,” Quiksilver founder Bob McKnight said in an announcement.

Don Meek, a longtime surf contest promoter, took it one step further and this year created the U.S. Board Riders Club, a nonprofit that aims to grow the kinship across the country.

To date, there are about three dozen affiliated board riders clubs, including 16 on the West Coast, eight in South Jersey, two in the Mid-Atlantic and eight in Florida, with more planned from Hawaii to North Carolina.

“We will have 50 clubs by the end of the year,” Meek said.

The main goal is “creating connection in your local community for all the generations who surf,” he said.

It’s more than just contests, he said, other gatherings are organized that build communities, such as beach clean ups, fishing trips and teaching kids how to excel in the waves and on the land.

“The future is local,” Meek said, comparing the board rider clubs to youth soccer clubs, only parents get to be on the same team as their kids. “It’s all about connecting in your local community.”

The final day of competition will be shown live on Fuel TV. For more information, visit Westcoastboardriders.com

©2022 MediaNews Group, Inc. Visit ocregister.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon