An Eccentric Surf Event (In Florida, Naturally)
Where tackling your opponent is a scoring maneuver and $100 bills rain from the sky.
You know the old cliche: “the best surfer is the one having the most fun?”
Yeah, well, that’s bullshit at a professional surf contest. Fun doesn’t win money. At least not until last Saturday, at the Saint Augustine Pier in Florida, where Fat Tire revived a two decades old surf contest concept called the Single Fin Hoe Down, wherein a bunch of talented surfers — men and women, shortboarders, longboarders, pros and local rippers alike — compete in a single division on boards of every shape and size, so long as they only have one fin. All for $10,000 in cash.
For the Hoe Down concept, “compete” was a loose term. Drop-ins were OK. Bad attitudes resulted in immediate disqualification and any sort of heat strategy was a sure way not to make your heat. Wigs and costumes were encouraged. And while good surfing was still the main focus, there were many other ways to make money. Like a WWE takedown on a surfboard. Or ripping in a way-too-revealing speedo.
Contest director/head judge Chris Ropero started the morning with pockets brimming with cash, sending $100 bills flying on the spot for anything he deemed deserving from the first heat through to the final. All the while, the day raised over 5k for two very deserving charities: Task Force Hydro1 and SurfearNegra.
By the end of the comp, the field of 40 was down to 10, including pro surfers Noah Schweizer, Cody Thompson, Chauncey Robinson, and Sally Cohen (all the way from Hawaii), as well as former-CT’er Gabe Kling, and local legends Josh Autrey and Alex Hobbs. The waves for the final were pumping (by Florida standards), looking something like a small day at Upper Trestles, and so the surfers (mostly) dropped the costumes in favor of actual legitimate single fin surfing.
At the end of the final, Noah walked away $3000 richer for riding a retro-inspired diamond tail shaped by Ken White the same way he would his normal thruster: blowing tail down the beach, linking old-school turns with style and flair.
“Airlines Hate Me:” Bad Boy RyRy’s Guide To Surf Travel
Want to get pampered at the pointy end of the plane for free?
What Happens When You Borrow A Pro’s Board?
Joyride: The Shrizz from PANDA surfboards.
UPDATE: People Are Still Surfing ‘La Jetee’ in Reunion Island
Returning to the best & sharkiest air wave in the world, as seen in Mod…
These Are Your Favorite (Female) Surfers
What the Stab reader survey teaches us about taste.
Fear And Loathing in Mainland Mex
Parker Coffin, Harry Roach, and the Roark crew embark on an authentic Oaxacan (surf) trip.
While Everyone Flocked To Tahiti, Kelly Stayed in Jbay
...And proceeded to rip the hell out of it on a "borrowed" 5-finned Tomo.
Can A GQ Cover Boy Take Out Teahupo’o?
Kauli Vaast is your incredibly handsome Tahiti trials winner.
Watch: Ramble On With Caity Simmers
An action-rich tour behind the scenes of her triumphant first voyage to Oz.
PSA: Surf Filmers Not Welcome In Nicaragua
Cameras and drones are being seized on arrival, Stab spoke with two recent visitors.
Inside The Alternative Surfboard Marketing Machine
Two of the biz's best — Matt Parker and Blake Peters — spill many beans.
The Tragic Parallels Between The Murder Of Ricardo Dos Santos & 8x World Jiu Jitsu Champion Leandro Lo
Two Brazilian sporting icons killed brazenly by off-duty police officers.
The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: In The Belly Of The Beast
Finger flips, shaping with Zion Wright, slurpees, Hawaiian takeovers, and the king of Surfline rewinds.