Creed gliding before a packed point. Photo: Billabong
The Burleigh Single Fin Festival Is Coming
Beers, bands, and pre-1985 boards et cetera all at Burleigh Point this weekend. Oh, and there's some surfing too.
At Pipeline in 2018 Joel Parkinson retired from the World Tour. A few months later we witnessed him don a rash vest sooner than we ever envisioned and then take out the Burleigh Single Fin Festival.
This weekend, Parko amongst many others will return to Burleigh for the first single fin fest of the decade. More than just a comp, the festival is a nostalgic throwback to those classic Stubbies events from the 70's; it's a celebration of a bygone era of surfing and the high-performance surfing which can be achieved on these oft-forgotten boards.
It's too late to sign up—online entries filled within 90 minutes of going live—plus I don't think anyone would be game against the scheduled line up.
Pre-1985 is the criteria, so no you can't take your new $1500 log out there.
Last years winner Joel Parkinson will be returning, as will the '99 World Champ Mark Occhilupo, core lord Brendan Margo and his son Micah, Novocastrian icon Luke Egan, as well as previous winners Creed McTaggart, Harrison Roach and a plethora of other names such as my personal favourite Mitch Crews. For the women there'll be the likes of big wave temptress Laura Enever, the jivey Jaleesa Vincent, and graceful Felicity Palmateer. And in the grommies the 'styled-beyond-his-years', Jai Glindeman, and Burleigh locals, Rico Haybittle and Chez Bos.
All surfers have to ride boards shaped pre-1985; there's no jazzed up modern numbers allowed here. And as the event's title suggests, they must have only one fin.
Over the weekend there'll be three events: the men's, the women's, and a junior event. While the surfing is what draws most of us, there'll also an abundance of food, beers, and stalls to peruse over the two days of festivities. All of this will of course be rounded out by the biggest party the point hosts each year: live, music, beers courtesy of Gage Brewing (who fortunately have a beer named Single Fin), and based on years prior a lax police presence.
One time World Champion, two time Single Fin Fest winner, Joel Parkinson.
While we're still nearly a week out from the event, there looks to be some decent-ish swell on the horizon—3-4 foot from the east. So while we mightn't witness cracking Burleigh, we won't be watching Parko and Occ tic tacking across ankle biters.
"It's basically the best vibe you could ever get for an event". Mitch Crews said amidst last year's Sunday wrap."Events like this are letting surfing stay core. It’s honestly as sick as it gets."
So, if you're in the region, clear your weekend schedule and spend it plonked on your ass at Burleigh Point. And if you're not in the area, well, stay tuned to our own and the Bong's gram for live stories and footage.
Get there early!