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Why You Should Never Not Paddle Out

How an impromptu 30 minute session made a Jamaican surfer $1,000 richer.

// Mar 30, 2023
Words by Coral McDuffee
Reading Time: 2 minutes

“Our surf scene is still so small, there’s so need to beat the crowds — most days we’re just looking for friends to surf with.”

This ire-inducing quote comes from Shama Beckford, a professional surfer from biggest little surf scene in the Caribbean: Jamaica. That said, it was only matter of time before the world’s friendliest surf contest washed ashore in Rasta Robb’s spiritual homeland.

Featured above is the 10th edition of the Bum Rush surf comp, where Sun Bum shows up on a random day at an undislcosed spot, posts its flag in the sand, and hands out $1000 to the surfer who impresses them most. Scoring is subjective, and the Jamaican judging panel included the smiling Shama Beckford, along with sister and brother duo, Imani and Icah Wilmot.

With the sound of the horn, the swell flexed and the panel spit fire. While unsuspecting competitors put on career-best performances, Shama one-upped surfing’s formerly most poetic commentator, Strider Wasilewski, with lines like “tries to blow that tail into a reverse, but that one was not properly rehearsed.”

More free styling commentary in surfing please.

After 30 minutes in exceptionally fun surf, a victor was chosen, doused in champagne, and hoisted into the sky with a $1,000 check.

Let Elim Beckford’s windfall serve as an inspiration for us to never not paddle out — even if time’s tight, your child’s in the ICU, or you worked late the night before.

Technically, a Bum Rush could get called on anytime, anywhere. And you wouldn’t want to miss out on that ca$h money.


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