Morning mist & hazy minds met up at the temple and moved in military fashion to set the stage. Dawn broke to the beach bustling with preparatory movement, in no time at all the two story judging booths and tent areas were up. Banners lined the boardwalk, transforming the area into an oversized art gallery. The light offshore wind slowly pushed away the fog to reveal… a lot of swell and a very low tide. The only waves braking at this early hour were way, way out. What we call the 'Bombie'.
The leader board arrived riding a pulse of early morning spectators and a truck laden with Deus Custom sliders of all shapes and sizes. Rides from 4’11” to 9' plus! The surfboards were numbered and laid out for our unique selection process. You spin the front wheel of a Deus Custom motorcycle, pull the brake and where the spokes lay, we had a graphic numbered wheel trim, marking the fortune or misfortune of the contestant. As the first heats drew their selections, the tide rose just enough to give the waves some tooth on the inner reef and pitched.
Our very own ‘Monty’ and ‘Mars’ show, amused the masses with witty quips between their beer sips. The crowd were in for great show as the competitors delivered a mixture of cover ups, carves and cutbacks, not to mention some awesome bone rattling wipe-outs. Luckily only a wee drop of bloody was spilled upon the reef. A scratched back here, a split toe there. All adding to the show as we chewed through the heats. The sun climbed towards its apex and the crowd hit the shaded areas. Many quenched their thirst with the plethora of free ales from Storm Beer. Others relaxed their eye muscles behind RAEN Sunglasses or their bodies on their bean bags. While others energised themselves with a can of Redbull. The tonsil tussle or verbal wrestle continued to heighten. One upmanship bolstered the ongoing banter blasting out from the commentators box.
With heats on high rotation, as was the front wheel which randomly chose their rides. Competitors were advised to paddle out early to give them a chance of getting ‘out back’. It was a good ten minute paddle through pounding shore break to the line up. A combination of strong currents or confused competitors meant some didn’t make it to the scoring area at all! Those that did still had their work cut out for them.
Some close heats and friendly rivalry throughout led us to a final featuring heavy hitters, Tai 'Buddha' Graham, Ellis Ericson, Jason ‘Salsa’ Salsbury and Tyler Warren . The extended heat was a style showcase literally causing goosebumps on the bodies of captivated crowed members. The judges looked bewildered as the highest scoring waved shifted from competitor to competitor.
The final call went unannounced at the beach. Finalists having to wait until the evenings entertainments of the ‘Slidetober Surf Music & Art Fest’ later that evening. The crowd dispersed and re-emerge later in front of the temple stage anticipating the call on the final round of the Slidetober surf contest. The event was won by Tai who will get a custom shaped Deus Custom to his specification. 2nd went to Ellis Ericson, 3rd was Salsa and last but definitely not least was Tyler Warren.