By Robb Bailey
Ten years ago Steve Cowan of South Coast, Parker McNaughton of Black Rock Entertainment and Roger Lee of P.B. Bar and Grill started a summer surfing event that has turned into a tradition here in San Diego. Back then it was a smaller event, with a focus on creating rivalry between surf shops in a “team event” format.
As the event has grown, the PB Summer Surf-off has become to provide more entertainment for people than the average surfing contest. Resident MC’s Jonah Mechanic and Luke Murdock have continued to up the ante every year with exceedingly hilarious contests on the beach to get the crowd participating in the event.
Events like the Grom Race, where our younger participants had board bags pulled over their bodies, got spun around, and then had to run a race to the finish line only sparked the creativeness of the events planned year after year.
This year the surfing conditions were a fun, peaky 2 to 4 feet that allowed the surfing contestants to pull off some very good maneuvers in the water. (See results page) But as every surf contest has experienced, the conditions don’t always allow for those types of heats. That’s where the idea came in to have Jonah and Luke make the event not only a surfing contest for the surfers, but also for beach-goers as well.
Amidst the top of the day’s events was a helicopter that dumped 25 shirts onto the beach crowd, five of which were red. The people who picked up the red shirts got a $50 gift certificate to South Coast Surf Shops.
Next in line was the Sumo Wrestling Event, followed by the Partner Paddle, which entailed two grown men hopping into the same ladies’ one-piece bathing suit to form a paddling team on a longboard. Steve described the event only as “disgustingly funny” as lots of the participants were reps for major surf companies and personal friends of many on the beach.
The event was a huge success and continues to grow each year in popularity, although the goal is to keep providing a fun contest for local surfers and crowd participants alike. See you there next year!