Jared Licht at Steamer Lane. Photo by Larkin Donley.
Well the Santa Cruz Kayak Surf Festival at Steamer Lane certainly lived up to its reputation as the best surf kayak event in the world. As always, the organising committee led by Dennis Judson staged a fabulous event and we enjoyed fantastic waves all weekend.
I was frustrated not to reach the quarter finals despite some reasonable wave scores in the High Performance category. I was beaten by a couple of juniors, Chris Hobson and Sam Davenport which though disappointing for me, bodes well for the future of kayak surfing.
But Jared Licht did the River and Ocean Team proud by reaching the semi finals before being slammed by a HUGE wave, even bigger than the one he's surfing above. He broke his paddle across his face and smashed his boat but earned the respect of his peers when he rolled up with half a paddle, before having to bail out of his sinking kayak. It was really tough luck but he will be back next year and we had all better look out - the lad is ripping!
And my wife Gina showed our daughter Shea Bella how to do it by achieving a 2nd in women's High Performance and a 3rd in the International Class.
Peter Orton, one of the co-owners of Valley Sea Kayaks flew over for the event. It was great to have his help manning the booth and it was really useful for him to see the sort of punishment we give the surf kayaks. He has gone home even more committed to providing us with not only the highest performing but also the strongest surf kayaks on the planet. I know Jared will appreciate that!
I am off to Albuquerque, New Mexico tomorrow to deliver some kayaks and then I head down to San Diego for the SW Sea Kayak Symposium next weekend. Hope to see you there!