As of a week ago (May 22nd), the Pros’ United Skim Tour began 2015’s seasonal run for the crown at a full-on gallop. It was serious surf each day of the contest, which, of course, the pro skimboarders loved.
Still jockeying in the first three worldwide positions for at least four years, our SoLag favorites, Sam Stinnett and Blair Conklin took 2nd and 3rd respectively on Cabo’s beaches. An additional four SoLag-raised pros landed in the contest’s Top 10 for the weekend (Teddy Vlasis, Morgan Just, Jake Stinnett, Tim Fulton and . . . well, we might as well also count our longtime foster kid who probably can’t remember how to find his way home to Florida at this point, Austin Keen).
Given that skimboarding was actually and officially launched many decades ago in South Laguna Beach, it’s no surprise that Laguna’s own continue to dominate the worldwide scene.
Usually, just two pro skim contests occur in the Outer Banks (North Carolina) and Brazil after Cabo and before the huge mid-season skimboarding event here in Laguna Beach – the grandpappy of them all, “The Vic.” This year, though, the schedule has changed significantly.
For 32 years, the hallowed Vic has always occurred in June at Aliso Beach (where skimboarding was founded) except in extreme, rare situations when the entire party is forced to move south to neighboring beaches. It’s a giant weekend fest with more than 100 professional skimboarders participating from all points of the world, and about 200 amateurs (groms) journeying their way through the ranks.
This year, though, Tex Haines, Founder of Victoria Skimboards … and, well, co-founder of the sport of skimboarding, period … decided he was tired of what has become flat and listless surf for his pro event. So, The Vic is now scheduled for August 29th – 30th.
“In June, we don’t have enough of a south swell to really create the conditions we want to see,” says Tex. And, he adds, high tides in June tend to mush out the incoming waves (I’ve given you the layman’s version here. These surf people talk like physicists, for heaven’s sake.)
So, after consulting Farmer’s Almanacs, daily surf reports from the last 20 years and maybe a crystal ball or two, Tex elected to move the entire, monstrous event to the end of August.
The last time The Vic occurred in August 1983, no pro skimboarder … save maybe Bill “Beaker” Bryan … was even alive. We even had a pier back then at Aliso Beach.
Given the lateness of the date, it should be interesting to see if this becomes more of a locals’ “end of summer” event. Whatever the vibe on the beach, we’re all hoping for extremely agro conditions for our pro boarders.
Mark your calendar. This late August event could, indeed, be memorably epic.