Look, I don’t care what you think you have currently planned for June 29th and 30th. Cancel it. If you miss The Vic Skim World Championships at Aliso Beach, you’ve missed one of the greatest events in all of Laguna Beach.
The skimboard heats start at about 7:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, and proceed tirelessly through the final awards ceremony at about 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. And THEN, they all go celebrate because, well, that’s what skimboarders do: Practice. Compete. Celebrate. Rinse and Repeat.
For nine years now, I’ve been photographing the amateur and pro skimboarders at this event – in fact, it all started at “The Vic” Skim World Championships. (I have photos of Blair Conklin when he was just a tiny grom just looking on.) After traveling around after these guys in their various locations, I can safely say that the Vic Skim World Championships is THE place to see the most pro skimboarders gathered from all parts of the world.
Further, given that SEVEN of the current top 10 skimboarders in the entire world were raised in South Laguna Beach, you know the best skimboarders are going to be having a party on their own home turf … and this is a party you want to see.
Watch for reigning World Champ Sam Stinnett and his South Laguna buddies Blair Conklin, Teddy Vlasis, Austin Keen, Brandon Sears, Tim Fulton and (ever and always my favorite) Morgan Just.
This is an impeccable, entertaining skimboarding event, still presided over by the Godfather of Skim himself, Tex Haines. Laguna Beach is where skimboarding was born and, for 30 years, Tex Haines and the Prietto family have endeavored daily to make it a worldwide event.
The great thing about this skimboard culture is the personality and warmth – these guys are not arrogant by any stretch. They don’t take themselves too seriously, as evidenced by their longtime Vic commentators Garth Wycoff and Chris Walthall. (The commentary alone is worth the all-day simmer in the sun.)
These skimboarders still talk with the common folk, and offer suggestions to groms and oldies alike. This culture is largely due to what Haines and Prietto insisted upon in the early days, and it’s almost reverential to see their influence in every aspect of the sport in every corner of the world.
What to bring
Get to Aliso Beach early with blankets, chairs and plenty of sunscreen. The beach cafe there on Aliso Beach opens early for business for the contest, but I’d recommend stopping at Laguna Coffee on the way in just to assure yourself of a fantastic joe and decadent, home-made Raspberry Muffin for the early morning skim hours. As I’ve observed for many years, the contest starts with age groups and moves into the pro division as early as 8:30 or 9:00 … whenever the tide and swell seems most appropriate.
See you on the beach.
P.S. Watch for updates for the Vic Skim on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BestofLagunaBeach