33rd Annual Kimo’s Longboard Classic In Memory of Rob Thibaut
What a great day!!!! I got the call from Jack Starr on Tuesday night that he was considering holding the event on Thursday which was a big surprise as it traditionally had been held on a weekend. Since I have been resisting riding my long board for the past 18 months (up until the contest I had only ridden it 4 or 5 times in a year and a half) I thought I had better get it in the water. For me it is so easy to get lazy and ride the long board every day that I just never take it out . I stay on my 5’9″ in the summer and my 6’3″ in the winter – it keeps me paddling hard and my waist line down (not that far down as you can see in the pictures hahahaha). Anyway my son Jesse and I surfed at first light Wednesday and after I took him to school I surfed one more time. We then surfed sunset again and I was starting to feel good on the log. The long board I ride is a 10′ – 19 pound nose rider shaped by Mark Anderson (Honolua Underground). We call it the Cucumber (yes it is green!!). Just as a bit of trivia it was glassed by Vinnie Sides before his death – any one out there know what brotherhood he was in? He was a classic old time glassier – the kind that for the most part live hard and die young.
On the day of the contest Jesse and I got to the beach about 5:30 am and I surfed about an hour – knowing that the contest was on I did not want to burn my self out with a hard core session, just relaxed and got a few tip rides. The surf was a consistent chest high and very glassy – perfect really for long boarding.
The contest got started about 8am and with 54 contestants with a double elimination (losers bracket) it was sure to be a long day. I started out in heat 4 so I had time to evaluate some of the competition and man some of the kids were ripping. For the most part this is a classic long board contest (9′ + single fin – no cord) so it comes down to tip rides, drop knee turns and wave selection. After watching the first few heats I was sure this was going to be a hard year to make the finials.
Lucky for me age does have its advantages – you move a bit slower and think a bit harder – LOL. After placing first in all my heats leading up to the finals I just felt lucky that I had gotten the waves that I did and that some of the biggest rippers drew other heats. When it came time for the finals I was getting burnt out and my arms were starting to give out a bit. I knew that they were only judging on the top three waves and the way I figured it that was about all I had left in me. I got a smoker right off the bat and felt that if I could get two more of those I may be in the running. After a few false starts I did get one more good wave. I new that I had to pull off a set if I was going to knock MA and Albert out of first place so with 12 min left in the finals I paddled way out side and sat and waited – and waited – I am a patient man and many times it pays off – this was not one of those times. When the horn blew sounding the end of the heat I knew that I did not have it in the bag for sure. When I hit the beach the crowd all new what my plan had been and said I could still be in the running but it would be tight.
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Well it was a great day and an exciting final – I will take 3rd in a heart beat – just being in the finals is an honor with the stiff completion this year. I would like to congratulate all my fellow competitors and thank them for making it a day to remember. I would also like to offer this warning – get ready boys – next year I am really going to practice!!!!! HAHAHAHAHA