Santa Cruz Kayak Surf Festival

The Santa Cruz Kayak Surf Festival is held at Steamer Lane, one of the best amphitheaters for a surfing competition anywhere in the world.

Conditions for the 28th annual event were mixed. Participants had to endure a fickle swell on Friday, wind and rain and almost un-surf-able waves on Saturday but for those lucky enough and skilled enough to make it through to the finals on Sunday were blessed with epic conditions with 10ft faces rolling through The Lane and offshore winds.

Perfect conditions at Steamer Lane. Photo by Mark Boyd

I was entered in the Men’s High performance category and the Plastic Production category. I won the High Performance last year after 7 years of trying and I knew that I had not spent enough time in my high performance boat to stand a realistic chance of doing well this year. So I had entered the Plastic Production category to wave the flag for Jackson Kayak and hopefully show what a whitewater kayak can do at The Lane.

Surfing the Fun Runner with the Levator mount, Photo by Gina Morley

I had a Rock Star and a Fun Runner with me and choosing which boat to use was not an easy decision for me. My rodeo skills are pretty limited so I chose the Fun Runner to give me speed down the line. In the end I was really pleased with the way it surfed and it enabled me to bring home the gold medal for Jackson Kayak!

Photo by Gina Morley

Photo by Mark Boyd.

Here is a video I made during the first heat on Friday:

 

I will be helping to organize the 2015 event and I certainly hope we can keep the Plastic Production category going and I would love to see some of Jackson Kayak’s whitewater team show the world what they can do at The Lane. You never know, we might even have a new boat to play with…

Comments on “Santa Cruz Kayak Surf Festival”

  1. Colin Shipman
    April 3, 2014 at 3:25 am

    I was thrilled to be there and watch your heat on Sunday! For the future, what are the rules for Plastic Production? There are a few plastic surf kayaks out there (valley rush, fluid element) but a longer boat (karma?) to catch the waves makes sense, but a nimble boat to do the moves…
    Also, you should mention your spray skirt implosion! (Doesn’t Jackson Kayak make a product exactly for that purpose?)

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