INTERNATIONAL SURFING DAY: Where Were You?

posted by / News / June 23, 2006

After months of rallying and anticipation, SURFING Magazine’s International Surfing Day went big. Real big. Stack up the Surfrider bags of trash hauled of the world’s beaches on June 21, and you could start your own city dump. Even better, tons of regions enjoyed solid swell, beach barbecues and just about every other ocean-related activity you might list in an Official Waterman’s Guide. Here’s just a sampling of what went down in the Second Annual event – sure to go intergalactic in years to come:

In the swell department, Mexico gets top honors down at the Rip Curl Pro. At a secret location dubbed, “La Jolla,” the event rattled off Round Two in another day of 6-to 8-foot sand-dredging dream tunnels. But the real show happened after the day’s competition, when all the top guns, including Andy, Parko, Bruce and Taylor Knox exchanged the waves of their lives til dark. You’ve heard all the superlatives already about this event. They’re real. And it all came to a climax on International Surfing Day.

The West Coast also got its fair share, as Day Three of the Super Swell continued hitting all of our favorite south-facing haunts. North County beachbreaks and Newport had A-frames aplenty, while Trestles saw an attack of the NSSA Nationals competitors throughout the day. Even San O shared in the love, as countless alternative-board revelers came down to eat Shave Ice and Acai and participate in one of three events: The Surfers Healing clinic for autistic children, the Billabong Surf Camp or the Billabong/Surfrider-sponsored beach cleanup. Yup, it was that packed – packed with smiling faces.

Where else had it good? Cape Town, South Africa offered up “beautiful, wide open beachbreak tubes,” according to ace photographer Alan {{{Van}}} Gysen. Costa Rica still had remnants of brilliance with Peter Mendia, Shea Lopez and Nino Medrano in a post mega-swell warm-down period. The South Shore of Oahu was “OK” – 3 feet and showing signs of life on all the reefs. And beyond that? Sounds like it wasn’t quite doing it.

After enjoying one of its best run of swells in recent memory, Oz sucked on both sides of the continent, Bali was marginal at best and we missed a major swell at Tavarua by two days (Fortunately, SURFING photog Jeff Flindt and Rob Machado didn’t). But that’s what happens when you designate a random day to surf en masse: some are gonna get it better than others.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t all pitch in equally and join in the beach-cleanup effort. Designed to share the stoke and bring awareness to our oceans and beaches, the Surfrider Foundation helped organize 39 beach cleanups throughout the United States and 11 international litter parties, from Iceland – yes, Iceland — to Argentina to Japan. Highlights include a {{{300}}}-person turnout in South Jersey – with even the Mayor in attendance, a festive, mid-winter cleanup in Argentina with moving speeches and a best-wave contest, and the winner so far – the Newport Beach chapter with {{{100}}} bags of refuse collected in a four-hour period.

If that isn’t enough, you can still go online and bid for a {{{Toyota Highlander}}} Hybrid – with all the proceeds going to the Surfrider Foundation. Give International Surfing Day a few more years, and we’re going to be able to eat off our beaches. Thanks to everyone who pitched in.

Special thanks to all International Surfing Day sponsors, including Billabong, Toyota, Von Zipper, Kustom, Sambazon and Surfrider Foundation.

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