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25th Santa Cruz Surf Kayak Festival- blow out surf conditions!

I have been competing in the Santa Cruz surf kayak festival since 2006. In that time we had all kids of conditions, but this year we had all of the conditions rolled into one. The easiest place to launch for Steamer’s Lane is off of Cowell’s Beach. This normally leaves you about a 12 minute warm up paddle to the “Lane” for your heat.

This year it took me between 25-36 minutes to get to the Lane. The beat down on the beach break was first, followed by high winds and close out sets on the inside. Then the real surfing started. Friday was great but the waves in my heat on Saturday morning were very large and they were serving up some beat downs. The wind was blowing and the sky was dumping hail down on us. I did three ends in my 9-foot boat when I crashed on take off, on my first wave. Then again on my second wave. I realized I was going to have to take a little bit of a smaller wave. In my shorter boat, I did six ends out of control before I got a breath and flipped again. It reminded me of the Worlds in Graz! Anyone who was there in Austria in 2003 remembers the workings in the hole. After my working of six ends I was still headed for the cliff. Thankfully, second attempt pulled me off the wave.

The surf was big and the winds were gusty. I was relieved that they canceled finals on Sunday. I wanted to surf on Sunday, but I wanted to be safe to surf another day, a dreamy day when the Lane connects all the way to the inside.

You can see tons of photos from the festival at . On Saturday night we celebrate 25 years of surfing at the lane. Canoe and Kayak hosted a party. Rush Sturges released his video and his band played to help us celebrate the years of the contest or maybe the contest being over for 2011. For full coverage check out- and for results

The Surf Kayak Worlds are being held in NC- OBX at the end of September 2011. Check out .

Last year I surfed with Jason Craig at Santa Cruz. Jason, know I am pulling for you! You are an amazing person. I am sending you my strength. I look forward to paddling with you in the Carbon Rock Stars in the surf!