Clean waves, cruisy conditions for 24th Malibu Classic
IT was a fitting weekend for the Evans Head Malibu Classic, as small but clean waves provided cruisy conditions for the 24th annual longboard competition.
Evans Head Over-8s Malibu Club is hosting the four-day event, which will be completed when the finals are surfed today.
More than 100 competitors have attended the Classic, which was previously known as the Evans Head Longboard Invitational.
Yesterday, Malibu Club captain and event co-ordinator Ross Cribb said conditions were mixed but competitors had been making the most of the sunshine.
The three-time Australian champion said conditions on Friday were pumping for the retro shortboards but were more relaxed yesterday.
"Competition has been great - we have surfers ofall ages out there," he said.
"Conditions aren't too flash today but everyone is making the most of it, happy to get out and have a surf.
"There's still some nice clean faces on the waves."
Cribb said the Classic had become an anticipated and celebrated event since its inception in 1990.
"It's very family-based and we usually bring about 300 or more people into town for the weekend. Some stay for the week," he said.
"We have competitions for over-65s all the way down to 'fleas' and 'ants', which are surfers up to 12 years old.
"It's a great event. This is our 24th, but next year's 25th will be the big one."
Cribb was competing in the over-50s division and was keen to hit the water again when he spoke with The Northern Star.
"I'll be out there again this arvo to see how I go in the finals," he said.
Cribb said the event allowed young surfers the chance to appreciate the differences between traditional longboards and modern shortboards.
He believes longboards offer a different, more tranquil, surfing experience.
"The boards are quite lightweight these days," he said.
"And they're a bit easier to paddle and a lot of fun on smaller waves. They're pretty relaxed."
As well as top-class surfing, the Classic offers live music and barbecues, with a beachside market to be held today.
The old mal and retro shortboard divisions, both held on Friday, featured a variety of nostalgic boards and as always were popular with spectators.