The 24th Evans Head Malibu Classic was really swell
THE Evans Head Malibu Classic has wrapped up for its 24th year, bringing with it a swell in visitor numbers over the long weekend and a boost to local businesses.
Organiser Ross Cribb said the event was growing every year, with an even bigger one planned for the 25th Malibu Classic next year.
Despite the impressive crowd and good show of competitors, Mr Cribb said the waves left participants and spectators wanting.
"The atmosphere has been really good," he said. "The surf, we've had the conditions against us a bit.
"But that still didn't stop anyone from having fun.
"We still had a full comp, full numbers."
Mr Cribb said the annual event attracts top longboard competitors from up and down the coast.
"We have a lot from the Northern Beaches in Sydney and from Noosa," he said.
"The competition's pretty tough. We had four Australian champions surfing and a lot more ex-Aussie champs.
"It's always tough, but it's kept in a fun mood and no-one takes it too seriously."
Mr Cribb said the judges were looking for style with manoeuvres, changing direction with the surf board, a lot of nose riding, and keeping close to the power part of the wave.
Evans Head locals owned the Retro division, with Rob Cribb, Peter Duncan, and Gary Wimbus taking out the top three spots.
Lennox Head local Scott Channon scored second place in the Open 9 behind Gold Coast rider Shane Morton.
Finals competitor Nat Daley, from Evans Head, said the Classic was a "well organised" and "family friendly" event.
"There are guys who come here year on year," he said. "It has a really good vibe to it.
"It's definitely competitive, but there's a real etiquette and everyone sort of gets along."
He said the Evans Head surf usually favoured the larger boards but "you couldn't have scripted worse waves" for the long weekend.
All the money raised during the event will go towards local charities such as the Westpac Rescue Lifesaver Helicopter and Cancer Council.