Evans Head Malibu Classic rides waves of success

WHETHER it was the competition, the socialising or simply the joy of being on the open water, there was something for everyone at this year's Evans Head Malibu Classic.

Scores of longboard surfers of all ages once again flocked to this year's competition, which got started on Saturday and featured titles in various divisions.

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Among those in action was Coolangatta's Shane Morton.

The 29-year-old, who has been surfing for about 15 years, said he loved taking to the waves.

"It's the freedom of being in the water," he said. "It's that freedom of riding the waves.

"You know it's something that nature has created - it's not man-made.

"Every wave is different. You make those split-second decisions on what you will do with each wave.

"It's exciting."

This was the 23rd staging of the annual event, which is held at the village's beautiful Main Beach.

Juniors, seniors, men's and women's titles are all up for grabs at the contest.

Also among those enjoying the competition was Joel Tilley, from the Gold Coast,

The 29-year-old recently returned to surfing after hanging up his board for several years due to work and other commitments.

"Surfing puts a big smile on my face," he said. "I missed not being in the water.

"I find surfing clears my head. It gives me peace of mind and time to relax."

Seventeen-year-old Thomas Somerville, from Evans Head, said surfing allowed him to see the beauties of the sea.

"Sometimes you get up close to the dolphins around here," he said.

"When you are in the water and talking to friends, you don't worry about anything.

"You can progress how you like and it's a fun sport."

At the other end of the scale, 61-year-old Chris Hensley said he enjoyed the fitness benefits of the sport.

"It's the best way to relax, enjoy yourself, make friends and keep fit," the Lismore competitor, has been surfing for more than 40 years, said.

The Classic was due to conclude today with all the titles in the respective division being decided.

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