The Cobbles Classic is coming up this weekend. Gregg Clarke takes us through what to expect from this epic lil comp:
"Nah, I dont enter longboard comps cos the style is now all like shortboarding on a longboard...its lost the whole classic traditional soul that longboarding is all about. Give me a single fin event with more traditional scoring criteria and im in!"
That’s pretty much how the whole Cobbles Classic idea came about. Simple supply and demand. There are loads of longboard surfers in SA who have been hooked on the glide of the traditional longboards and love the very essence of what traditional surfing is all about. Im not talking about the current hipster movement where all things retro are considered cool, instead I am referring to the individuals, some who quite sometime back, gave up the whole high-performance-super-fast-surfing for a more style focussed, flowing kind of a thing.
At first, I also didn’t get it! It looked boring as all hell! Just cruising.... trimming the board, walking, stepping back, cross stepping, walking, nose ride into tight five, walking back, soul arch kick out. I mean it looked pretty, but it wasn’t for me. That was until I actually got onto a proper single fin in running 2ft waves (which loggers commonly refer to as 'nuggets'). I was hooked! I had just found a sensation a close second to a barrel- perching on the nose of a log, tight in the pocket of a wave, just floating along the wave face like a feather! Truly an amazing feeling! It’s no wonder 50% of the Cobbles Classic scoring criteria is nose riding!
Cobbles Classic is all about recognizing these types of surfers, and giving them an opportunity to show off their 'hot dogging" and "nose riding" skills. It’s also a contest where there is probably more focus on being able to surf, rather than the results, which is why there are so many repo rounds- so okes can just surf all day! But like in the case of any contest, there have to be winners- in this contest they get rewarded pretty damn well! Here are some of the prizes: R 5000 clothing hamper from RVCA, top O Neil Wetsuits (also providing sick contest shirts and the contest singlets), Brand new traditional resin tinted single fin by Greg Smith, classic single fins by Maisch fins, VZ clothing hampers and sunnies, weekend away to Sun City, A few pairs of Vans sneakers, Surf Centre vouchers and a whole lot more! Thanks again to all these sponsors who got on board to make this event possible.
Last years winners were:
Open Mens: Ludi du Toit
Open Ladies: Shannon Bolotin
Classics: Greg Smith
This year with such an amazing number of entrants (60 open mens, 15 open ladies, 15 classics), we are expecting quality surfing with a few individuals pegged as potential title winners. Ludi, is definitely one of the surfers you don’t want to draw in your early heats! A great surfer who has even made SA champ high performance finals while sticking to the more traditional way of surfing! Dean "Porp" Simpson, is another surfer to watch, it’s his local break and he also weighs as much as a cracker shrimp! His toes are permanently bent like he suffers from gout or something. Probably the sneakiest surfer I know is Craig Cuff (he's been surfing longboard since the 80"s), he kind of just wins his heats without making too much of a fuss and all of a sudden, boom, he's in the final! He is one of the absolute legends of SA surfing. Some of the ballies who are gonna give the young guns a serious go are Hugh Thomson and Greg Smith, both whom have surfed all around the world, against the top longboarders and have some serious accolades to their names! Plus, they have probably shaped more than half the competitors boards!! One for the male egos! We have Simone Robb (the current ladies world champ!) up against the mens. She is definitely gonna castrate some of us! I mean flip, I could mention half the contenders! Like Alphonso Peters, Kwezi Quika, Ryan Anderson, Miles Gilham, Jamie Morris blah bah blah! It’s a red hot bunch of guys with some awesome surfing to be had! If you want a glimpse of what it’s like go check out last years action on Youtube (RVCA Cobbles Classic Pt 1-3).
Look forward to hanging out with the o's again! Also great for spectators to come and watch- its a beautiful part of Port Elizabeth, the Cape Recife Reserve. So pull in and be a part of a great festival of surfing, mixing the old with the new!
Cobbles Classic 19th- 21st September. Cape Recife Reserve
ClickHERE for the full program, heat draw and heat times.