(June 5, 2015) For those wanting to catch a wave of surfing nostalgia, or those looking to ride it before it hits the Zeitgeist, there is this weekend’s Longboard Team Challenge.
The challenge runs all weekend in the water in front of the Castle in the Sand, 38th Street in Ocean City.
Friday night is for the local surfers, as they make further inductions to the OC Legends roster at a ceremony to be held at Barn 34 on 34th Street. OC Legends are analogous to a hall of fame registry for the Ocean City Surf Club, member Brad Hoffman said.
Saturday is when the event begins in earnest with a lighthearted, spirited team competition beginning at 8:30 a.m. and running until 4 p.m.
“It’s a fun event and everyone comes out to compete. We keep score and award points but it’s just a really open, good time,” he said.
Registration for the competition is closed, but it’s free to watch.
On Sunday, the professionals take over from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“It’s the Stanley Cup of longboard surfing,” Hoffman said, “It’s a perpetual trophy, so it’s kind of cool that it passes from winner to winner from one year to the next.”
Called the “Walk da Plank” open, this is the second year for the competition offering about $5,000 in cash prizes, Hoffman said.
“You’re going to see things you haven’t before,” at the competition Hoffman said.
“These guys hang five, hang ten; they really know how to work these longboards,” he said. “It really takes a lot of knowledge to work the boards the way they do.”
About a dozen professional longboarders are registered to compete with the hope that another few will trickle in before the event starts. A significant amount of competitors, Hoffman said, will compete both Saturday and Sunday.
“This is another step in the right direction to put Ocean City back on the map as a surfing destination. I’m super excited,” he said.
The Ocean City Surf Club, a non-profit organization that sponsors scholarships, local cleanups and competitions runs the Longboard Challenge, Hoffman explained.
“We’re trying to make great surfers and great people. We want to teach people how to give and get respect, and to keep all the money we raise local,” Hoffman said.
This year, for the first time, the competition is “going green” by partnering with environmentally conscious sponsors, Hoffman said.