Surf’s Up! Are you ready to catch some waves? A brand-new surfing contest revolutionizing the industry is preparing to make a stop in Ocean City, Maryland, this Saturday, July 23. The Red Bull Foam Wreckers series promotes surfing for people of all skill levels ages 16 and over looking for a way to enjoy the waves in a relaxed and exciting way.
The anti-surf contest, organized on the 39th Street beach, has one simple requirement – ride a soft-top, foam board, and that’s it! The rest is up to you, with having a fun time being the primary goal of the contest. Participants can ride however many waves they would like, in whatever style they choose. Foam Wreckers provides an opportunity for both first-time and experienced surfers to experiment and have a blast out on the water.
Each participant will spin the “wheel of shred” to determine which board, provided by the organizers, they will ride. After receiving a board of various types and sizes, people will then compete for 15 minutes in groups of 6 to 10. The most unique and thrilled surfer will win the soft-board mini-contests.
To register, participants can click here. The registration fee is $25, and competitions will kick off at 9 a.m. Surfers under 18 will need a parent or guardian accompanying them.
While many take surfing quite seriously, the most important message of this particular contest is that surfing is truly for everyone, and above all, having a memorable and delightful time on the water is paramount. Many surfing contests on the shore and across the nation target professional or highly experienced surfers, but few make room for others who share their passion.
Ben Gravy, a surfing pro and online sensation who has amassed more than 47 million views across his YouTube channel promoting the sport and a positive lifestyle, will help to lead the Ocean City event this weekend. Gravy believes that the Foam Wreckers contest is the best thing to happen to surfing, making up for what the sport was missing.
“A lot of surf contests are very serious and are for high-level athletes. An average surf contest might not feel like something a regular surfer would want to attend, but at Foam Wreckers, everyone is invited,” Gravy said. “If you want to come out to the beach and enjoy the day with a family-friendly atmosphere, this is your event. Everyone comes and catches a few waves and leaves with a smile. It’s all about expressing yourself and surfing how you want to surf.”
As the Red Bull Foam Wreckers contest makes its way from Florida, Texas, Maryland, California, and Hawaii, surfing pros hope to change the narrative and make surfing an inclusive sport for everyone. For Gravy, there was never any question that Ocean City should receive a spot in the Foam Wreckers tour.
“From the beginning, Ocean City was on my radar. People are always inviting and stoked to have surfers here,” Gravy added. “There is not only a high volume of surfers here but a large group of surfers who like to have fun and have high energy. We want to share the idea that surfing is for everyone.”
To embody the welcoming message of the contest, there may be no better ambassador than Gravy himself. He and his undeniably loyal online fans, dubbed NUB Nation, which stands for his inclusive idea, “Nobody Unlikes Buddy,” have completely changed outsiders’ perspectives regarding the surfing community. Since 2015, Gravy has created vlogs documenting his journey with surfing through life. By taking advantage of social media platforms, he broke down the typical barriers for surfers, bypassing traditional linear media, exclusive contests, and coveted awards. His hard work and grit alone have established him as one of the most untraditional yet popular surfing icons.
“If you’re not a high-level athlete with the coolest board and looking the most radical, people think that they aren’t cool. I came into this sport as a kook and realized that you can be a normal person who just has a great time catching waves,” he reflected. “Surfing is truly therapy and is special for people. Remember that there are more people who surf in this world for fun, and it’s important to have contests like these.”
So far, the reception of the contest has been nothing short of positive. Weekend warriors have driven hundreds of miles and attended multiple contests, looking for yet another chance to hit the surf.
Gravy and his fellow surfers hope to see you on the water this weekend, here in Ocean City.