Fifth Annual Froggy Surf
Oakley must know someone. That’s the only answer I could come up with to understand how for the past 3 years there has been no shortage of waves in the middle of summer for the Froggy Surf Classic. But this year tops all others with the Lane producing near perfect surf. Contest director Osh “Frog” Bartlett praised the competitors, big and small, for their sportsmanship and positive attitudes, saying, “Without these kids and their parents, the contest wouldn’t have been such a great success”.
You couldn’t help but be stoked hanging out on the beautiful cliffs at the Lane with sunshine in the sky and pumping surf on the shore. Of course to the groms, Oakley made the day even better by handing out hoards of free goodies throughout the event, including a piñata filled with cash! Even the Grandma with her poodle threw us a shaka when she was handed a free hamburger as she walked by. If that’s not a sign of a successful event I don’t know what is.
John John Mel, Sam Coffey, Olin Borgeson, Taj Carpenter. Ring a bell? Well maybe not yet but make note of those name because these kids proved today that they will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years. Above the rest, it was John John who dominated the Mini Grom final with solid backside surfing to earn him the win and some cash. John opened with a 7.3 and put the nail in the coffin with a second scoring wave of a 9.3. After watching John John surf today it was no surprise when Oakley team manager Shea Perkin’s signed him onto the Oakley team. John John took home a new sponsor and $50 for his efforts. When asked what he was going to do with the cash he laughed, “My dad (Pro Surfer Peter Mel) wants me to buy him dinner, but I’m going to save it instead”.
The Women’s final had no shortage of waves, and it looked like the girls enjoyed having the line up all to themselves. It was a close heat between all four girls until half way through when Camila Gerard dropped a 7.0. From that point on, the rest of the ladies were playing catch up. But in the end, none were able to come up with a big enough score to pass Camila.
The Boys final was much tighter than the Women’s. Nick Hdez and Willy Eagleton went head to head in an all out battle for first place. It was Nick who drew first blood by dropping a 7.0, and Willy answered back with a 7.5. But it came down to Nick’s crushing blow of an 8.0 at the end of the heat, not leaving Willy enough time to come up with another score.
The Jr. Men’s final was a nail biter. Two judges saw it one way, while a third judge saw something different. Fortunately for Gabe Godfrey, the ratio was in his favor. Austin Smith-Ford came out of the gates swinging and looked to be on top of his game. However, Gabe with his unfailing backside hacks posted the highest scores, giving him enough edge to keep Ford in 2nd.
The Pro final can easily be summed up with 2 words—All Time. Six of Santa Cruz’s finest were neck in neck in perfect overhead surf until Bud Freitas, Noi K, and Josh Loya started separating themselves from the pack. But after Bud backed up his 9.3 with an 8.2, there was no catching up. He walked away with a cool Two Grand. This heat was so good that it even had an ASP judge claiming, “This final had better surfing in it than most of the WQS events I’ve judged.” Another guy walking away with some cash was Nick Erickson. He helped lead the West Side to victory in the East v. West Air Show when he landed a giant Passion Pop.
All in all the competitors were stoked on the waves and prizes. Thanks to Oakley and event organizer Osh “Frog” Bartlett for making this year’s Froggy Surf Contest such a memorable event.