Today surfing for me isn’t so much about riding a particular board or riding the biggest wave or competition for that matter. It’s about people who are joined at the hip for the love of the ocean. I admire those who give back to the very thing that has given them so much and the 1st Annual Punta Long board and SUP classic was a perfect example of just that.
Held at a little cobblestone reef break in Sayulita, Mexico it was an event for the ages. With an open men’s and women’s division in the long boarding divisions, there was a highly contested men’s SUP (stand up paddling) division along with a pro expression with the area’s best surfers and let me tell you, those locals can surf.
Really good, in fact. More importantly, it was an event that brought the small community there together while raising money for the local school, as well as other local charities. This was an event predicated on that good old vibe in surfing known as the “aloha spirit,” with surfers like Mary Osborne and Chuck Patterson taking time out to visit the local school (Costa Verde) and signing posters for all of the kids. I’m not sure if the kids were more stoked about the posters or the stickers they got, but seeing the smiles on their faces was my favorite moment of the event. Or maybe not?
Perhaps it was when surfer Scott Bass gave away a surfboard that all of the surfers had signed for him. A gift for a young boy whose family was too poor to buy him a surfboard. To me that is what surfing is about — giving back. Because I do believe surfing has the power to change people and united we cannot only give back to surfing but our environment as well. Happy Earth Day. Peace.
JAMES PRIBRAM is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. His websites include Aloha Schoolof Surfing and ECOWarrior Surf.com. He can be reached at Jamo@AlohaSchoolofSurfing.com