To celebrate a quarter century of paddle surfing at Steamer Lane, the Santa Cruz KayakSurf Festival has a new name to better embrace the full range of paddle-powered sports nowa part of the competition. The 25th Annual Santa Cruz PaddleFest on March 18th-20th will attract the best paddle surfers from around the globe to compete in kayaks, waveskis and onstand-up paddle (SUP) boards. In addition, this year the Santa Cruz PaddleFest will incorporatea flatwater SUP Race at Cowell’s Beach and will crown a “King of the Beach” based on bestcombined expert surfing and SUP race scores.
Santa Cruz PaddleFest is the longest running, largest and most celebrated paddle surfcontest in the world and showcases the top designs and best athletic prowess in these excitingenvironmental sports. The 2011 festival will again feature the SurfTech Shoot Out at the Lanefor elite SUP surfers – a fast growing crossover sport between paddlers and board surfers.
Santa Cruz PaddleFest includes expert surfing categories for men, women and juniorsin high performance kayaks under 9 feet, international classic surf kayaks over 3 meters andwaveskis, and the SurfTech ShootOut at the Lane, an elite SUP surfing event. Events for noviceand intermediate surfers include high performance kayaks, plastic production kayaks, SUP andsit-on-tops.
On Saturday, March 19, a flatwater SUP Race will be held at Cowell’s Beach. The racewill involve running on the beach and an open ocean circuit paddle for SUP racers in elite andintermediate categories. SUP sponsors and vendors will have booths on Cowell’s Beach duringthe race. The top combined scorer from PaddleFest contestants who enter both an expert surfingevent and the elite SUP Race will be crowned “King of the Beach.”
Professional surf judges will judge all surfing events. Competitors will be scored ontheir top three waves in each 19-minute heat, based on wave selection, use of the wave, surfingmaneuvers and length of ride. Experts surf kayak, wave ski and SUP paddlers will have heats on Friday and Saturday, with finals on Sunday. Novices and intermediates will all surf on bothSaturday and Sunday.
Registration for the contest is open now and will continue through March 1. Expert categories fill quickly, so early registration is advised. Registration forms and other informationabout the event are available on the Adventure Sports Unlimited website: www.asudoit.com Youcan also follow Santa Cruz PaddleFest on Facebook and Twitter.
Event host Dennis Judson of Adventure Sports Unlimited in Santa Cruz invitescontestants, spectators, sponsors and volunteers to three days of great competition and fun.In addition to spectacular waves and hot competition, the festival will feature a silent auctionfor surf kayaks, SUP boards and other great items, booths showcasing the hottest kayaks andequipment, Chez Gine food booth, and evening festivities. Don’t miss this great weekend at thebeach! For more information, check out the event at www.asudoit.com or call Judson at (831) 458-3648.