By Steve Breazeale
Good vibes and old-school style surfing were in abundance out on the water at Dohney State Beach this weekend, as dozens of surfers, vendors and surf fans flocked to the beach to take in the Doheny Surf Festival.
The event, which celebrates the history of the sport through unique surf contests, was run by the Doheny Longboard Surf Association.
On Sunday, fans on the beach were treated to a throwback style when the tandem surf contest got underway at noon. Tandem style surfing features a man and woman combo team on a large, custom board performing lifts. Once a rider is lifted into a position, they must hold the lift for three seconds in order to get points.
There were also several contests that required surfers to ride boards that predated 1970. Several young groms competed alongside veteran surfers in the Surfin’ 60’s open division nose riding contest. The surfers were able to use the heavier boards, which ranged from 3o to 40 pounds, and bury them into the white water while darting back and forth to the tip of the board.
Michael Takayama, a San Clemente resident, competed in several events throughout the weekend, and believes surfing on the older boards is a practice worth continuing.
“Modern longboard (design) is kind of going back to the traditional boards. Some of the newer materials are just a bit lighter,” Takayama said in between heats Sunday. “Some of the boards we are riding today are tanks. Back then they built what they built and they rode it well. I’ve been surfing 42 years and (this style) is just a good, fun thing.”
While the swells died down a bit for Sunday’s events, riders were greeted by consistent two- to- three-foot breakers all day Saturday. Contests were offered for surfers age 19 and under, up to the “legends” division for riders 60 and up.