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Doheny Surf Festival highlights surfing past for younger generations

Christopher Degraw, 12, of Orange, enjoys a ride in the heart of a barrel wave at the third annual Doheny Surf Festival. Photo: Andrea Swayne
Christopher Degraw, 12, of Orange, enjoys a ride in the heart of a barrel wave at the third annual Doheny Surf Festival. Photo: Andrea Swayne

Dana Point Times

Crowds flocked to Doheny State Beach last weekend for a two-day festival celebrating Southern California’s rich surf heritage and culture.

Ringing in its third year running, the Doheny Surf Festival showcased local talent both on and off the water. Noseriding longboarders wowed crowds. Surfers bent from their feet to their hands, before riding a wave in standing on their heads. And tandem duets, well, they demonstrated acrobatic skills with technical lifts much like coupled figure skaters do on ice.

Josh Rapozo, Doheny Longboard Surfing Association vice president and DLSA ’60s Surf Contest competitor, lauded the event for its variety of surf competitions and expression sessions.

“The surf events are an important and popular part of the festival,” Rapozo said. “Doheny Surf Fest is an awesome event. It’s a great way to get a lot of the local surf community together to showcase what we’re doing.”

When not surfing in the ’60s contest, third generation surfer and shaper Guy Takayama showcased his boards. Also on land, festivalgoers perused dozens of surf-related vendor booths and kids were treated to special offerings. From bungee acrobatics and crafts to experiencing what it’s like to get shacked, the annual festival was a child’s haven. Perched atop a surfboard inside an inflatable barreling wave, kids stuck their best surf stance while parents snapped photos.

The festival is held each year to entertain and educate while raising money to benefit the state park and the nonprofit Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association. The DSBIA works to protect the park’s grounds and to maintain an accurate record of the area’s historical and cultural significance.

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