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Adam Paskowitz as Santa and elf “Doc” (named for his grandfather “Doc” Paskowitz) ride tandem at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel’s fourth annual Surfing Santa Competition, Saturday at Salt Creek Beach. Photo by Jack Biehl
Adam Paskowitz as Santa and elf “Doc” (named for his grandfather “Doc” Paskowitz) ride tandem at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel’s fourth annual Surfing Santa Competition, Saturday at Salt Creek Beach. Photo by Jack Biehl

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel’s fourth annual Surfing Santa Competition was held Saturday at Salt Creek Beach. More than 50 competitors dressed like Santa and other holiday-inspired characters rode the waves at Salt Creek Beach to raise money in support of Surfers Healing, an organization on a mission to enrich the lives of people living with autism by exposing them to the unique experience of surfing.

Surfers Healing was founded by Israel “Izzy” and Danielle Paskowitz after discovering the profound, therapeutic impact surfing had on their son Isaiah, who has autism.

Among the finalists was Ethan Carlston of San Clemente, who won the Big Air Flying Rudolph division and took home a $1,000 prize.

Andy Neiblas, also of San Clemente, took top honors in the longboard division and received a two-night stay at the Ritz-Carlton.

Also benefitting Surfers Healing, The Ritz-Carlton’s Holiday Surfboard Auction is now underway. This year’s auction features a unique collection of surfboards highlighting boards from surf legends, talented artists and celebrities. All of the boards are on display at the resort through December 31 and bids can be placed at www.biddingforgood.com/surfershealing.

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