The swell forecast for Friday October 7 & 8, 2016 was a little alarming: 1 -2- ft, but the organizers of the Ventura Paddle Surfing Championships didn’t flinch because they know that the iconic “C-Street” surf break always delivers.
Surfers from across America flew and drove to the event which has categories for wave ski, kayak and SUP and incorporates the US Waveski National Championships. The really cool thing about the event is that it included categories for adaptive surfers in waveski and stand up surfing. Thanks to the work of the High Fives Foundation and Tyler Lausten, owner of TL Surf, the number of athletes competing in adaptive wave ski is growing fast and the level of surfing by these men and women is extremely impressive.
The kayak category for the Ventura event this year was the largest ever and was sold out with 16 competitors, including one female, Kelly Marie Henry who was willing and very able to compete alongside the men.
Some really fun surf on Friday combined with sizzling Santa Ana offshore winds left competitors hoping for more on Saturday but the swell dropped significantly. During the finals we were fighting for scraps with the local surfers, who for the most part, stayed respectfully out of the way or at least didn’t seem to mind when when took all the best waves.
Mat Hoff hit the biggest move of the two days with a nice aerial on Friday but the eventual winner of the kayak category was Zack Boyd with his consistently radical style. Zack has been a dominant force in the International Class for a while but he has been working hard on his High Performance surfing and it is really paying off.