Images: Mat Arney
First light and we’re standing on the cliff top at Lusty Glaze, lines are stacked to the horizon. Below, a solitary surfer drops into a glassy peak, giving instant scale to the vista, as the heaving wall feathers way overhead. The Summer Slyder had been turned into a social due to distinct lack of swell – the rescheduled event would have no such trouble. Huey had well and truly delivered!
And so the clans gathered at the allotted hour with more than 50 competitors turning out. There were mat pilots from the far south coast, Paipo planers from the depths of Wales, bodysurfers from Londinium and Alaia riders from darkest Devon. There were spinners and slyders from the four corners of Britain, and the fathest reaches of Kernow. At sign-in talk was of rails and grain, tails and inflation – as new friendships were made, and old acquaintances rekindled. On deck at Lusty were awesome craft and luscious goodies to drool over from G-Mat, SAW Boards, Otter, NMP, Yellow Duck Boards, Adventures In Lo-Fi, Slyde Handboards, Mullet, Da Fin and more.
High tide and the four heats of body surfing kicked off in big surf, with some hard charging and air drops. Standouts included Thomas Pope taking down his heat on a flip flop, 2013 Bodysurf Champion Jo Brown, Jaydeen Kerton and Jack Middleton, but eventually it was Rory Mason who took down the bodysurf / handplane title in a super tight final.
The bellyboard / Paipo division also saw some radical waveslyding – the boards and riders certainly being tested in the powerful and challenging waves. Garry Purchase, Against the Grain’s Andy Garner and Thomas Pope all had some amazing rides, with Keith Usher, on a foam and glass construction, taking the crown as the Paipo Champion.
As the tide ebbed the waves glassed off, fanned by the light offshores. The mat crew were next up, with Gary Purchase, young Marcus Reed and Elsie Pinniger all charging hard. Rich Pope managed to bully the waves into yielding their gold, charging the hardest and paddling the longest, to confidently seize the Mat crown.
The stand up finless saw some super stylish slyding in overhead fast powerful peaks. Mark Sankey dropped into an outside wave, pulling of a 360; Neil Reed charged on his traditional paulownia Alaia picking up much kudos for his leashless performance, while Sarah Bentley earned the “Most Stylish Human” award for her finesse, picking off the biggest wave of the Alaia final along the way. However no one could stand in the way of Jimbo Bennet, who carved and spun his way to a second Alaia title in two years.
And so to the grand final. As the sun sank over the headland the competitors gathered on the water’s edge. The pink hued ocean offered two inviting peaks and long glassy walls were lining up nicely. Keith Usher’s clean lines earned a stylish 4th on the Paipo, Rory Mason picked off a couple of steamers to finish 3rd, The Pope charged a bomb and rode it all the way to the inside on his mat to finish runner up, but it was Jimbo Bennet who stole the show again – retaining his Slyder Cup crown by pushing his Albacore way beyond the performance parameters usually seen on these finless flyers. There were spins, carves, tailslides and long rides. The crowd along the shore hooted and cheered, before retiring to the warmth of the Lusty bar to toast the winners and talk story over waves ridden and boards sessioned at the Reef Frigid Friction Affliction Convention. Roll on 2015, roll on Slyder 3.
The final Slyder Cup Standings are as follows:
Reef Slyder Cup Winner and Alaia Champion: Jimbo Bennett riding Albacore
Runner Up and Mat Surfing Champion: Rich Pope on Dale Solomonson
Third and Body Surf Champion: Rory Mason on Adventures in Lo-Fi handplane
Fourth and Paipo Champion: Keith Usher on SDF Paipo
Winner Shaper’s Shield: Graeme Webster, G-Mat Surfmats
Winner Most Stylish Human: Sarah Bentley
Winner of Expression Session: Leon Reed
Thanks to everyone who turned out and helped to make it a day of good vibes, good rides and good times especially our judges Gee Piper, John Isaac plus Paddy and Aaron, for their excellent work and our lifeguards Warren and Mark, Sarah Bentley and Stella Pope on registration and tabulation, Mat Arney official photographer and Rich Braham at Whale Submarine for his rad designs.
We’d also like to say a big thanks to our partner Reef who have supported the Slyder since its inception as well as Xcel Wetsuits, Allpress Espresso, Da Fin, Makemake, Mullet Boards and Slyde Handboards.