And so Jimbo Bennet climbed the stairs of the plastic slide to the thundering sound of applause. He received the famous Reef Slyder Cup and held it above his head, flash bulbs popped and with the hoots and cheers ringing in his ears, a new champion was crowned.
But before the ascent comes the descent – 133 steps to be precise, down the cliff into the heart of Lusty Glaze. We’d arrived at the top that morning to be greeted by the beautiful sight of lines. A bright sky defied the predicted downpour and white peaks were zippering across the low tide banks. It was time to bring the slyde.
By the time we called reveille, the Lusty decking was well and truly jammed. Crowds milled, the air was thick with talk of mats, straps, rails and tails. With virtually all the heats pre-filled, we were soon fully subscribed and ready to rock. It was a true gathering of the clans, new faces and old friends coming together. Big smiles and long slydes were the order of the day and everyone had come prepared – even those struggling through heavy hangovers.
General good vibes and stoke warmed the grandstand and an assortment of amazing wave sliding vehicles were gathered together for perusal and test riding. A squadron of finely crafted handplanes were on display, a raft of mats were standing proudly by, while the wood cladding and railings were soon lost under a wall of Alaias, Paipos and bellyboards. Waveslyding prototypes of every conceivable phylum, genus and species were tilted, scuitinised and discussed against the backdrop of a heady scent of damp neoprene, varnish, wax and linseed oil.
A full day of heats kept the action in the line-up buzzing. There was standout waveriding with hoots from the line-up and cheers from the crowd. Not for Lusty the cut-throat spirit – Lost Alaias were returned by fellow competitors and first timers traded set waves with seasoned old salts. By the time of the grand final, the tide had pushed in to perfect high tide Lusty wedges… all be it with an end section of dry sand drainers. This proved to be a true slyding master-class. The noise from the crowd on the beach would have drown out any on offer from even a macking Teahupoo final. Alaia champion Jimbo Bennett laid down a 360 cover-up into beach step-off combo, bellyboard winner Alan Stokes threw in a pitching thick lipped barrel in an inch of water, Marcus Healan our Mat Champ dropped into a jacking wedge of death while Jo Brown who’d taken down the body surf title shredded the gnar. The shoreline went nuts, the judges retired to tabulate and calculate, and the competitors washed half a pound of sand out of their wetsuits.
And so it came to pass that Jimbo Bennett took the first annual friction affliction spring convention title in a super tight final from Alan Stokes our runner up, Marcus Healan came third with Jo Brown fourth. Glasses were raised, vinyl was spun and the Approaching Lines Scout Hut Cinema premiered a movie extravaganza featuring ‘Anything Sing.’ As the night came to a close and the DJ packed away, talk was of coming swells and new craft, as we all tackled the 133 steps to the summit. For some the night was just beginning and the slyde into the pubs and clubs of Newquay was only just beginning. Roll on The Slyder Cup 2 – Slyde Harder!
See you soon, Chris, Demi and Nick.
The final Slyder Cup Standings are as follows.
Reef Slyder Cup Winner and Alaia Champion: Jimbo Bennett riding Albacore
Runner Up and Bellyboard / Paipo Champion: Alan Stokes riding Original Surfboard Company bellyboard
Third and Mat Surf Champion: Marcus Healan on Fourth Gear Flyer
Fourth and Bodysurf Champion: Jo Brown on Hand Out Handplane
Winner Shaper’s Shield: Neal Hawkins, Hand Out Handplanes
Winner of Most Innovative Board: Mikey Koskela, Seed Surfboards
Thanks again to everyone who turned up and helped to make the day such a success. Many gave their time generously so a big shout out to them, especially our judges Gee Piper, John Isaac and Antonia Atha, beach marshal Lashy, Archy the Grommet, Sarah Bentley on registration and tabulation, Mat Arney official photographer, Rich Braham at Whale Submarine and Gavin at Traditional Surfboards.