While the kids wowed all with their skillful maneuvers out in the big surf, the beach was alive with banners, tents, and good vibes as club members checked in nervous competitors, passed out event t-shirts and goodie bags for contestants, judged heats, tallied scores, and hosted a BBQ, raffle, and silent auction for kids and their families.
Moms and dads also got in the action with a “D.O.G.” heat (Dads of Groms) and a “M.O.B.” heat (Mothers on Board), so kids could cheer on their surfing parents.
For the third year, LJSSA hosted two special heats of “Warriors," featuring surfing veterans from Team “Rio” (Ride It Out) from the Naval Medical Center San Diego Surf Clinic, comprised of both surf instructors and former warrior patients.
These special athletes have found the “stoke” that surfing brings to all of us and the healing power of the ocean. Notes surf club President Lorraine Schmalenberger, “We are proud to be able to demonstrate to our veterans how grateful we are for their dedication and service and to let the younger surfing generation understand the freedoms we enjoy because of the sacrifices they have made.”
La Jolla Shores Surfing Association also sponsors an Art Contest every year to inspire young people to get involved in our community and surfing through art. The grand prize winner receives $100 and gets his/her original artwork on our Annual Menehune Surf contest t-shirts. Over 200 entries were received this year offering a great variety of perspectives on the surf-inspired theme.
Our grand prize winner, Mateo Estrada Vega of Muirlands Middle School was chosen because his piece embodied the spirit of original art showcasing kids having fun while surfing at La Jolla Shores! The artwork of the top 40 entries selected by our jury is currently on exhibit at the La Jolla Riford Library Center and Jacobs Annex Youth Services Department through mid-May. The surf club is grateful to the art teachers at the participating local area schools who encouraged their students to submit entries: Muirlands Middle, La Mesa Arts Academy, Parkway Middle, and Grossmont High.
The LJSSA enjoys community support for the surf contest and is able to donate the event net proceeds back to charitable organizations that relate to our local community, youth, ocean, and La Jolla Shores. This year’s charity recipients include Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego Junior Lifeguard Foundation, Natural High, and Friends of La Jolla Shores.
The surf contest enjoys support from local vendors and surf industry insiders who donate items to the event for the participant goodie bags, prizes, raffle and silent auction.
Major event sponsors include many of our local surf shops, shapers, and industry notables including Rusty Boardhouse, Surf Diva, South Coast, Sector 9, Sea Brothers Surfboards, Gordon & Smith Surfboards, INT Surf Technology, Stance Socks, Hanger 94, Mitsven Surfboards, La Jolla Kayak and Menehune Surf Camp. Local companies also lend their support including Duke’s La Jolla, Scorpion Bay Hotel, La Jolla Shores Hotel, and Arcade Belts.
This annual celebration of kids, surfing, and fun at LaJolla Shores beach has become a community fixture. Contest Director Stephanie Hoffman noted, “We thank all the competitors, volunteers, parents, and sponsors for making this event special year after year.” More information can be found on the La Jolla Shores Surfing Association’s website, www.ljssa.org.
For more information about the contest or the La Jolla Shores Surfing Association, contact Lorraine Schmalenberger at 858-692-5235 or e-mail her at email@example.com.