“It’s a solid six-foot swell, with a 14-second period, so it’s big,” says 15-year-old Croyde supergrom Malakai Hagley. “The low tide outside banks at Combesgate are holding and I get a little chip in, lock into a big barrel, and then get spat out. It’s a right-hander too, so I’m on my backhand, which looks way cooler, and the crowd goes wild. I go straight up the beach, claim the Mystic Wave of The Weekend prize pack, and head straight home.”
If that scenario were to happen at the Spring Classic Surf Invitational, and sure, it’s a pretty big if, Hagley would surely claim the Wave of the Weekend prize. Awarded by a panel of judges for a single wave the winner will walk away with a stack of the iconic Dutch brand Mystic’s durable gear, including apparel and waterwear from their killer new Blue Moon collection.
The criteria is looser than the 5’6” twin fins that many of the surfers will be riding. It could be a single maneuver, longest headstand, board switch, heaviest fade, or best noseride. And so with the possibilities endless, we asked a few of the invitees to imagine just what it may take to win. Turns out, some of the surfers are, well, a little unhinged.
“My dream wave would start with Blair Conklin giving me a piggyback as he does the skimboard run thing,” says Cornwall logger and Wavelength Editor Mike Lay. “We skim out together for ages until we get to a wave, and then do a skimboard carving 360 into a backdoor tube. We get spat out with me holding Blair aloft on the skimboard, tandem style.” This is great for Mike, though you’d imagine Blair might want to be sharing some of the epic Mystic goodybag.
Invitee, writer, surfer, and filmmaker Sam Bleakley took a slightly more traditional approach. “My wave of the weekend would be a fin-first take-off, followed by a cross-step to the nose and finish for a half five soul arch all the way to the sand,” said Sam. Which seems a little more realistic and doesn’t involve the need for a grown man to carry another grown man on his shoulders.
Seb Smart, the surfer and artist, went a little more progressive. “Mine would be a glassy, double up,” says Smart. “It is shallow and dredgy, really gurgling. I’d fly along really fast along a high line for the whole start of the wave before finishing with a massive layback at the end. Yeah that sounds pretty cool, right?”
Evie Johnstone, the Cornish-based surfer, photographer, and stylist, went in the opposite direction. If there was a box, she didn’t just think outside it, she grabbed the box and wore it as a hat.
“I have this recurring surfing dream. There’s this wave that comes round like a circle,” says Johnstone. “So it’s a perpetual wave that is always bending towards you, which in my eyes is the perfect kind of wave. Would that win the Wave of the Weekend?”
You’d certainly hope so, given the relatively straight lines that sometimes march into the Putsborough Bay. Though we’d worry about just how dizzy Evie would be when she exited the water.
Blair Conklin, the skimboard wizard who is traveling over from California for the Spring Invitational, also wasn’t afraid to wax spherical when it came to conjuring up his winning entry.
“My wave of the weekend would begin with a no paddle drop-in on my trusty seven-foot Catch Surf log. Gliding down the line I would bottom turn and head towards the lip and then do an acid drop board transfer onto my skimboard,” starts Conklin, impressively. “After stomping the acid drop I would finish the wave with an Alley Oop 360 on my skimboard. The final flourish would be gliding up onto the sand straight in front of the judges’ booth, where I’d give them all a fist bump before heading into the crowd to get a beer.”
Again, you gotta applaud both his imagination and ambition. Though to be fair the only person on that planet that could get close to that crazy sequence is Conklin.
“If I’m being serious, the surf forecast looks fun, but not epic,” says Hagley, our grom on the ground, and voice of reason. “The banks look good though and I just can’t wait to surf with all these great surfers near my home. Whoever wins the Wave of the Weekend will deserve it. I just hope it’s me!”
Grab your tickets now to see some of the UK’s finest surf talent at the Spring Classic Surf Invitational this weekend!