Skimboard legend Blair Conklin is set to join the UK’s most creative surfers in a gathering of the tribe in North Devon.
Wavelength is proud to announce that Reef is the title partner of the Spring Classic Surf Invitational, to be held at Combesgate Beach, North Devon. The Surf Invitational Presented by Reef is a key plank, if you’ll pardon the pun, of the inaugural Spring Classic. That’s a new surf, music, skate, nature, and ride culture festival set within the sweeping vistas of Woolacombe Bay to be held between May 27-30.
“The Spring Classic Surf Invitational is going to be a blast,” Blair Conklin told Wavelength. “I’ve never been to that part of the UK, so I’m amped. My mates down there have told me there are fun waves, a beautiful coastline with plenty of skim potential, an epic surf crew, and good music too – I’m pumped.”
Conklin is a three-time World Skimboard Champion, Berkeley-educated environmental scientist, Instagram tastemaker, and all-around surfing freakydeak. If a piece of fibreglass or foam floats, he can ride it, spin it, wing it, twist, skim or twirl it. As a Reef ambassador, he’ll be flying in from Laguna to join fellow teammate and logging legend Mike Lay for the competition, designed to reward the surfers exhibiting the most style, flow, and fun.
For Lay, the trip from his home in Cornwall to Combesgate might be somewhat of a busman’s holiday. Kids, google it. The lifeguard, writer, and new father has recently taken up the post of print editor of Wavelength with his first issue due to drop on May 19th.
“As the new Editor, I’m not sure if the Spring Classic is work or play, but I’ll be aiming very much for the latter,” Lay said. “I see it very much a gathering of the tribe. To have some of the UK’s most talented and creative surfers, plus special guests all in the one place, having fun, listening to music, sharing ideas, and the odd beverage will be a rare treat.”
The list of invited surfers includes 11x European Longboard Champion, Ben Skinner, longboard champ and filmmaker Sam Bleakley and style gurus such as Seb Smart, Harry Timson, and Izzy Henshall also on hand in North Devon. 15-year-old local grom Malakai Hagley (tubed below) will be another to watch as he takes on some of UK’s established legends.
Apart from general respect and street cred of winning the inaugural competition, the surfers will also be vying for a range of prizes. Mystic, the iconic Dutch waterwear brand, are partnering the Spring Classic Surf Invitational and will be giving a prize for the ‘Wave of the Weekend’.
Over the last 20 years, Mystic have sealed their reputation as an industry-leading name by introducing the latest innovations and ensuring their products are top-of-the-line and built to last. A surfer will leave the beach with an epic pack of their durable gear that reinforces the water experience.
The criteria for the ‘Wave of the Weekend’ will be as loose as a retro twinny. The surfer with the longest drop, the biggest smile or the funniest nose-ride could take home the Mystic gear that challenges riders to explore new states of mind.
Favourites for that prize will be some of UK’s best competitive talents. Ellie Turner, Luke Dillon, Emily Currie, and Stanley Norman will be on hand to unleash their technical skills and competitive drive. They, however, will be forced to ditch the high-performance thrusters and rip on every conceivable type of surf craft with any type and number of fins.
The bespectacled Norman Stanley will have added incentive to impress. He’s now sporting a Gotcha logo on the schnozzer of his boards as he competes on the European Qualifying Series. The 1980s trailblazing surf brand has been reimagined for a new era and has also come on board as a partner for the Spring Classic Surf Invitational.
“It feels great knowing that such an iconic brand is back, and has got my back,” Norman told Wavelength. “And their support of the Spring Classic Surf Invitational is an epic way to get involved in our surfing culture. It’s a new and original event on the UK surfing calendar. Surfing is about having fun and this invitational has good times written all over it.”
To celebrate the good times, Wavelength are doing a collab clothing range with Gotcha that will launch at the Spring Classic. They will also have the grave responsibility of awarding the best-dressed festival-goer across the weekend with a Gotcha prize bundle up for grabs.
Away from the salty brine, White Claw have also come on board to lubricate the Spring Classic’s extra-curricular activities. They are a lover of festivals and after recently getting involved in surfing, the Spring Classic was a perfect fit. With a tagline that promises, “a wave of pure refreshment” their hard seltzers will add some fizz to the action on the beach and the live music in the evening.
Although, with dance veterans Crazy P headlining and a DJ set from Hot Chip, plus music from Porij, Low Island, Anchorsong, and Falle Noike, extra fizz shouldn’t be a problem. There’ll be electronica, soul, funk, disco, and everything in between, thrumming through the clear, spring Devon air come the end of May, after an epic day of world class sliding and gliding, thrills and spills.
“I’ve packed a few boards of every length and dimension, some thick wetsuits, and my dancing shoes,” concluded Conklin. “I can’t wait to hang in North Devon, get to know the UK surf scene, and make some new friends.”
Tier 3 tickets have now sold out and we’re onto the final release of tickets. You need to be quick, so grab yours now to get locked in for the best weekend of spring.