While having exercise bikes in the competitor’s area was a very earnest idea, it didn’t quite pan out as you would have supposed. I arrived at the scene just in time to watch two young men buck up and down on the bikes like inebriated sorority sisters on mechanical bulls somewhere south of Arlington, Texas. A crowd of peers watched closely, chanting and screaming. It appeared to be a competition, but I couldn’t decipher who was winning. As I stood pondering, a coed stampede of younger surfers scorched past me as they raced to the candy stand. Competitive by nature but frisky at heart, aren’t they?
Out in the ocean, the competition was even harsher and the frisk was in full-force. If they win here, the reward would be sweeter than any high fructose corn syrup chewy tablet — even the coveted mango ones. Peaks crumbled beneath the pier and every bit of mischief was left at the water’s edge. The hell-raisers had become suddenly solemn, if only for a 15-minute heat. Young boys and girls surfed in flawless form. “Once he/she puts on some weight…” was spoken more times than you’d ever care to hear. Growth spurts are the new indie. And along came the finals.
Fog was thick in the sky, but umbrellas dotted the beach — it takes more than a marine layer for Ultraviolet rays to fool the modern mother. The Open Men’s finalists had spark in their step, looking mostly above the lip for scores. Taylor Clark and Seth Moniz landed clip-worthy reverses; Josh Moniz came close on a rodeo flip. On the feminine side, the focus was more on the rail. Bailey Nagy put together a crisp few turns and Dax McGill smashed lips like they owed her $3.50. The judges certainly had their hands full.