A surf contest held in Huntington Beach over the weekend wasn’t just about the waves — it was also about the trash that ends up on the coast.
The Reduce Reuse Recycle Surf Off, held at Ninth Street north of the pier, put an environmental spin on a fun event that drew nearly 100 competitors.
The event was “trashier than ever,” said organizer Seth Matson, who founded the nonprofit Drains to Ocean.
A beach clean-up was held throughout the day, with more than 100 volunteers scooping up 120 pounds of trash. Environmentalists were on hand to spread the word about how inland run-off ends up on the beach.
“Most competitors came with their families, making for an event that was full of laughs, silliness and lots of love for each other and the ocean,” Matson wrote in a recap of the event. “While surfers competed and local families enjoyed the beautiful beach day, they were also able to learn a bit more about what this event was really about – coming together to recognize the harmful effects of litter in our ocean, over-use of single-use plastics and the impact it is having on our coastline and waterways.”
To top it off, the surf was perfect, despite a forecast for 20 mph winds that never showed up.
“The skies cleared up, the winds died down and the waves rolled in at 3- to 5-feet-plus on a few sets throughout the day,” Matson said.
Winners were awarded trophies Matson made out of water bottle caps collected at beach clean-ups, held together with an eco-resin.
Drains to Ocean’s next event is an art show called “Saltwater,” in honor of World Oceans Day, with the work of 20 ocean artists and photographers on display at The Artery in Costa Mesa from 5 to 10 p.m. June 8. For information, go to drainstoocean.org
Winners of the Reduce Reuse Recycle Surf Off
Grom Division (age 11 and younger): Petey Romaniuk
Youth Division: Cade Haakenson
Men’s Division: Sage Guinaldo
Women’s Division: Juju Romaniuk
Master’s Division: (30 and older): Jason Haughey
Longboard Division: Max Lambert
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Drone Footage: Bill King