The 30th Annual Santa Cruz Paddlefest

Such an amazing gathering of the paddle surf tribe for the 30th Annual Santa Cruz Paddlefest! You can read my full wrap up report on C&K Online HERE, including some of my best shots. A HUGE thanks to all the organizers and volunteers that make this event possible, especially Mathew Hoff and Tiffani Hall. I’d also like to send a shout out to Buck Johnson, Rick Starr and Luke Borserio for helping me capture the action all weekend, and to Buck for the loaner IC boat. I’ll let the pics, and captions, below tell the rest of the story about this iconic event.

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The now iconic opening BBQ at Adventure Sports Unlimited.

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Mat Hoff, event organizer, giving the competitors meeting Thursday night before the comp at Adventure Sports Unlimited.

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Small surf Friday didn’t detract from high performance surfing, but everyone had an eye on the rocks.

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The surf might have been small Friday, but good set waves could be found and utilized to go big!

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Tons of great event sponsors this year, and a truly epic event painting done by Drew Brophy.

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Buck Johnson showing how to throw around an IC boat in small surf.

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David Brigg finding some fun sections in his Whitewater Open Heat, in a Riot Boogie.

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Jim GrossmanĀ finding some fun surf amongst the rocks Friday.

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Jim is also known for high performance aggressive surfing, and great picture faces šŸ˜‰

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The surf statue was sporting his St Patrick’s Day garb.

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Specialty surf kayaks, literally, from around the globe along the rail at Steamer Lane.

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Event organizer, Mat Hoff, showing that you don’t need big swell to carve hard.

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The women battled it out this year with great performances all around. Here Teresa Rogerson catches a good one while Gina Morley looks on and J2M gets the in water photo.

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Sean Morley always surfs impressively, and finds ways to catch air on all parts of the wave.

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The much bigger waves on Saturday made for some tough surfing conditions. Quite a few people got caught out inside and ended up swimming, like Dan Ward here.

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Dan was fine, but tired, and his boat took a bit of a beating. Huge shout out to the Santa Cruz Lifeguard water patrol for being on top of so many rescues on Saturday.

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Much of the day Saturday the swell could be seen stacked out to the horizon.

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Going left in this bigger surf at middle peak was a gamble, but one many SUP surfers took, as the sections were usually much steeper than the rights.

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A very vibrant vendor area along the cliffs this year with everything from massages to wave skis.

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Mat and Zack taking a few seconds to relax in the Werner Paddles lounge.

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Dave “The Blurr” Boehne finding some steep hollow waves at the Lane.

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Just outside the surf zone a SUP paddler enjoys a paddle with a pod of dolphins. The entire contest is within the Monterey Bay National Wildlife Sanctuary.

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Sunday provided comparable big surf to Saturday, and allowed all the competitors to truly show off their skills. Darren Bason flew all the way from Australia to show off his high performance surfing skills and boat designs, known as Random Kayaks.

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Besides covering the event I also competed in IC and HP. Here I am enjoying a glassy face in the IC competition. I made it to semi finals in IC, but failed to move out of prelims in HP.

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Great shot by Chris Bensch of me shredding a big one in my IC semifinal heat on Sunday.

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Jack Barker, current IC world champion, flew in from the UK to show off his skills at Steamer Lane. Here he is showing off his moves on his way to a second place IC finish.

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The Whitewater Open class was a pleasure to watch this year. Here Elliot Barlas makes his Jackson Kayak Zen carve down the line.

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Great weather and big waves most of the day Sunday. The rain held off until the very last heat of the day.

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Rusty Sage went HUGE in the HP finals to repeat as HP champion at the Lane.

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Rusty even managed to get tubed in his finals HP heat!

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The raffle was full of all kinds of quality goods from a ton of great sponsors.

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There are all kinds of cool bikes kicking around Santa Cruz. I liked this cruzer with Drew Brophy graphics.

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No Exploring Elements post would be complete without some fun adventuremobile šŸ˜‰ The parade of cool rigs at Steamer Lane is always impressive!

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