3rd annual cramik skimfest
October 15, 2005
Lefts Beach, SF, CA
For the 3rd year in a row, we held the Cramik skimfest. This year, not only was it scheduled later (the prior 2 years it was held in August), but the location was floating this year (last 2 years it was at Limantour). The idea was to find out the beach with the best conditions on the day leading up to the fest, and pick the beach on Friday, post it online and hold it Saturday. This resulted in 2 problems. First, was that a very large swell was scheduled to hit on Saturday and very large swells and skim usually don’t mix on most beaches. The other problem was that the forecast was for rain, which is not a big deal, but also a lot of dub, which is a major problem. Based on this we decided to have everyone meet at Baker in the morning and then hopefully go to Lefts in the afternoon. This led us to other logistical problems such as Lefts being very fickle, we weren’t sure the swell would be quite large enough, and even if it was Lefts more often than not does not have enough sand for the first swell of the season.
Saturday morning, the usual suspects gathered at Baker to find no dub and somewhat decent conditions at Baker, without much notice of swell. The buoy was only 5.9’ at 5:50 in the morning, and I was worried. Since Baker looked decent and there was so much forecasted dub, we decided to get in at Baker and skim while we could. Paul got early points for first beer, even with Fenster double fisted at 9:30. Daver got ride o’ the morning (till Heins’o-matic got in the water). It was pretty fun right in front of the parking lot, but as tide came in, the waves started to trough and we were just getting blown up on every wave.
Josh decided to start checking for greener pastures towards the north end and we decided to follow after seeing him go for a couple. The beach looked steeper, and the waves a little more onshore. It was ok a little north of the parking lot when Heins comes running by, suited up, and rambling about the sider at the very north end. Like lemmings we all followed. The sider wasn’t great, but the beach was very steep at the north end and everyone started getting good rides. 57 hooked up on one 2 points down from the end that was very memorable as he planed out far, hit one backside, and rode it for a mile towards the north end. The beach erupted. We skimmed for a long time down there in the sun, with no dub, and everyone getting good rides like Paul who got more barrels than I could count.
After 12 the tide was getting low and the breeze was slowly gaining momentum and we decided it was time for lunch and time to see what Lefts was going to have to offer for the contest. The weather was unbelievable at Lefts, sunny and warm, with absolutely zero swell. 3 Wheel kept reminding me that swell wasn’t really supposed to start hitting until 12 or 2, but I was getting distraught, thinking we missed our chance to run the contest with the unexpected good fortune we had at Baker. We were thinking of going back to Baker to have the contest, since there was at least something to hit over there, but Dustin said not to worry, the swell was going to hit at Lefts and it was going to be good. We had been there close to an hour, and had seen maybe 1 set come through and weren’t very optimistic.
After most everyone had grabbed something to eat and had a beer or 2, a couple decent sets started to roll through that were somewhat decent at Inside Pocket. DAK called and said Baker was howling, so a couple of us got in the water to screw around, and the consistency started to pick up. About 20 minutes later, the 1st real set came through, about 4’ and closed out. It was pretty amazing since we hadn’t really seen a wave all day there. Shortly after that more sets came in, and we rallied everyone into the water in hopes of running the event in conditions where there might be at least something to hit once in a while.
A short aside, people have always brought up the idea to me of a contest at Lefts and I always shunned the idea. Not only would it be difficult to set up a priority status, but to get people to organize for a contest and not just want to free-ride, I always thought would be impossible. The place only breaks good a handful of times a year, and I know how much I hate too miss it, I know others feel the same way. I am really stoked that everyone was able to “go along” with the contest idea and not get too bummed about not being able to ride the point, and having to share the point with 10 or more other people. Thanks guys for making it possible and going along with the program.
We decided to give some general rules on priority, and then let everyone go in a standard Cramik free-for-all. Again, there were about 16 competitors, all at once skimming. The waves really decided to coincide with this 40 minute heat and there were plenty of good waves for everyone to hit. It was UNBELIEVABLE! Set after set rolled through, with Thomas getting 3 or more good ones that took him from the point all the way to main beach. Ephrin secured his best wipeout wall clock. The sun was still out, and spectators lined the walking path along the point to catch a glimpse of NorCal’s finest tearing it up.
The long shadows started to form as the semi finals began that featured Thomas, Dustin, Patrick, Spiro, Paul, & Mariani. Out of the shadows and into the sun they would go, on what turned out to be meager conditions for the semis as the sets decided to take a break. Thomas again got a nice long one, Dustin continued with his solid style, big spins, and ollies. Patrick was the “volume” producer, going seemingly endlessly with a wide variety of tricks in his bag. Spiro, used patience to secure good priority and ended up getting a good long ride that got him into the finals. Ryan Parola showed up a little late, partly my fault since I told him there were no waves and we might even being thinking about canceling the contest. Sorry Ryan! He, respectfully, skimmed inside so as to stay out of the way of the competition, but literally was killing the inside with more than one judge wanting to make him an honorary finalist. As you probably know, the Cramik bylaws strictly forbid this, but we were still stoked to watch Ryan tear it apart.
The finals, although not as bad as the semis, still didn’t have great waves. There were still some good sets that rolled through, and the boys did good work getting as much out of them as possible. In the end, Thomas continued his long liner rampage, clocking several hundred yards of ride time in his 3 heats. Dustin skimmed solid but often didn’t have the priority when the sets rolled around. Patrick, who is 14 I believe, showed that he is going to be a contender at all contests for many years to come with outstanding coordination for a guy so young and so tall, with endless energy and a solid trick base. Spiro tried to be patient again, but since there were more good waves it was difficult. He still had some solid rides and even through in a couple of his patented “Spiro Spinners” that always got the judges fired up.
And that’s the way they placed. Thomas, who won cramikfest #1 remained undefeated at the cramikfest since he had to leave early last year (and could probably smell Dustin’s domination of Limantour). Dustin, although the odds-on favorite to win, had to get 2nd place since Thomas’ long rides were difficult to match. Patrick and Spiro came in 3rd & 4th respectively. I think no one had any clue how stoked they’d be to reach the finals until Heins pulled out the trophies he’d made for the contest. After going to over 30 or 50 contests, I have never seen such great trophies, they basically kicked ass and I found myself quite jealous and wishing I had entered. Prizes were disbursed that included great stuff from Dickson, Bike Mike, 3 Wheel Fenster, Rhino (2KSports), Daver, & Cramik.
Everyone seemed stoked on the prizes and trophies, and with the conditions. When I was debating on running the contest at Lefts when the 1st couple sets came in, Dustin told me he didn’t care about the contest, he just wanted to skim. That was the greatest compliment I could have received. This event is always about having fun, and getting lucky and scoring good conditions at 2 different beaches that day was awesome. The fact that people were just fired up to skim made it sick.
I want to thanks everyone for showing up, without you guys it wouldn’t be fun. Also, I want to thanks the judges: 57, Ozzie, 3WF, & Paige Colins. Thanks to Dickson, 3WF, & Colin for taking pictures. Thanks to the aforementioned prize givers for spending their own cash on the prizes for the top 4 – I think that’s really awesome and you guys deserve more recognition (especially Bike Mike & Rhino who had to bail early and didn’t even get to see the contest!).
Lastly, I would like to apologize to anyone who wasn’t able to hook up with us at Baker or who left early from Lefts when it looked like it wouldn’t work. I thought I had left a message on my phone telling people what was going on, but I hung up before I saved it. Sorry to anyone who got screwed by this mishap.
See you next year!
Some quotes about the contest:
“So let me get this straight, you’re publicizing a (used to be) secret break that’s skimmable a couple times a year, and you’re getting paid NOTHING???” – Mad Dog
“Could not have asked for a more fun day. Good waves and great weather at Baker for the AM. Lefts shaped up just in time for one of the more unique contests I have seen for the PM session.
The only thing better than the level of skimming were the amazing trophies hand crafted by the legend Tom ’57′ Heins, who by the way got some sick old school sider connections at Baker.
Thanks to Pot, Daver, Heinz, Bike Mike, CKay and Rhino for sick prizes. Oh and props to the darkhorse, Patrick, who came out of nowhere to get 3rd in the final. A truly Cramik day it was.” – Paige Collins
“Going out there and seeing so many good skimmers in one place is not something I’m going to forget anytime soon. Oh yeah, those trophies rocked” – Danger Ranger
“what a day! seems everything fell into place. a great contest at a great location. can’t wait to see the pics. a great final heat. an exellent round. top notch! top notch! can’t wait for next year.” – Daver
“Yeah that was sooo much fun. Definitly the greatest time I’ve ever had a skimfest/contest. It was soo freakin awesome to have the weather and swell all come together and make for an epic early season Left’s session. It was definitly pretty tricky to try an figure out “the rules” and wave priority for the contest, but overall I think it worked out pretty damn good. Really there was nothing to complain about, even from my usual pesimistic mouth, and we couldn’t have asked for a better day. A big thanks goes out to everybody who helped organize the event, the people who put together the awesome prizes, and especially the judges who made the ultimate sacrifice and just sat out of the line up for the contest while watching some nice sets role through a place that only breaks a couple weeks out of the year. I honestly don’t know how the hell you guys were able to hold back the urge to skim in such fun conditions (Colin, Tom, and Potter), but thanks a lot for doing it and allowing us competitors to get our fair share of waves when you guys could have been out there tearing it up. I couldn’t believe barely anyone was skimming after the contest when the biggest sets were coming in more consistantly. I still wanted to skim, but didn’t wanta push my luck since my girlfriend was nice enough to stay out there the whole day and take pictures. Thanks Nikki” – Bodega Boone
“Couldn’t ask for more, It was a blast! Can’t wait for next year.” – Johno
“props to the judges for sitting out on a good session. It would’ve been crazy had the “veterans” been skimmin.: – Bakeskim
“Whats up everyone, I finally joined in on the scrilla. I just wanted to thank everyone one more time that put on the skimfest, definetly an epic day in october that I will never forget. By the way tom your trophies are sick, and so were your rides at baker, insane. Anyways thanks again I will see you all at baker this weekend.” – Champ
“Great contest! It was great to see everyone out on Saturday.” – Bike Mike
“The baker half of the session was a blast and thanks to all who hung out with my daughter in between rides and such.” – Rhino
From skimonline MB:
“those are some sick ass trophies” – DoubleFelix
“waves there always look so fun, and cold. awesome trophies too” – dantmp
“So cool. I love the trophies.” – Smurf
“Rad trophies and waves … and judging” – Canadian_Skim
“sick trophies!” – Ryon Graf
“looks like a great contest…and i hate to be even more repetitive, but sick trophies” - 4evrskm::Derek
“i can’t believe nobody mentioned how sick the trophies are yet. sick trophies.” – BART
And, if you actually had the time to read all the way down to here, you have 3 more minutes to spend watching the video: