Wednesday, February 22 , 2017, 10:13 am | A Few Clouds 60º


Surf’s Up at Rincon Classic

Overhead waves offer many competitors the chance for the ride of their lives.

Sunday's surf was as spectacular as the weather at the 2009 Deckers Rincon Classic.
Sunday’s surf was as spectacular as the weather at the 2009 Deckers Rincon Classic. (Jon Shafer / Noozhawk photo)

Local surfdom’s most revered competition returns this weekend as surfers from near and far converge on the shores of the Rincon for the 2009 Deckers Rincon Classic, the 26th version of the annual contest.

Contest organizer Chris Keet of Surf Happens says conditions are going to be ideal at the popular spot.

“The waves are predicted to be double overhead,” he said. “It’s as good as it gets at Rincon.”

The two-day contest already has attracted its fair share of luminaries, such as heroes Tom Curren and Chris Brown, who will be competing in the Bud Light Pro Heats, as well as local-boys-made-good Killian Garland and Tarik Khashoggi.

Meanwhile, nearly 200 other would-be legends will line the surf zone in more than 60 competitions to decide the best of the best in 14 categories that span the under-11 Gremlins to the 55-plus Legends, and specialty divisions that include the Red Bull Airshow, the Budlight Professional “Budlight Pro” Division, the Wahoo’s Expression Session and the Oxbow Long board Divisions.

“It’s filled to capacity; there are going to be select openings on the beach,” Keet said.

Those who can’t make it to the shore for the competition can surf the Internet and pick up the action on a live stream courtesy of The classic’s first-ever Webcast will feature both days of competition, including announcements, commentary, scores, interviews and online giveaways.

Behind the scenes, the Rincon Classic will try to meet its own goal of diverting as much trash from the landfill as it can. Partnering with Green Project Consultants, the aim this year is to divert up to 90 percent of waste from this event from the Tajiguas Landfill.

“I was just thinking of all the waste we make from the prizes, sending out boxes and stuff,” Keet said of the recent innovation. Last year, the goal was to divert 80 percent. With $50,000 in donated prizes this year, 90 percent diversion truly would be a feat for the event.

After the sun sets on the second day, the festivities will continue at Classic Sunday, the evening event at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. Attendees will get a chance to relive the competition’s hottest moments through recorded footage, watch this year’s winners get their awards, have dinner and listen to local reggae band Cornerstone.

Classic Sunday will give attendees the opportunity to help local organizations through a raffle and live and silent auctions. Proceeds will benefit the 2009 Rincon Classic’s charitable partners: Heal the Ocean, Hugs for Cubs, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and the Surf Happens Foundation.

Sponsors of the event include A-Frame Surf Shop,, Future Fins, Jensen’s Guitar & Music Co., KJEE, Premier Surf Training, Rincon Surf Blog, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, Simple Shoes and others.

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