Style, Swell and Sunshine – all 3 were on offer at the inaugural Saunton Slidefest this weekend and it certainly made for a winning combination. Hosted by the Hotdoggers Longboard Surf Club, the Slidefest was designed to be a celebration of traditional longboard surfing – with all the surfers involved riding 9ft+ single fin logs.
– All photos courtesy of Sam Hanks. –
The talented field of loggers from all over the UK treated the spectators and judges to a fine display of stylish surfing in a competition format designed to reward silky smooth footwork, drop knee turns and critical nose riding. Saunton Sands – regarded as one of the best longboard waves in the UK – provided a perfect setting, with clean 1-2ft peelers in the water and good vibes on the beach all day, with the sun even appearing in the afternoon to top it all off.
An exceptional day of surfing culminated in a final stacked with talent, with all four finalists showing real skill and style. Bournemouth’s Mike Winter, North Devon lad Jack Unsworth, Welshman Elliot Dudley and Saunton local Ben Haworth traded waves in the sunshine, with the final going all the way to the wire. In the end, local knowledge proved the decider, with Ben Haworth taking the win on his final wave.
Traditional logging was the real winner though, with everyone involved in the Slidefest already looking forward to next year’s gathering.
1. Ben Haworth
2. Elliot Dudley
3. Mike Winter
4. Jack Unsworth
Highest Placed Lady: Juliet Marlow
Highest Placed Old Dude: Chris Webb
Highest Placed Grom: Joe Hornbuckle
Best Drop In: Jerry Horsborough
Best Head Dip: Danni Bradford
Biggest Frother: Steve Burley
Massive thanks to Nineplus, Sea Folk, The Salty Merchants, Duffs Footwear, Chariots OF The Sun, Old Guys Rule, Passenger Clothing, Moken Coffee, WestCountry Surf Wax and Submariner Clothing for sponsoring a superb event.