A NEW SURF CONTEST SERIES FOR THE YOUTH
How It Works
Heats Are Surfed
HOW'D IT GO ? THE RECAP
After the changes that everyone had to endure for over a year, Volcom had a strong desire to come back on the field and reconnect with the local surf communities. Setting up a fresh new competition format for the Youth isn't an easy task, and despite some hiccups, the first edition of the Volcom Surf Happenning digital contest series delivered more than expected, excitement, drama, competition stress, comradery and anticipation!
Three free contests open to the under 16 year old top surfers, got organized at the following European surf hubs: Ericeira (Portugal), Zarautz (Basque Country) and Hossegor (France). With a prize money of 1000€ plus extra prizes from our partners EQlove, Jam traction & Softboardcenter, up for grabs at each spot in the mens and womens divisions.
As most "new" things, the format wasn't easy to get for some of the surfers:
First of, the entries were limited in each division (top 10 competitors according to national ranking + 6 "Volcom picks" from all entries).
Then, after one on one heats got drawn by the organization, competitors had a two weeks' time window to connect, agree on the spot and time, to surf their match up, get their best waves on camera and post on social with the contests hashtags (#VSHEriceira, #VSHZarautz and #VSHHossegor).
That is quite some responsibility and work, but the surfers, parents and coach handled it like champs after the first rounds.
But that new format allowed surfers to compete fairly (one on one timed heats) and gave them the freedom to choose the best conditions within the rounds time windows (waves, crowds, availability...), got the surfers, parents, coachs, filmers to (re)connect, and got some of the surfers extra visibility on social...
Here is some action from Hossegor!
Here below are a couple of side stories worth mentioning!!
In Hossegor there was rumors of goofy footers not wanting to agree on surfing a righthander, or solid conditions being avoided by some competitors....
Keoni Van Der Bij got dropped on during one heat by the perfect definition of a surf tourist.
In Zarautz some drama went down:
During a heat, one parent filming run out of battery, got saved by contest director Indar Inanue with his camera, whose battery died a moment later and couldn't document the end of the heat...
In the Men semifinals Oxel Oregi and Hans Odriozola were both in the Maldives but in two different locations and had only one chance to meet to surf their heat (in epic conditions), but couldn't document it as their camera guy lost his gear in the water! The two surfers got eliminated and Kai Odriozola got declared winner after his other semifinal victory against Marco Marin.
Portuguese surfing future is bright! Ericeira's contest surfing level was pretty high.
The classic righthander pointbreaks got teared apart and contest director Gony Zubizarreta got the judges in alert after each heat got surfed.
In the Mens divison goofyfooter Francisco Ordonhas kept posting good scores all contest long and took the win despite good competitors such as Salvador Vala, Santiago Graça, Tiago Faria or Francisco Mittermayer...
Huge Congrats to all winners and participants!!
Stay tuned for another edition next year at various location and some adjustments!
Check out all heats scores and videos below