Austin Sneed RIP (1990-2014)

Seaside and groms go hand and hand. There is always a high talent pool that comes out of Seaside. When I first saw Austin Sneed surf I thought there was a young Dane Reynolds out at Parking Lots. I watched him wave after wave, race down the line and commit to the biggest move he could.  It got me pumped up and I paddled out and said “your tail hucks are mental”.  Then I asked him what his name was, he said “Austin”, I was a lil shocked to hear we had the same first name. I figured it would be confusing if we called each other by our first name, so I asked him what his last name was, he said “Sneed” and from then on we called each other by our last names.  I started to get to know him while he was in High School while doing a bunch surf missions together. I became a big fan of his surfing and found myself trying to go bigger because of him. He came off mature for his age because he was never scared to flare up the older guys at Seaside and he would suggest they should turn a lil harder or take off a lil deeper next wave. This would make me laugh but he had good heckles for me too, when my airs didn’t make it above the lip, he called them “Ware-aerials” ;)  As time went on I saw less and less of Sneed but when I did see him he was surf stoked and would froth me up to get above the lip and catch a few at waves with him.   At the age of 24 years old, Sneed has passed away and I feel remorse not to be able to see more of his tail hucks and hear more of his heckles at Seaside.  In memory of Sneed and his tail huck turns, the “Sneed-huck” is what I will be calling tail hucks for now on.

If any groms or surfers are struggling with problems and need help, they can reach out to me.

Photos by

Billy WattsChris StraleyRob KeatonDarlene Conolly

Sneed at Parking Lots

Sneed at Parking Lots

Dane Reynolds a la "Sneed Huck"

Dane Reynolds a la “Sneed Huck”

Sneed Huck

Sneed Huck

The boys goofing off for a Transworld shoot. Left to right: Sneed, Nick Suhadolink, me, Ryan Burch, Nick Kovack Kyle Knox and Eric Snortum

The boys goofing off for a Transworld shoot. Left to right: Sneed, Nick Suhadolink, me, Ryan Burch, Nick Kovack, Kyle Knox and Eric Snortum

Flash tubes

Flash tubes

San Dieguito Academy 2008 team, NSL Game Regional Champions.  Left to right: Nick Suhadolink, Ryan Burch, Dave Suhadolink, Eric Snortum, Corey, Jeremy Sherwin, Brad Hugglund, Oly Norris, Nick Olsen, JD Lewis and Sneed.

San Dieguito Academy 2007 team, NSL Game National Champions. Left to right: Nick Suhadolink, Ryan Burch, Dave Suhadolink, Cory Gabriola, Eric Snortum, Corey, Jeremy Sherwin, Brad Hugglund, Oly Norris, Nick Olsen, JD Lewis and Sneed.

RIP Sneed from the Seaside Mob

RIP Sneed from the Seaside Mob

Boardriders

I have been living in Manly, Australia for the last 5 months now and a difference I see between the USA and Australian surf communities are the development of the shortboard surf clubs.  Although the surf club idea started in America with Windansea club (La Jolla, California) and Malibu Surf Club (Malibu, California) in the 1960’s and it has stayed a tradition with longboard community around California. The Windansea surf club came to Australia in the 1970s and traveled around and set up club branches (in Sydney, Gold Coast and Sunshine coast).  Malibu being know as a famous longboarding spot had such influence on the Australians that the Aussies call Longboards “Mal’s” (short for Malibus).  Now there are surf clubs (Australians call them Boardriders) all along the beaches, each club associated with a surf spot Australia. The club idea inspired Australian surfers and it became a nation wide ritual for longboard and shortboard clubs.  The Australians separate longboarding and shortboarding clubs, each having their own clubs because of different views of how to surf a wave.  Also the longboarders and shortboarders don’t get along because the difference in the length of their sticks, but we all know it’s not the size of the stick but it’s the rhythm you create with ocean ;-)

The Boardriders start with community membership, on average its $60 annually to join. You have the choice to participate in monthly events, like local surf competitions (each Boardriders runs the events), tag team events, beers with the boys, club trips and Charity Balls.  The Australian Boardriders and Life Saving Clubs control the prime real estate on the beach at their specified breaks.  The buildings are setup with the help from the government, then clubs generate revenue by using the buildings for rent as conference rooms, gyms, pubs or restaurants and even mini gambling casinos.  The Boardriders also make money through sponsorships from local companies or surf industry brands that they use to fund equipment or team trips.

The Aussie Boardriders have a sick tag team series with Global surf Tag, where a lot of the clubs compete against each other for pride and money.  Imagine how good the Boardriders would work for The Game? Seaside Club versus Rincon Club, or Snapper Rocks   club versus Lower Trestles club, it would be amazing. There’s so much passion and community support when comes down to competition and local surf spot clubs.  The Game format would be amazing to show case the local talent from the area, use the camaraderie within the clubs and bring club versus club to see who has the best locals.

The idea of having surf clubs is great for the community vibe and local support.  I feel it would be a huge hit in America to have organized shortboard clubs at some of the top surf spots.  It creates an influential team from the area from young mini groms, beginners, to the top pros and older gurus. From an early age groms would have a more structured way of learning about ocean skills, respect in the lineup, equipment and history from their club members. It is also a great place for somebody to try his or her’s first competition. I have recently joined the Queenscliff Boardriders club (QBC) and it’s been inspirational to see everybody in the club ripping and frothing around the events. I’m enjoying the vibe and I think it would be cool to pass it on to my local surfing roots at Seaside Reef.

References

www.windanseaboardriders.com.au

www.msasurfing.org

www.windanseasurfclub.org

www.qbc.org.au

www.NSLGame.com

www.globalsurftag.com

Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Club

Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Club

Snapper Rocks Surf Club

Snapper Rocks Surf Club

Currumbin Surf Club on the Gold Coast

Currumbin Surf Club on the Gold Coast

QBC Setup

Queenscliff Boardriders Club (QBC) Setup

QBC Tag team

QBC Tag team

Team Spirit

Team Spirit

Queenscliff looking at Manly

Queenscliff looking at Manly

One

One

Two punch

Two punch  Seq: Daniel Williams

Charlotte competed in her first heat at QBC

Charlotte competed in her first heat at QBC

Maisuma

Maisuma, is portugese for one more. Maisuma blog is about a mini french girl travels through life and one more glass of wine.  I have been dating this mini (Charlotte is her name) for 5 years and recently I have been living with her in Australia. Charlotte has been documenting the adventure with her styley camera and poetic french words (sorry its not in english but you will get the pictures).  So enjoy and have some wine and chesse as you view along.

Mini's

Mini’s

Ripping on a Tomo board at Bells

Ripping on a Tomo board at Bells

 

So Cal Pro Championship Title

After my win in Imperial Beach last week, I entered a few more local pro events to finish up the season of California events. At the end of week I competed in the America Pro Surfing Series at Huntington Beach with an epic combo swell running. I had alot of competitive heats and made the final (2nd place) with my good friend and Bodyglove team rider Nate Yeomans (4th place). Nate and I made our first final together at HB Pier 13 years ago in an local Pro Jr event which Nate ended up winning and since then we have a healthy competitive comradery through our careers.  The next day I went down to Pacific Beach to compete in the Revolt Summer Series to keep my streak of pro events flowing and win my first Southern California Pro Championship Title (just made the title up, haha) . There was some waves around the PB area and the competition was exciting because of the Smith Grudge Match format. In the format, if you are the top seed, you pick the guy you want to surf against and go man-on-man (no priority). I picked somebody I didn’t know and surfed my way through to the final again and finished 3rd overall (four man final). I had a great time competing again after my back injury last year. It was an exciting challenge for myself to step back into the ring to compete to win. My results out of 6 events were two- 1st place finishes, two- 2nd place finishes, a 3rd and 5th to bring the So Cal Pro Title to Solana Beach. Thanks to my family, friends and sponsor for their support.

Irene, Mom, me, JD Lewis, Susan

Irene, Mom, me, JD Lewis, Susan

PB waves

PB waves

HB Pier

HB Pier

RSSS 3rd

RSSS 3rd

APSS backside turn

APSS backside turn

APSS hack

APSS hack

APSS at HB. Nate Yeomans, Chris Waring, me, Cory Arrimabide

APSS at HB. Nate Yeomans, Chris Waring, me, Cory Arrimabide

Dempsey Pro

The Dempsey Pro was named after a pioneer surfer of the Tijuana Sloughs and a legend in Imperial Beach, named Dempsey Holder.  Wildcoast put on a pro division for their 10th annual surf event down in Imperial Beach. I remember IB had Pro surf events back in the 80’s and 90’s with the Bud Tour, so I have always wanted to surf a pro event down in the historical town. My long time friend Zach Plopper was running the event and picked a good window to run the event at the end of September when Cali gets our combo swells from the south and north, the water is still warm and the Santa Ana’s start to blow. Zack was creative with the format that had everything from no-losers round, to four man heats and man-on-man.  I had just arrived fresh from Australia the night before with a magic Simon Anderson surfboard and straight into shoulder hi punchy peaks. I built my rhythm up through the day and had some competitive heats all the way to the final where I finished up on top. It felt great to have a win in my surf native San Diego area and be part of the history of the pro surf events in Imperial Beach. I love the competitiveness of trying to win but what I really like with surf comps is the great time hanging all day with some good friends at the beach.

Photos by Paul Gallegos and Alfredo Ramirez

Beer in the face feels and taste good after a sick day of surfing

Beer in the face feels and taste good after a sick day of surfing

Zack and I

Zack and I

Jeff Lukasic and I before the final

The finalist, Sean Pearson(4th) from Oside but living in Nicaragua , Brandon Roberts(2nd) from South Africa but living in Ocean Beach,  Jeff Lukasic (3rd) from San Clemente

The finalist, Sean Pearson(4th) from Oside now living in Nicaragua
, Brandon Roberts(2nd) from South Africa now living in Ocean Beach, Jeff Lukasic (3rd) from San Clemente

Clean Fall conditions

Clean Fall conditions

IB punch

IB punch

Heats

I’ve been getting the competitive feeling lately after watching the last few WCT comps (Brazil and Fiji), so I bring you some older comp footage of moi.  This little classic piece shows how the quality has improved over the years of watching videos on the Internet.  The guy who made it is named Fanatic138 (Comp Crusher) on youtube and brought some detailed and comical commentary to the 2008 Quiksilver Durban Pro, Prime event help in April.  This video was my best career result on the ASP, its from my Quarterfinal against Josh Kerr. This was a breakthrough heat for me, riding a 61 chippy roundtail, glasson fins,  Mayhem Shape(currently AW model). I rode that board into the ground but I still have it hanging in my parent’s garage for good vibes.

Local Talent

A friendly face in the water and ladies man on the beach. Danny has been improving fast, making finals in the Volcom Pro Jrs and pulling reverses on the reg at seaside. He is creating his blog by marketing his charismatic character and energetic surfing. He’s off to bali for the summer and I’m gonna meet up with him for some barrel time.      dannyberk.com