We’re just gonna cut to the chase: Jason Barry, Vice President of the Sunshine Coast Jet Sport Club sent us this report of the third annual Surf Slam (no, not the same one hosted by Blowsion every September). Enjoy:
“This years event was the third Surf Slam run by the Sunshine Coast Jet Sport Club and by far the most successful. We changed the event site, date and format of the event which all had positive results.
“Previously we had ridden at beach on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. The first event used the success of racing committee who had secured the Australian Surf titles and wanted some freestyle for a lunch time demonstration. After asking a few mates the word spread and we had 20 people who wanted to be involved. I then suggested including a freestyle class at the end of each round of racing so we could join in for whole the day. Before I realized what was happening we had approx. 80 freestyles from throughout Australia calling for accommodation, entry fee, event schedule and details and the first Surf Slam was born. Everyone was so excited that we were forced to make it a two day event.
“We held the event again in the following year of 2012 and used the same site and format. Unfortunately the weather conditions were so bad and under advise from the authorities and our safety crew we were forced to cancel day two. From this point on we knew that the event needed some major changes to to ensure its success for the future. 2013 was to be our next chance but due to council permit and insurance issues we were unable to run the event.
“After two days driving around possible new event locations we decided on Alexandra Heads in the centre of the Sunshine Coast. We decided on this site as it ticked all the boxes for sponsor exposure, increased spectator numbers, access for competitor parking, accommodation and food. We also knew that the previous event had been considered a family event and found that the riders were bringing their girl friends, wives and kids and making a holiday out of it.
“The new site allows competitors to park their car on arrival to Alexandra Beach in a fenced two acre paddock and not drive again until they head home. The can then access with their friends and family within 100 metres of the car park the accommodation, event site, local Surf Club and the after party.
“This made the family theme even stronger this year as the families could hang in their room until they were ready. They were also able to see if the event had started from the balcony of their room so they didn’t arrive before the action started.
“I had always dreamed of a pit lane style ally/market that allowed the sponsors to display their product to the riders and general public for viewing or sale. This year we were able to offer a grassed elevated platform that allowed the sponsors to display their product without it being on the beach/sand and getting lost amongst the riders tents.
“We also erected on the grassed area a 90 seater grandstand for the public. This gave the public the opportunity to sit and watch the riders from and elevated platform and elevated grandstand giving them the best seat without getting their feet cold and dirty by the sand. This also had a flow on effect making the event safer as the general public were not on the beach and therefore not in the way of riders returning to the beach after their sessions.
“We also erected a platform for the judges, commentator, photographers and film crew. This also worked beyond our expectations with the elevation allowing them all a better perspective of what was happening with the incoming waves and the quality of riding.
“We held the event on the 2nd and 3rd of May trying to catch the last of the warm weather and the end of Cyclone season for some swell. Although we had some rain early on the first day it cleared and we were able to complete the two days of riding. The surf gods didn’t help us much and we only had 1-2 foot waves but they did help on day two as the surf was super clean until we finished at approximately 3pm.
“The previous Surf Slams considered of three events which included Racing, Krash Industries Freestyle competition and Freeride. We found that there was two much going on for the organizers and riders so the decision was made to focus on freestyle for this year.
“This years event saw the return of the Krash Series and we were blessed to be given the third and final round after two massive events in Sydney and Melbourne. By including the Krash series it helped us attract the big names of the sport and 70 + entries.
“We set out the course as a large rectangle and put a line through the middle giving us two boxes. Day one saw the heats and qualifying of 6 classes for the Krash Industries competition in one box and in the second box we ran groups of ten who could freeride over a 10-15 minute period giving everyone plenty of ride time.
“Day Ttwo was the same with split groups but we had the semis and finals of the the Krash Series and ran some freeride competitions including sickest trick, biggest air and the dash for cash.
“The dash for cash was a huge success with two courses laid out. The first course makes the rider run around and over obstacles on the beach as a Le Mans start. They then dragged their skis into the water and raced three laps in and out of the waves. After the third lap they came back onto the beach again running around and over an obstacle course. The first one home and across the finish line collected $250 cash for their efforts.
“This years event attracted just over 25 sponsors who all chipped in with money, product, ideas and assistance to make this event a success.
“We were able to secure AJSP as the naming right sponsor followed closely by many of the big names in our industry that includes the Wet Seat, Yamaha Australia, 701 Industries, Blowsion, High Roller and Freeride Innovations. (I have attached a poster for your reference of all the sponsors.)
“AJSP have been involved with the Surf Slam from the start and I cannot thank Craig and Adam enough. By having them involved your event is automatically lifted to another level.”