It was an epic morning for the 15th Annual Mulligan’s Skim Jam at Sexton Plaza Beach – the final stop on the 2022 Skim USA Triple Crown Tour.
The event was again organized by shore lb., which stands for shore pound: “the surfer slang used to describe how the waves crash directly onto the beach”.
Nearly 100 amateur and professional skimmers descended on the sandy shores just off Mulligan’s Beach House to take part in what organizers say is the world’s biggest one-day skim board competition.
Competitors, who compete according to skill level in Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert and Professional divisions, hitch a ride on waves and are judged on wave selection, in and out patterns, and variety. and the difficulty of the maneuvers they perform.
“This year we have started our own tour – the shore lb. Triple Crown,” said event organizer Chris Ellison, founder/CEO of shore lb. “The first stop was Vero Beach at Mulligan’s in March, the second stop was in April at Panama City, and this is the third stop.
Entrants must compete in all three skim jams, earning points along the way, ultimately hoping to rack up the most points in their division and win the Triple Crown trophy.
The spring competition had previously been held in Stuart, alongside a surfing competition.
“We grew so big that we decided to part ways with the surf contest,” Ellison explained. “And we’re lucky here in Vero to have some of the best skimboarding waves on the East Coast.”
Ellison said he discovered skimboarding while visiting his grandparents in Vero Beach during the winter and fell so in love with the sport that he moved here permanently after getting his high school diploma.
“Skimboarding is a combination of skating and surfing,” Ellison explained, noting that as a result it appeals to a variety of athletes. “It bridges the gap between these two extreme sports.”
Ellison said he moved online registration, heat schedule and scoring this year to liveheats.com to allow real-time scoring to pass, so attendees and their fans can instantly see heats, colors of shirts and results.
Ellison said he is constantly in awe of the sport’s family culture, which attracts competitors from around the world, and attributes it to the camaraderie that exists throughout the skimboarding community.
The Skim Jam also raises awareness and funds for the Vero Beach Lifeguard Association – a non-profit organization whose mission is to “promote lifeguarding and water safety” by funding the equipment lifeguards need to save lives. .
“Vero Beach Lifeguards patrol and protect the waters from South Beach to Jaycee Beach. They keep us safe on our beaches here. Without our Vero Beach lifeguards, so many people would be in danger and potentially dead,” said Ellison, a former lifeguard.
He noted that proceeds from past events have been used to buy VBLA ATVs and side-by-sides used by lifeguards to patrol beaches, allowing them to help more quickly, and paddleboards and kayaks so so they can reach people in the ocean faster.
“Today it’s about the Vero Beach Lifeguards. They’re there; they’re helping support us,” Ellison said.
Afterwards, contestants, friends and families descended on the Walking Tree Brewery for an awards ceremony where they presented prizes for the day’s competition and also announced the Triple Crown winners.
For more information, visit shorelb.com or vbla.org.
Pictures of Joshua Kodis