For those of you not in the know, the annual Slyder Cup is dedicated to ‘finless’ surfing – those who prefer the alternatives to the standard thruster (or even the single fin!). Nicknamed the ‘frigid friction affliction convention’, the Slyder Cup brings together handplanes, bellyboards, alaias, surf mats and pretty much anything that floats but ‘doesn’t have a fin’ all together in one big contest. The emphasis is on fun and good vibes rather than sponsors or results. With an excellent turnout of around 50 competitors and surf craft ranging from handplanes and bellyboards to Alaias and surf mats, it was shaping up to be an awesome spectacle.
After the summer event suffering from a severe lack of waves, all eyes were on the forecast for the ‘re-sheduled’ Slyder Cup 2.0 Presented by Reef. And the gods did not disappoint. The morning of the contest dawned with 4 foot of clean offshore swell which only continued to build as the day went on. The sun was shining and the vibe was good as the contest got under way. With a bag of booty up for grabs including a much coveted Slyde hexflex handboard and surf gear from main sponsors Reef, everyone was out to shine in near perfect conditions.
The powerful waves were a bit of a challenge for some, this being a new sport and many still getting used to their ‘alternative’ craft, but there were some standout performances from Jo Brown, Gary Purchase and eventual Reef Slyder Cup Winner and Alaia Champion Jimbo Bennett.
At the end of the day the final Slyder Cup Results were:
Reef Slyder Cup Winner and Alaia Champion: Jimbo Bennett riding Albacore
Runner Up and Mat Surfing Champion: Rich Pope on Dale Solomonson
Third and Body Surf Champion: Rory Mason on Adventures in Lo-Fi handplane
Fourth and Paipo Champion: Keith Usher on SDF Paipo
Winner Shaper’s Shield: Graeme Webster, G-Mat Surfmats
Winner Most Stylish Human: Sarah Bentley
Winner of Expression Session: Leon Reed
The Slyder Cup will be back next year as it’s popularity continues to grow year on year!