The second edition of the Slyder Cup held at Lusty Glaze, Cornwall had been promised 2-3ft waves and a good offshore breeze. It’s fair to say promises were over-delivered as they were served up some cranking surf that also lit up the whole of the UK’s south west coastline. Couple this with favourable winds and an unseasonal warm winter sunshine and the event was well on its way to being epic. Newquay’s Jimbo Bennett once again stormed to victory on his Albacore, taking out the very sharpest finless minds from across the UK to retain The Slyder Cup for the second year.
[pullquote]In the bodysurf Thomas Pope owned his heat on a flip flop[/pullquote]
A day of whomping, spinning, slyding and alt craft riding in epic conditions had delivered some stand out performances from the field of some 50 competitors, shapers and backyard makers who had gathered together from across the UK to celebrate the art of finless surfing. In the bodysurf Thomas Pope owned his heat on a flip flop, Jo Brown demonstrated why he’d been a 2013 Slyder Cup Finalist, while Jaydeen Kerton dropped into a bomb to land the highest score in her heat and hoots and cheers that resonated from the line up to the shore line. The stand up finless contingent turned on some super stylish slyding in overhead fast powerful peaks. Newquay’s Mark Sankey dropped into an outside wave, pulling off a 360; St Agnes charger Neil Reed picked up much kudos for his leashless performances on his traditional paulownia alaia, while Sarah Bentley earned the “Most Stylish Human” award for her finesse, picking off the biggest wave of the alaia final along the way.
The Run What You Brung Expression Session was approached with high levels of stoke and some radical wave crafts were ridden – from appropriated teatrays to a finless board home-shaped from insulation foam and a toilet seat rebranded the Poo-po. The most radical, and one to watch for the future, was grom Leon Reed who went home with a brand new Slyde Hexflex Handboard for his winning efforts!
Celebrating the unsung heroes of the waveriding world, The Shaper’s Shield was presented to Graeme Webster of G-Mat surf mats.
The pink hued ocean offered two perfectly punchy peaks and long glassy walls
And so to the grand final which saw alaia champion Jimbo take on Richard Pope, winner of the surf mats, Rory Mason who had whomped to victory in the bodysurf section and Welsh charger Keith Usher who had taken the Paipo crown on a foam and glass construction. As the sun sank over the headland the finalists gathered on the water’s edge. The pink hued ocean offered two perfectly punchy peaks and long glassy walls. Keith Usher’s clean lines earned a stylish 4th for the Paipos, bodysurfer Rory Mason picked off a couple of steamers to finish 3rd, The Pope charged a bomb and rode it all the way to the inside on his mat to finish runner up, but it was Jimbo Bennet who stole the show – retaining The Slyder Cup by pushing his Albacore way beyond the performance parameters usually seen on these finless flyers with spins, carves, tail slides and long rides. The crowd along the shore hooted and cheered, before retiring to the warmth of the Lusty bar to toast the winners and talk story over waves ridden and boards sessioned at the Reef Frigid Friction Affliction Convention. It was a day of tales, rails, spinning, carving, whomping, slyding and alt craft riding!
“We were stoked to see such an epic turn out of slyders and shapers at this year’s Slyder Cup,” said Approaching Lines founder Chris Nelson. “It’s more than a comp it’s a real coming together of the UK’s finless tribe. Thanks to everyone who came and helped to make it a day of good vibes, good rides and good times. Big thanks to our partner Reef who have supported the Slyder since its inception as well as Xcel Wetsuits, Allpress Espresso, Da Fin, Makemake, Mullet Boards and Slyde Handboards.”
The final Slyder Cup Standings are as follows:
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
Want to learn more about The Slyder Cup? Visit www.approachinglines.com
Image credit: Mat Arney / Approaching Lines