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There’s an old saying, “Fourth time lucky”, well, maybe there isn’t, but there should be. After three previous cancelled dates when Huey sent either Macking swell or none at all, the 3rd Annual Slyder Cup presented by Reef went down in small, clean, crisp conditions at Lusty Glaze, Cornwall.

This annual gathering of the fins-free clan has become the embodiment of the Approaching Lines ethos of Good Vibes, Good Rides and Good Times, seeing some 50 fins-free fanatics from across the UK descend on this cliff lined bay to share the waves and the stoke.

The format of the day sees each class of slyder – body surfers, alaia riders, bellyboarders/ paipo riders and mat surfers – progress through a series of rounds, with a winner in each category. The four champs then go head to head in the grand final to win the coveted Slyder Cup.

slyder-7With a mix of new faces and familiar friends, the standard in the bodysurf division was super high blending speed, style and shred. Jack Middleton and David Smith, fresh back from the World Body Surfing Championships at California’s notorious Wedge brought the challenge but in a nip and tuck shootout it was defending champion Rory Mason who emerged victorious, claiming his place in the Grand Final.

slyder-5The Bellyboard / Paipo division is always a closely fought affair with a battle of the old skool ply and nu skool foam crews. As the claxon sounded Keith Usher on modern paipo just pipped Dick Pearce’s Jamie Johnson to take the title – maintaining the run for defending champs.

slyder-4The Surf Mat division was a high quality showdown between underinflated stalwarts like G-Mat Surf Mats Graeme Webster and young talents including Marcus Reed from St Agnes and Dorset ripper Ella Scott, but it was demon slyder Demi Taylor whose arcing turns took the Surf Mat title.

slyder-6Of all the classes, the Alaia is always the one that pushes the waveslyding boundaries pitting tradition against modernity. Encapsulating this spirit, the final saw St Agnes charger Neil Reed riding a wooden Alaia with style and speed, while his son Leon laid down 360’s on his finless foamie. 10 year Arthur Randall impressed the judges earning him the title of Best Grom, but it was defending Champ Jimbo Bennett who took the Alaia title once again, raising hoots and cheers from the crowd.

As the tide pushed towards high, the winners from each category came together for the grand final shootout. Showing full commitment the four took off on the same wedging left, finishing in an explosion of foam, sand and laughter that perfectly captured the spirit of the day. While Rory Mason took an early lead with a shore break barrel to peace sign claim. Jimbo threw down combination spins and floaters at will that left the shore line wide eyed and wild and saw Jimbo Bennett retain his title – justifiably taking the Slyder Cup trophy for a third time!

Thanks to everyone who came, shredded, hooted and helped to make it another epic day of good vibes, good rides and good times as well as our supporters Reef, Xcel Wetsuits, Da Fin, Slyde Handboards, Dick Pearce Bellyboards and Mullet Boards for the awesome prizes.


Slyder Cup Winner and Alaia Champion: Jimbo L Bennett on Squire Surf Alaia

Runner-up and Body Surf Champion: Rory Mason on Adventures in Lo-Fi handplane

Third and Mat Surf Champion: Demi Taylor on G-Mat Surfmat

Fourth and Paipo Champion: Keith Usher on Krusher Paipo

Winner Best Grom: Arthur Randall

Winner Furthest Travelled: Malc Edwards, Llanelli


Body Surf Final

1st Rory Mason

2nd Jack Middleton

3rd Andy Garner

4th Tony Clarke

5th David Smith

6th Tom Wilkins


Paipo / Bellyboard Final

1st Keith Usher

2nd Jaimie Johnson

3rd Aiden Botha

4th Jonny Davy

5th Aaron Claxton

6th Jack Whitfield


Surf Mat Final

1st Demi Taylor

2nd Marcus Reed

3rd Graeme Webster

4th Rich Pope

5th Bob Booth

6th Ella Scott


Alaia Final

1st Jimbo Bennett

2nd Angus Scotney

3rd Leon Reed

4th Arthur Randall

5th Sarah Bentley

6th Neil Reed

All images: John Isaac / Approaching Lines

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