Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 25th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Finding Aloha at the Logjam!

blog_sport_logjamThe 10th annual Logjam! presented by the Big Stick Surfing Association took a stylish cross-step back in time last weekend, April 24-25, at the Dirt Farm and Pleasure Point on Santa Cruz’s Eastside. True to the  mantra of “old boards, no cords,” some 100 participants competed for two days on yellowed, 20-pound vintage longboards that were crafted prior to 1970.

The event was not so much a competition as a gathering of tribes, as surf clubs from up and down the coast met in appreciation of the roots, history and culture of California surfing. Mother Nature embraced the revival with summery offshore conditions that saw some intrepid surfers pull on their board shorts, while others kept their wetsuits zipped up snugly against spring-like water temperatures.

Vintage boards were littered along the cliffs, keeping one another company in between heats, providing shade for stray dogs and spectators alike. Some water-logged, others well-kept, the boards were the stars of the event, with pedigrees such as Hobie, Yater, Noll, Hansen and Bing hauled out of rafters and garages, dusted off for the show. There was no lack of variety among the coveted “big sticks” and, just like the old days, most remained in place for the day, tipped against the rocks like foam and resin monoliths. There they waited patiently until placed with care in water by their masters, displacing their mass and breathing new life back into these old “logs.”

Competitors in several divisions ranged from juniors to grandmasters, with paddle racing, tandem riding and aloha team surfing as well. The aloha rounds provided some of the best entertainment value, as pairs took off on waves together on separate boards and attempted to synchronize cross-stepping, go-behinds, jump-to-tandem rides and even drink cocktails in sync (no arrests were made). True to the spirit of the event, first round heats on Saturday were mixed with competitors in each category blended into each heat, getting a chance to score on the best two out of three waves in two 15-minute heats. Semis and finals on Sunday took the classic configuration of like-classes of surfers pitted against one another.

blog_log2Juniors like Kai Madeiros and Liam Hession rode boards at least a couple decades older than themselves, demonstrating maturity and dexterity beyond their years in navigating the kelp balls and the slippery, mossy, low-tide reef pockets. Like the classic boards they were riding; leathery, barrel-chested old-timers trimmed up to speed and shed years with each nimble step. Some of the most graceful surfing was done by the wahines (women), like Cathy Mayerhoffer and Ashley Lloyd, who found the equipment complemented their natural grace and style.

This year’s Logjam! was dedicated to past director and Big Stick official photographer Phil Matthews, who passed away earlier this year at the relatively young age of 58. Known for his tireless volunteerism, organizational skills and stoke, like a surfing Kris Kringle, bearded Phil embodied the Aloha Spirit of the club, the Point and the event. His spirit of generosity lived on during the event, with last year’s Senior Men’s champion, Ryan Devine, loaning his vintage stick to a junior men’s grom, and other similar acts of kindness repeated over the course of the weekend.

The event was a fundraiser for the Big Stick scholarship fund, which supports “young surfers who rip in the waves and excel academically.” Funds also go to the Ride a Wave Foundation that brings surf riding to underprivileged and disabled kids, and the Surfrider Foundation in Santa Cruz, which is the custodian of our coast. Boards for the raffle were provided by local surfboard makers City Fog, Paradise, Junod, Arrow, Coffey, Freeline, GP and Surftech, who rounded out an army of more than 20 longtime sponsors that showed the deep reservoir of support for surfing and giving back to our sun-kissed community.

Longevity, health and stoke of the surfing habit was well-represented in the Legends final, which came down to an epic showdown between Michel Junod (1), Steve Bigler (2) and Rym Partridge (3). Team standings resulted in a very tight finish between SCLU (1), PPSC (2) and BSSA (3). Special Honor awards went to several deserving candidates: Waylon Olsen received the Jay Moriarity Award, Tonya Pham the Phil Matthews Award, and the Hot Dog Logger Award went to Michel Junod.

Full results can be found via the following link:
Photos by Mike Wallace

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Santa Cruz Gives

A look at the organizations we’re asking you to support in our new holiday giving campaign


Simplicity Preparing for Thanksgiving

When we study and apply astrology in our daily lives, we are anchoring new Aquarian thinking. Study, application and use of astrology, understanding its language, builds the new world, the new culture and civilization. Astrologers are able to plan right timing and right action. Next week is Thanksgiving (Thursday, Nov. 26). It’s good to understand the energies influencing us in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. When we know these things we are able to make Right Choices, have Right Action. We link heaven and Earth, our minds with the starry energies that influence us. Let us consider the following influences. The North Node (point in space where sun and moon meet, representing humanity’s present/future pathway) has just entered Virgo. Virgo is about food, purity, cleanliness, service, detail, order and organization. What can we learn from this? Because these energies are available to us we, too, can have intentions and a rhythm of order and organization, purity and cleanliness. Sunday, the sun enters Sag, joining Mercury (we have high ideals, many goals). Tuesday, Mercury/Saturn (structured disciplined thinking) squares Neptune (thoughts, ideas, goals dissolve away). Wednesday is 3 degree Sagittarius solar festival (full moon). Sag’s keynote is, “We see a goal, we achieve that goal, and then we see another.” We might have many plans and goals for Thanksgiving. However, on Thanksgiving those goals may be dashed. Saturn (structure) squares Neptune. All structures and plans dissolve and fall away. What is our response to this? We simplify all that we do. We plan on everything changing. We don’t fret. We adapt instead. Adaptation is the behavior of the Disciple. Sagittarius is the sign of the Disciple. 


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Film, Times & Events: Week of November 20

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


If you could be someone else for one month, who would it be?

President Obama, so I could change a lot of laws that pertain to people in jail for drug possession and other minor crimes. Raouf Ben Farhat, Petaluma, Self-Employed



Blanc De Blanc Sparkling Wine is best shared with the one you love


Rainy Refuge

Kelly’s offers killer sliders and pumpkin pie, plus dining pet peeves and wine of the week


If you won the lottery, what would be the first three things you did?

Build a restaurant, buy a house for my mom and donate a quarter of the money to the Boys and Girls Club. Jevon Martin, Santa Cruz, Chef