Daytona Beach, Florida: Longboard Surfing Event Features Outdoor Movies on an Inflatable Screen
The wanderlust roots and deceptively easy grace of old-school longboarding will be as vivid as a 60s flashback this weekend at the Daytona Beach Pier. But it's no hallucination visible only by flower power. The wave-riding style and vintage Volkswagen buses and bugs that personified the era's road-trippin' surfers will be at the center of a new event hoping to become an annual local festival of surfing culture. Plus take a flashback to the old days of the drive-in with an outdoor movie on an inflatable screen. It's called the Winter Jam and Daytona Longboard Classic and its first run is this weekend. Joe Arbucci, the event's producer, said there are 56 total entries in the amateur and pro divisions of the Longboard Classic surfing contest. "As word about the event spread, it just turned into a firestorm of interest and support," he said. There will be shows and events for the whole family, even the non-surfers. From the VM shows and the outdoor movie screening, everyone is sure to have a fun time. But the focus is on the longboard competition. In fact, he had to cutoff registration. "Longboarders don't usually get their own events." Bubba Bonner one of the local surfers in the contest said longboarding has always been popular in Florida because you can catch more waves in the typically smaller surf. But longboarding is also a unique surfing animal. "It has a classic style. I look at it as an art form," Bonner said. "The modern shortboard ride is real snappy, but the longboarding style has a lot more fluid lines." Next year, Arbucci said the one-day contest will likely become three days long and accept 100 entries. This year's event has surfers entered from Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Malibu, Calif., and Puerto Rico. "The Viking Surfboards Team (from South Florida) is bringing up two pros from South America. One is from Venezuela and one is from Brazil," Arbucci said. Chris Nowziskie, the event director, said, "There's a guy coming from Michigan from the Lake Michigan Surf Club driving down in his VW bus." The pro division has a $2,000 prize purse, with $1,000 for first place. The awards ceremony will be held at the Bandshell. Arbucci said he expects to see more than 100 VWs on display. Everyone is sure to enjoy the closest thing to an old fashioned drive-in around as an outdoor movie is shown after it get's dark. And the event also has a 70s-style longboard skate contest, a Ms. Winter Jam contest presented by Venus Swimwear and Hooters, and other car events. The event will benefit the Volusia Life Saving Association, a non-profit group dedicated to "the past, present and future of ocean rescue lifeguards," Nowziskie said. From this lifeguard cause, which lies at the heart of surfers roots, to the 30-foot inflatable movie screen showing surf movies on the beach at the after party, the Winter Jam, Nowziskie said, "is going to be a celebration of our surfing culture."