Written by Jason Hoover — Six years ago, Chase Pittman had an idea to get his friends together and see who the best longboarder was. Since its inception, Virginia Beach’s Logstradamus has morphed into a surfing celebration of the oddities of both new friends and old. Over the years, this artistic occurrence has brought a grassroots, creative flair to the surf contest landscape while keeping the day’s beach activities fresh and fun.
This year kicked off with a Friday night party at Bottlecraft Brewing, featuring the Death Birds Surf Club rocking to a packed house. Saturday morning brought a rare swell that had traveled from halfway around the globe to deliver consistent long-period waist- to chest-high waves that gave the participants a chance to showcase their single-fin skills. As competitors arrived in costume and awaited the heat draw, co-founder Tim Skirvin explained the ethos of the event: to be kind, have fun, and let your freak flag fly! Three Ships Coffee was on-site providing delicious coffee and biscuits to help charge the crowd for a day of controlled anarchy.
This year’s format featured 90-minute, 10-person heats. Contestants were encouraged to share waves, keep their fists pumping to the beat of the music, and bust out their best dance moves in between riding waves. Bribery and flattery toward the commentators and the golden gavel-swinging judge was also deemed to be within the rules. For the final, the crowd enjoying the show from the beach would be voting to decide the outcome of the contest.
Throughout the day, spectators were treated to a variety of technical and fluid log rides by a tremendous group of style masters including John Streit, Craig Grandfield, Mike Melchiorre, Morgan and Sean Knight, Brier Haycox, Mike Haverly, and Evan Micele.
Competitors were given wacky nicknames like Captain Canada, Melonhead, Bong Ripken, and The General. The sounds of Snake Mountain Revival, Rhythm and Steel, Gull, Zack Mexico, Kate Richards, and the Prayer Group provided the weekend with its own theme music.
In order to advance into the finals, costumed participants were hand-picked by the Logstradamus Wizard. As they gathered around the pickup trucks doubling as a band stage, the lucky ten were greeted with a magical touch upon the shoulder. Just minutes before the grand finale began, Mother Nature threw a couple of lightning-fueled thunderstorms at the beach, but everyone took it in stride and after a couple of brief delays, the final was on.
Surfing in a Blues Brothers outfit with dress shoes better than many folks can barefoot, Will Sizemore assembled a highlight reel on his way to victory and earned the invariably unique top prize of the event, an Igor custom-painted retro moped!
For his hard work contributing to the occasion and for his contagious, enthusiastic attitude, Logstradamus intern Leif Jones earned the coveted “Most Valuable Blazer” award, which was an “O” musical instrument created by Pat Scadine of the Ashcan Orchestra of New York.
Taking home the Best Costume title along with the “Golden Shape” award was 10-year-old Camden Hoover, who showed up as her version of a Wall Street tycoon ready for a board meeting. The grom surfed her way to the final and was thankful and ecstatic to earn the Golden Shape prize, which was a custom Captain’s Log created by Surf Expo Shape-Off winner Jordan Brazie and graciously donated by WRV.
The 6th Annual Logstradamus concluded at Esoteric in the Vibe district of the Virginia Beach oceanfront with more live music, awards, and a dance-off, where the winner cut a mean rug on the way to claiming $50 cash. With another year in the annals of wizardly surf lore, Chase Pittman, his friends, and volunteers were extremely thankful to LG Shaw and WRV for sponsoring the event, and acknowledged that without their assistance one of the most unique and zany weekends of the summer wouldn’t happen. Cheers and here’s to #7 in 2018!