Who Cut The Mustard At The Hotdogz Vintage Log Comp ?

July 10, 2019 • Competition, East Coast Contests

The 1st Annual Hot Dogz on a Stix Vintage Long board Surf Contest

By  Barry Pasonski

On July 5, 2019 at Lincoln Street Beach in Cape Canaveral, FL , the Core Surf Core Board Shop put on a ‘Real 1960’s Log Contest.’  This was the vision of shop owner Dennis Griffin who wanted to have a summer surf contest that featured vintage surfboards or “Logs” from the 1960’s or earlier.  He wanted to have an event that showcased these long and super heavy surfboards with giant fins or keels. They are known as “Logs” because of their enormous size that are from an historic era that is long gone and often forgotten. Collectors “relish” these boards LOL.  Most logs weigh 30 to 50 pounds and are 9 to 10+ feet in length.   A “Hot Dog” or “Hot Dogger” is what they called a surfer in the 1960’s that was really good at proudly showing off or “Hot Dogging” their exceptional surfing skills. The “Hot Dogs” were surfing here. It was only $5 to enter too.

A collector’s dream quiver. These boards are all from the 60’s and were there for anyone to use. Surfers drew straws to see what one was theirs and no leashes were allowed. PHOTO: DUGAN

The idea was simple.  Show up with your old “Log” and take on the best contemporary long boarders in Florida and see who can win on these giant boards.  This sounds pretty simple until you gotta carry the board down to the water and actually catch waves on it.  If you didn’t have your own “log” you could draw straws and ride one of 5 “logs” provided by Core Surf Shop.  The judging criterion was based on finding an overall winner and also rewarding the highest single wave score during the competition.

Everyone on the East Coast knows that to find fun ridable waves is pretty tough.  To find contestable surf in July and in Central Florida is even harder.  Surfers did just that.  There were really fun waist high waves all day long and one didn’t have to run for cover from the sometimes severe thunderstorms that built up quickly with very little warning.

Since the 60’s, Cocoa Beach has been known as the hotdogging longboard capital of the east coast . The tradition will continue as surfers like 1st place finisher Saxon Wilson keep moving forward the art of riding the tip and smooth stylish surfing . PHOTO : DUGAN

Here’s how it went down. Thirty two contestants paddled out in 4 man heats where  1st, 2nd, and 3rd place of the first round were “seeded” on to later rounds.  There were old but highly reconditioned surfboards by  Hansen, Hobie, CC Rider, Abercrombie & Fitch, Oceanside, and Daytona.  Saxon Wilson of Indialantic, FL put on a clinic in his first round heat by showing extreme mastery and control of a Hansen 50/50 and looked like he was gonna be hard to beat.  Brent Russell  of Cocoa Beach, FL answered back in his first round heat on a CC Rider  by scoring a unanimous 9.0 across the judges’ sheets when he took off on a larger left breaking wave and casually stood on the nose all the way to the inside and blasted a searing re-entry on the oncoming white water.  Many people think this might have been the best wave ridden on the second day of the 4th of July weekend in the entire State of Florida.

Brent Russell hangs out on the nose on his way to a second place as photographer Jeffrey Margaritondo gets the shot . PHOTO: DUGAN

The semi-finals did not disappoint although the tide began quickly draining out low. In the first semi-final Saxon Wilson and Brent Russell met each other for the first time.  Female standout surfer Jessie Restivo of Satellite Beach, FL on a Hobie and also young “Hot Dogger” Sky Blumenfeld, 14, of Flagler Beach, FL on a classic Oceanside Nose Rider were in there too. Sky also known as “Turtle” won Best Cutback at a recent Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational Contest.  This by far was the best heat of the event.  Wilson and Russell handily advanced on to the finals. It seemed like every time that Saxon and Brent surfed the waves suddenly got better. Saxon won this semi-final and Brent got 2nd.  The major difference is that Saxon got the better waves on the outside that pushed all the way thru to the inside, and Brent had solid nose rides and maneuvers that were only on the inside sections.

Skyler Blumenfeld drove down from Flagler Beach with his family and surfed beyond his age, making it to the semifinals before bowing out. It was good to have surfers from all over the state coming to support the Hotdogz on a stix Log Contest . PHOTO: Jeffrey Margaritondo

The second  semi-final included up and coming local threat Sebastian Baker from Cocoa Beach,FL on a weathered Hobie and Ryan Conklin from Flagler Beach  FL on a super long  Hobie with “ Susie Cream Cheese “hand painted on the tail.  Also in this heat were a very stylish Erica  Peek from Cocoa Beach, FL on a vintage Abercrombie & Fitch, and Gary Karczewski from Playalinda Beach, FL riding a 1967 Hansen 50/50.  Erica is Brent Russell’s wife. Sebastian Baker and Ryan Conklin caught a couple of slightly better waves in the rapidly dropping tide and windier beach break conditions to move on to the finals. In the Final it was once again the battle of the wave magnets show. In the end it was Saxon Wilson first and Brent Russell second to wind down a great day of fun on Florida’s Space Coast.  A special shout out to Willy Cole who surfed in the contest and “stepped up” as the beach announcer.  A special thanks to all who helped and we will do this contest again very soon. – Barry Pasonski –

Final Results:

  1. Saxon Wilson
  2. Brent Russell
  3. Ryan Conklin
  4. Sebastian Baker
  5. Jessie Restivo / Erica Peek

Best Single Score: Brent Russell  9.0 in Heat 4 of Round  1

From left above: Core Surf shop owner and the Hotdogz on a stix head honcho Dennis Griffin with finalists Brent Russell (2nd), Ryan Conklin (3rd), Saxon Wilson (1st) and Sebastian Baker(4th). PHOTO: DUGAN

A closeup view of what it took to win. Saxon Wilson hangs five on his way to first place. PHOTO : Jeffrey Margaritondo

Gary Karlzewski styling into a little one early morning . PHOTO: DUGAN

90 lbs of a replicated Hawaiian papahe’enalu takes two to transport . This was one of the most popular boards on the beach with many surfers taking it out for a spin to see how it felt with memories of surfing’s roots flowing thru the ride. PHOTO: DUGAN

The contest announcer is the one who calls out the heats, keeps the beach informed, entertains, and works tirelessly all day long at every contest with hardly a break in-between. Willy Cole did all that and still found time to surf some heats. PHOTO: DUGAN

To win you had to make the most of what was at hand, and Ryan Conklin took it all to the finals placing 3rd overall. PHOTO: DUGAN

All the boards ridden during the event had to be made in the 60’s or before . Brent Russell was one of the few to bring his own board and road it to a tight 2nd place finish. Brent also got the highest wave score of the event in the heat he’s about to surf: A 9.0 in Heat 4 of Round One . PHOTO: DUGAN

You can feel the stoke. Erik Kaminski groovin’ to his own beat . PHOTO: DUGAN

The contest setup with a few of the available boards waxed up and ready to go. PHOTO: DUGAN

The 5th of July was as nice of a beach day that there could be . The fabled Canaveral Pier just south of the contest site off in the distance . PHOTO: DUGAN

Although the waves were not the biggest, they were perfect for what the contest was all about. Next year may be moved to September so there is a chance for some bigger waves but surfers like Sebastian Baker made the most of the conditions and had a blast. Sebastian also placed a nice 4th out of the field of 32 surfers. PHOTO: Jeffrey Margaritondo