By Bert Eljera
LAS VEGAS – A surfer from Cebu captured the championship in two divisions while the more heralded Eastern Samar surfer Roderick “Manoy” Bazar emerged third runner-up in the 10th Oktoberfest skimboarding tournament in Newport Beach, California that ended Sunday, Oct. 5.
Arjun Jimenez won the semi-pro and the 22-29 year-old divisions while the 28-year-old Bazar emerged third runner-up in the tough 22-29-year-old division, the featured class in the two-day skimboarding championships that drew about 50 pros from across the United States and surfing cities in the world.
The impressive victories of the two self-taught Visayan surfers validated the support extended to them by public officials and private individuals, said Ian Olmedo, the two’s manager.
“You made it all happen for them,” said Olmedo to the supporters.
About 200 surfers, including 50 professionals com competed in the tournament,a regular leg of a surfing circuit that featrure stops in such places as Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico and seaside U.S. Cities.
Skimboarding is a boardsport in which a smaller and skinnier surfboard, usually between 61 and 64 inches, is used to glide across the water’s surface.
Skimboarders drop the board onto the thin wash of previous waves and use their momentum to skim out to the breaking waves, which they then catch back into shore like surfing.
To score points, skimboarders do tricks like skateboarders. The harder tghe trick, the higher the points.
Jimenez, who plans to turn pro ext year, learned the sport in Cebu and has competed in a Philippine circuit while Bazar, who grew up in Sabang, a beachfront baranggay where a river and the sea meet in Borongan, has been competing for the past 10 years.
The Balboa Pier tournament in Newport Beach was sanctioned by the United Skim Tour, the national body of the sport, which originated in Southern California.
“It’s been my life,” said Bazar, now based in San Felipe, Zambales. ” I’ve realized I could have a future in this sport.”