Swell Love at the Santa Cruz Surf Kayak Festival


Surf contests are all about conditions and last weekend’s Santa Cruz Surf Kayak Festival at Steamer Lane was blessed by the surf gods with smooth, glassy six-footers all weekend long. “It was amazing,” says organizer Dennis Judson. “Usually the waves are best at low tide during storm conditions but this year it didn’t seem to matter where the tide was. Plus it was sunny throughout the whole contest.”
England’s Chris Harvey captured his first World Cup win and his first win at Santa Cruz after three tries. “Chris is all about aerials,” says Judson. “And he was coming way out of the water.”
Defending champion Rusty Sage failed to reach the finals after being knocked out by third-place finisher Jono Stevens in the semis. Stevens also took fourth in the International Class. Stevens and Sage will both compete in Spain this September at the World Championships.
On the women’s side, Sacramento, California’s Kate Smith defended her Expert World Cup Class title from last year with England’s Tamsin Green taking second and Devon Barker from McCall, Idaho finishing in third.
Catching air continued to be an important theme at Santa Cruz as was the integration of whitewater freestyle moves into the surf genre. “The sport is growing so fast, every contest you go to is at the next bar,” Harvey told the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
The conditions only upped the amplitude. “Every boat manufacturer was here and some of the bigger ones hadn’t actually seen their boats do what they were supposed to,” Judson says. “Because of the conditions, they definitely know what kayak surfing is all about now.”

World Cup Mens
1. Christopher Harvey St Sampsons, UK
2. Dave Johnston Santa Cruz, CA
3. Andrew Nolan Novato, CA
4. Jono Stevens Santa Cruz, CA
5. Chris Russ Canyon Country,CA

World Cup Women

1. Kate Smith Sacramento, CA
2. Tamsin Green High Hausley, UK
3. Devon Barker McCall, ID
4. Roberta Borasri BRA
5. Teresa Rogerson Boulder Creek , CA

World Cup Juniors

1. Christopher Hobson Dungannon County, UK
2. David Speller Jersey, UK
3. Alexander Stubbs Sudbury, MA
4. Shon Bollock Mt Shasta, CA
5. Zach Mitchell Evergreen, OR

High Performance Expert Masters

1. Ken King Mill Valley, CA
2. Jim Grossman Boise, ID
3. Sean Morley Hayle Cornwall, UK
4. Dick Wold McKinleyville, CA
5. Dan Crandall Lotus, CA


1. Dessie McGlinchey Ireland
2. Dave Johnston Santa Cruz, CA
3. Jono Stevens Santa Cruz, CA
4. Demany Smith Sacramento,CA
5. Dan Crandall Lotus, CA


1. Morlee Griswold Ventura, CA
2. Devon Barker McCall, ID
3. Ailsa McDougall Jersey, UK
4. Jameson Riser Seattle, WA