It was that time of year again. Hurley was in (just) and the preparations for the classic were made.

Day 1 :

It started early. We were summoned to the main tent for 8am for the young guns meet the stars event which was fantastically well put together. Separated into groups, we were told our first activities. To start we were working on our forward paddling on the ergo machine. It is very surprising to see how often freestyle paddlers are lacking in efficient strokes. We were quickly corrected on our technique and I felt we got a lot out of this very short space of time!

We moved on to various other activities such as video review, surfers ear workshop and, how to outfit your boat correctly. It was now time to get out on the water. An excellent squirt boat session was put on and I have to say it was a rather strange experience sinking rather than being on top of the water! It I certainly something I would like to try again. I must admit it looks so easy and graceful when we saw people such as Stephen wright show their stuff. I can tell you now it’s not as easy as it looks but, it is super fun.

Day 2:

Another excellent day with plenty of entertainment including the ‘Hurley Horn’! My heat was at 9:30 and as I was walking over to the SAS bank I heard something mentioned about heat 5 (my heat). I quickly rushed over and got changed. I had a bit of spare time. I got my boat picked it up and took it over to the river’s edge. I noticed a rattle sound from inside my boat. I shook it a bit, tipped it upside down to see ice falling out. Next time I will remember to empty my boat, especially when it’s cold!

The heats had finished meaning it was time, the super final was about to start. An excellent display from all paddlers. The competition has gone up a significant amount compared to previous years. Moves were being thrown so quickly it was almost impossible to keep up. Núria Fontané Masó put in a excellent ride winning her the ladies title. Alan ward threw down an amazing ride which put him in first place.

Overall the competition was excellent, I met so many new face and caught up with many others. On top of this the atmosphere was electric (despite the cold weather). In my opinion the best classic yet!

by Alex Walters