Sunday morning. Scripps Pier. Bright and early.
We all gathered for The Paipo Stokefest, a meeting of prone riding minds, if you will. There were paipos. There were handplanes. There were mats. There were even some alaias that a couple of people rode standing (or tried to). But for the most part, this was about being in the water, not above the water.
One of the memories I will take away from this event was looking at the many people who surrounded me and seeing nothing but smiling faces. These weren't the bemused smiles people have while sitting in church and watching someone a few pews away falling asleep. These were shit-eating, ear-to-ear grins that reflected the shared stoke of those of us attending a different kind of church. I have never in my surfing life heard so much joyful hooting and laughter. It was like nothing I've ever experienced in the water.
The beauty of something like the Stokefest is that it gave the tribe the freedom to truly let it all hang out. It's one thing to ride a mat or paipo in a lineup of surfboards. There's a certain amount of antagonism with which one must contend. But when you let the tribe know that it's just going to be us, that we're going to take over the beach, you see what happens when we professed surfing oddballs let it all hang out.
It is something to behold!
|Mr. Mike (of the Mr. Mike's Paipos blog) and the wonderful Flavian|
|"The Goddess" board|
|The father-daughter tandem mat team|
|Kevin Jimenez of Viper Fins|
|I was there when this guy was overcome by the paipo stoke!|
|Paipos, alaias and friends|
|Stoked out of my mind after sharing a wave with a guy on a handplane|
|This shot just captures how much fun we had that day|
|Dropping into a bomb|
Photos shot from the beach by Ken Samuels
Water shot by Val Reynolds