Tandem Surfing: Bring it Back

It's happening in Doheny—why not on the WCT?

The Doheny Surf Festival—a feel-good throwback to Beach Blanket Bebop days of yore—was held over the weekend in Dana Point. There were historic boards galore, hula dances, beer gardens, decades of surf memorabilia, and a whole lotta big bellies and mustaches.

There was also a tandem surf contest, and I hope the WSL is reading this, because it might be just the thing to add a little zing to boring lay days.

Have you ever spun a person around over your head on dry land? Not at all easy. Have you ever tried to hold anything at all while surfing? Can of beer, hat, ukulele, another surfboard—pretty hard, too. How about catching a wave with a second person on your board—ever try that? Just imagine the insanity of succeeding in actually catching a wave with two people, both of you get to your feet without pitching the board sideways into the flats, then you hoist the other person above your head and twirl them about like a trophy you’ve just won.

Basically, it’s impossible, but people do it anyway.

Now, imagine if the WSL instituted a tandem competition during lay days! Why not? Everybody’s there. Men and women compete in almost all the same events these days. It’d be sort of like a tennis tournament (sorry, Bobby). Singles matches are the really big draw, but doubles and mixed doubles are going on, too, lots of times involving the big famous singles players. Fans love it.

You’re telling me you wouldn’t want to see Jordy Smith flip tiny Coco Ho around on a waist-high peeler at small J-bay during the inevitable three or four days of small surf? Of course you would. Or hell, have Steph Gilmore pick up Filipe and hoist his little frame above her head and display him like a hood ornament?

It would be a blast.

Just look at this video and tell me you’re not inspired to grab a partner and tandem up your local beachie. It’s summer, for god’s sake. This is no time for serious surfing.