Switchfoot’s Bro-Am contest

Switchfoot's Bro-Am Contest keeps everyone in step

It's so much easier to love a band when they're playing for all the right reasons. And as if you didn't already know the San Diego-based rock quintet Switchfoot were worthy of your ears, you now have another reason to keep them cranking in your Ipod.

Always looking for ways to give back, hardcore surfers and original Switchfoot members Jon and Tim Foreman and Chad Butler decided to start a fun, grass-roots, team contest with one obvious twist: each teammate has to ride at least one wave switch during his heat.

The name of the contest? The Switchfoot Bro-Am. And the result this past Saturday at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas was sometimes unsightly, other times hilarious and occasionally mind-blowing as Tom Curren, Ben Bourgeois, local pros and plenty of other supporters did their best to put their "other" foot forward. Even better: all proceeds from the event went to The Care House, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving homeless teens and troubled youth throughout San Diego County.

In fun, chest-high peaks the final came down to two young-but-feisty squads: the smack-talking Team Jet {{{Pilot}}} (headed by Taylor Knox's little brother, Adam, and Nico Becerra) and Surf Ride (headlined by mysto switchfoot maestro Derek Balcomen). The format seemed tailor-made for Balcomen, a 6'2" goofyfoot who shreds a 5'5" 50/50 waveskate and pulls off "switch" airs and backside 360s with ease. His ambidextrous ripping proved to be enough as he quieted the rallying Jet Pilot team halfway through the final.

That night, during a special, competitors-only concert at the La Paloma Theater, Tom Curren got the crowd going with his folksy, feel-good tunes. Then the headliners came up, the surfing musicians who continue to make the world a better place. "I just want to let you know," said Jon, before belting into the crowd favorite, "Meant to Live." "This isn't about us; it's about you guys. It's about doing things as a community. Thanks for helping us make it happen."


1. Surf Ride
2. Jet Pilot
3. MacBeth Shoes, SURFING Magazine (woo-hoo!) /Cobian (Will Tant rips!)