Family Fun Kicks Off Summer Surf Season at 3rd Annual Freedom Surf Contest
Honolulu, Hawaii– Contests, games and prizes for surfers and non-surfers alike will highlight two days of family fun at the 3rd annual Freedom Surf Contest at Kuhio Beach in Waikiki on May 9 and 10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year’s contest will also have an international flavor, as surfers from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will compete in the event along with local surfers.
The annual Freedom Surf Contest marks the start of the summer surfing season on Oahu’s South Shore. It is presented by Surfing the Nations, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes surfers to give back to the community. The event encourages drug-free fun and activities and is traditionally held on Mother’s Day weekend. Jedidiah Clothing is a major sponsor of the 3rd Annual Freedom Surf Contest.
Prizes for participants in the surf contest this year include a special grand prize of six-night accommodations at surfing destination G-land in Java, Indonesia. Contest prizes also include surfboards, skateboards, and surfing merchandise and supplies.
According to Tom Bauer, founder and director of Surfing the Nations, the surfers from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh represent the organization’s efforts over the years to change lives and build leaders through the sport of surfing. Surfing the Nations sponsors outreach trips to bring surfing to other countries and help those in need, and holds annual contests in Egypt and Bangladesh.
Bauer met surfer R. Johnson in Sri Lanka in the late 1990’s and has worked with him in the aftermath of the devastating tsunami of 2004 to help families and friends to rebuild their lives. “Johnson has become a close friend and a key part of building the community in Sri Lanka after the tsunami tragedy several years ago,” Bauer said. “We saw Jafar as a teenager in 1998 with an old surfboard and helped him improve his surfing,” Bauer said. “We have worked with him over the years to start the Bangladesh Surf Club and to spread the love of surfing and community service to others. Coming to Honolulu for the Freedom Surf Contest fulfills a longtime dream for Jafar.”
Bauer added that the two-day Freedom Surf Contest will feature entertainment, games, giveaways and activities for all ages, with activities, entertainment and contests for surfers and non-surfers, including:
Local custom surfboard shaper Ben Aipa, also known for coaching the legendary Irons brothers and Bethany Hamilton, will be at the event both days to provide surfing tips to young competitors.
Local dignitaries will include State Sen. Fred Hemmings, Lt. Governor Duke Aiona, and representatives from the Mayor’s office.
Surf contests by age divisions: youth, boys and girls, men and women, seniors, and legends categories covering short board and long board, stand-up, tandem and body boarding.
Free prizes and giveaways every hour, with games for all ages that include relay races, tug of war and beach activities.
Music and entertainment ranging from reggae to hula, featuring local island talent.
Entry forms for the Freedom Surf Contest are available at www.surfersgivingback.com
Surfing The Nations was started in 1997 by Tom and Cindy Bauer and today has grown to mobilizing dozens of community members from all social and economic backgrounds to support outreach programs in Hawaii and around the world. The organization is one of the largest private distributors of Hawaii Foodbank supplies in the state. It also trains surfers for community service and outreach through its Surfer’s Leadership School and has sponsored trips to Bali, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Israel, Hong Kong and China.
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