Lucas Fink: the winner of the 2022 TAC Skimblast | Photo: Patino Mota

The eighth annual TAC Skimblast skimboarding competition took place on June 25, 2022, at Seabright Beach in Santa Cruz, California.

The professional men's division of the TAC Skimblast counts as one of six events on the United Skim Tour (UST), the world's only international skimboarding tour.

Lucas Fink, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, took the top spot in one of the most competitive competitions in UST history.

Professional men entrants included 25 riders from Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Florida, Southern California, and Santa Cruz.

Entrants also included 2019 UST champion Lucas Fink, 2021 UST champion; Gerardo Valencia from Barra de Navidad, Mexico; and four-time UST champion Sam Stinnett from Laguna Beach, CA.

Throughout the first two rounds in the early morning, riders like Lucas Fink, Sam Stinnet, and Gerardo Valencia used the sider to connect to the biggest waves of the morning.

During the evening rounds, other riders like Dane Cameron and Jeremiah Sheldon picked off some of the best waves of their heats and progressed to the semifinals alongside Sam Stinnet and Lucas Fink.

Yahir Valencia: showing off his aerial skimboarding skills | Photo: Patino Mota

The Final Showdown

The final was decided between Lucas Fink and Dane Cameron.

Highlights of the final included Fink driving into the biggest backside barrel of the day.

Another highlight was Cameron landing two 360-shuvits out to a backside wrap in the final seconds of the heat.

While Cameron put up a solid battle finding some of the cleanest barrels of the heat, ultimately, Lucas edged him out by combining both ultra-technical riding and power skimming.

"The first stop of the UST was amazing. I started off the year super well, just how I wanted to," said Lucas Fink after his win.

"During Covid, I had the opportunity to get into other stuff, doing big-wave skimboarding and a documentary with RedBull. It was amazing, of course, the time of my life."

"I grew so much as a skimboarder and as a person, but at the same time, I was missing so much, being in my environment at the skim comps."

"The last UST contest I did was the Oktoberfest in 2019, when I won the title. I had a good pre-season in Brazil at the local comps, but now finally, I'm back at the UST."

"I'm looking forward to taking back what was mine. I want to take back the UST title again. I'm super motivated for this season."

"We already saw the level of skimboarding keeps on progressing. I'm sure there will be more at the next stops. I can't wait."

UST is Back on Track

The 2022 event was the first time the TAC Skimblast was run since 2019. Unable to obtain permits in both 2020 and 2021 due to Covid restrictions, the contest was canceled in both years.

"We are stoked to host a UST competition again at Third Ave," said Ben Koscielniak, contest director, and competitor.

"Since I was a grom, we've had professionals from around the world visit Santa Cruz for our annual event."

"I took over as the contest director in 2013, and I'm honored to be able to play host and welcome these riders back after a long two years off."

The men's professional division of the 2022 UST circuit includes six competitions, three on the west coast of the United States, two on the east coast, and one international event held in Spain.

The 2022 United Skim Tour continues with the OBX Skim Jam in Nags Head, N.C (July 16-17), Zap Championships in Dewey Beach, Delaware (August 12-14), Vic West in Laguna Beach (August 27-28), Intrafalgar Dogflut in Cádiz, Spain (September 10-11), and Exile Oktoberfest in Newport Beach (September 17-18).

The points collected from the best four placings count toward each skimboarder's 2022 UST points total.

The United Skim Tour is the world's professional skimboarding tour and governing body for skimming events across the planet.

Dane Cameron: the skimboarder from Laguna Beach finds the barrel at Seabright Beach | Photo: Patino Mota

2022 TAC Skimblast | Pro Men's Results

1. Lucas Fink - Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (UST Champion 2019)
2. Dane Cameron - Laguna Beach, CA
3. Jeremiah Sheldon - Newport Beach, CA
4. Sam Stinnett - Laguna Beach, CA (UST Champion 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011)
5. Yahir Valencia - Barra de Navidad, México
6. Gerardo Valencia - Barra de Navidad, México (UST Champion 2021)
7. Bruno Sa - Recife, Brazil
8. Christopher Alreck - Santa Cruz, CA
9. Brandon Sears - Laguna Beach, CA
10. Jacob Stinnett - Laguna Beach, CA
11. Garrett Abdulla - Laguna Beach, CA
12. Mike Chapman - Laguna Beach, CA
13. Paddy Mack - Dana Point, CA
14. Kai Schmidt - Santa Cruz, CA
15. Chad Wadsworth - Newport Beach, CA
16. Shota Fujioka - Miyazaki, Japan
17. Jack Klingman - Haiku, Hawaii
18. Max Smetts - Venice, FL
19. Tim Fulton - Laguna Beach, CA
20. David Haefele - Santa Cruz, CA
21. Zac Henderson - Laguna Beach, CA
22. Zack Lebon - Laguna Beach, CA
23. Ben Koscielniak - Santa Cruz, CA
24. Randon Moore - Pensacola Beach, FL
25. Clay Powell - Santa Cruz, CA

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