Mitch Coleborn

A powerhouse young surfer from Australia has fired the first shot in a winner-take-all global battle for the US$50,000 Kustom Air Strike bounty.

Mitch Coleborn, the 2007 ASP Australasian Junior Series Champion, has landed a crazy backhand flip while surfing in the Mentawai Islands.

The ride, filmed by Matt Shuster, has earned Coleborn the distinction of being the first official entrant in the Kustom Air Strike following the opening of an eight-month competition window in August.

Kustom Air Strike is open to all surfers, both amateurs and professional anywhere in the world, and is a quest to produce the most innovative and inspired aerial manoeuvre in surfing’s history.

Surf footwear brand Kustom is laying down US$50,000 cash to the winning surfer, while the videographer who records the manoeuvre scores a US$5000 cash prize.

Kustom’s General Manager Harry Truscott said Coleborn’s punt has set the bar high for other contestants.

“Clips started rolling in within a week of the contest launch, but all so far have been from earlier in the year, outside the contest window, said Truscott.

“Then we received notice that an entry from Mitch was coming down the line and, given that he is such an amazing aerial surfer, we knew it would be good. Then we saw it and were completely blown away! It is awesome to get a move of this quality as the opening salvo in the Air Strike.

“Mitch has thrown down a really big move to kick things off, and we can’t wait to see what the response will be from the world’s best aerial surfers.
Given that he paddled into this wave, it will take something pretty crazy to beat it. But with US$50,000 on the line, something crazy is exactly what we are expecting. Let the games begin!”

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Kelly Slater

Kelly Slater (USA) beat Taj Burrow (AUS) 18.97 to 18.63 to win his third Boost Mobile Pro title at Lower Trestles today. He is now as close as one event away from winning a record ninth ASP World Title.

Burrow blitzed early and with a 9.00 and 9.63 in his scoreline before the halfway mark, had Slater looking for a combination of excellent scoring waves to contend. In sheer Slater fashion, the eight-time ASP World Champion fought his way back to claim victory – his fifth of the season.

“I was literally out there just trying to save face, I thought Taj had me – he was on fire,” Slater said. “I was just trying to get out of combo and put on a good show for everybody. I got a 9.7 on a smaller wave that had a clean face and let me get a lot of speed and some big carves and that let me get back in.”

Even with the 9.7, Slater was still searching for an 8.93. Burrow gave Slater a very average looking wave with less than two minutes to go – a mistake that cost him the win and a healthy prize purse. Hurley, the presenting sponsor of the event, threw an additional US$45,000 on top of the standard US$30,000 first place prize purse – the winner of the Boost Mobile Pro presented by Hurley took home US$75,000 today.

“Taj had priority and he let that wave go because it was the first wave and he probably thought it was going to be bumpy but it let me do a lot on it,” Slater said. “It was a really good wave, but it was the first wave of the set.”

To add insult to Burrow’s injury, the final was five minutes longer than the standard ASP final which is usually 35-minutes in duration. Slater talked Burrow and the contest director into lengthening the heat before they paddled out and that was the difference today.

“We went over and talked to Snips (contest director Mike Parsons) before the heat,” Slater said. “Taj wanted to do a 35-minute heat and I said,‘Why don’t we do a 40 minute final, we’ve got all the time in the world this afternoon.’ If we had done a 35-minute heat I would have lost.”

Burrow wore his disappointment at today’s loss on his sleeve.

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Artificial Surf Reef

Europe’s first artificial surf reef is currently being built in Boscombe, Bournemouth this year and is set to put Bournemouth firmly on the UK surf map.

The reef acts as a ramp which changes the way the waves break. The reef will improve the quality of the surf and produce a right-hand ride of around 75 metres.

As a result, the number of good surfing days will increase. Bournemouth already has an established surfing community, but the reef will draw more visitors to the area, enhancing the water sports on offer which includes kite-surfing, windsurfing, wake-boarding, kayaking, SCUBA-diving, sailing and skim-boarding.

The license to build the reef was granted by the Marine and Fisheries Agency in December 2007. Land-based construction started on the reef 16th July 2008 with the rolling out of the geo-mat which is the base layer of reef and prevents the reef from sinking into the seabed and being moved by the force of the sea.

Weather permitting, the reef is anticipated to be completed by the end of October 2008 surf season. Specialist construction material for the reef, the ecologically sound geo-textile bags came from Australia, with the webbing base from New Zealand.

Roger Brown, Head of Leisure Services at Bournemouth Borough Council, says: “The area of Bournemouth and Poole already has an excellent reputation as a leading water sports destination, however the reef will make surfing in the UK far more accessible. What we are providing is a good surfing break, in a cosmopolitan, thriving resort alongside great facilities and award-winning beaches.”

Boscombe is currently enjoying an £10million make-over. Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway MBE are designing luxury beach huts in the Overstrand complex, on Boscombe promenade, offering all the mod-cons expected by the 21st century surfer and holiday maker.

Boscombe Victorian Chine Gardens have been transformed, Boscombe Pier end has been demolished and rebuilt and the seafront is being re-landscaped. The surf reef and super beach huts will be accompanied by a surf retail outlet, a surfing school and a glass-fronted restaurant offering fantastic panoramic views of Bournemouth and the Solent.

There will also be a catering outlet selling good-quality food-to-go, an RNLI beach lifeguard station, changing rooms, toilets and warm showers, all contributing to the major transformation of Boscombe seafront.

Please note – the surf reef will not generate waves, but will amplify the existing surf. It has been reported that the reef will create 13ft waves. This is not correct as the surf reef is expected to increase the size and improve quality of the existing surf.

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