Wednesday, November 04, 2009

An alternative venue for the proposed Swamis surf contest: Tavarua Fiji

Since the majority of Swamis surfers object to selling off our public surf spots to private parties for days and weeks at a time I have been thinking of an alternative location to hold the contest. The answer is obvious, have the contest on Tavarua island in Fiji.

Tavarua has two world class surf spots, called Cloudbreak and Restaurants. Both waves are far better than the wave at Swamis. Tavarua is home to a luxurious surf camp that has exclusive rights to the surf spots and the camp is sanctioned by the Fijian government. Tavarua has already hosted many high profile mens and womens contests. These contests gain international media exposure because of the high quality of the wave.

The contests held at Tavarua have had successful live webcast that are viewed by hundreds of thousands of people. Yes, they have the technology and the facilities to host these modern events!

Since the proposed Swamis contest is going to crown a world champ, then it needs to be held in classic surf that will bring legitimacy and respect to that champion. Although it is a fun wave and can be world class once or twice a year, Swamis is too weak and mushy of wave 95% of the year for a world class surf contest. Cloudbreak is an epic wave that is respected by surfers all over the world.

The mens pro tour decide and crown their world champ in Hawaii in serious waves of consequence. The women's tour needs to be on the same level. Having this contest in real surf will teleport the womens longboard tour into the big time. As is, the women's longboard tour is not taken seriously by the major surf media outlets. Holding the contest at Swamis is only going to make that worse. The contest organizers need to see the big picture and do the right thing for their sport.

Ask any competitor, where would you rather surf? Swamis or Cloudbreak?
Learn more about Tavarua at
Sign the online petition to stop surf contest at Swamis click here


  1. Linda - Please don't sell out your home town. You could meet your objectives much better by holding the contest in Fiji.

    If Cloud break is too scary for the majority of Pro WLBers, you could hold it at Lefts, or swimming pools on neighboring Namotu.

    Come on Linda, don't be a sell out! What do you say?

  2. Have you ever surfed Cloudbreak on a 9'6" singlefin? And lived to tell about it? If so, I'm impressed. But I'd be willing to bet you have not. Women's longboarding is not akin to men's shortboarding, or women's shortboarding either, activities usually pursued at Cloudbreak. Longboarding is its own sport altogether--one that emphasizes fluidity, style, grace, trim, cross stepping and noseriding, much of which would warrant a death wish at the grinding, hollow, steep and speedy lefts of Cloudbreak. Swamis is a classic longboarding wave, and a world-class surf break in general. If you, noble blogger, can pull a five-second hang ten, a drop-knee cutback or even a cheater five on a singlefin log at Cloudbreak, then you're the man, and I'm sold. But I saw all those maneuvers and more this morning at Swami's--and no one drowned or chowed the reef to pull them off, either. Swamis is a safer, more realistic and fitting location for a women's longboarding contest. But if Swamis is a no-go, I guess there's always Teahupo'o!

  3. Yea, Moving competeion to Fiji is just STUPID. Why don't we band surfing altogether unless you live within a two block radius of where you are surfing. Or let's make everyone with a surfboard pay a licenseing fee and yearly permit to be in the water, like we do for fishing. Be careful for what you start asking for, plus you idiots probalbly have a whole 4-6 years in the water and that you can standup on your board you think your a real surfer.

  4. yeah, why sell out our town there's plenty of jobs and money... ban surfing gobama instead!

  5. I am not a surfer, but what about the Wedge in Newport Beach? Or somewhere in Huntington Beach? Would these places work? If so, move it there, and let Swami's be Swami's. Has there ever been a surf contest held there? I cannot imagine where everyone would park, etc. Sounds like a lot of problems with using it. Did the City give the promoter a permit, or is one needed? I would think an event this big would need a permit and the Council's blessing. The Encinitas Grand Prix that will be held next year ( it's a bicycle event) needed to be checked into by the Parks and Recreation Commission, and a report was given orally to the City Council. After Council approved the event, permits were then issued. Seems like this event needs the seem vetting. Has anyone checked with the Parks and Rec. dept.? I know it has not been tasked to the Commission, since I am one of the members of the Parks and Rec. Commission.

  6. The Wedge, that's funny!

  7. There are better places than Tavu!

    Malibu! Can not beat that unless this is not about girls and it is all about self promotion and profit.

    Or stay local!

    Wind 'n Sea. Try that spot Linda. Afraid that the surfers will expose you as a fraud?

    Sunset Cliffs! Some totally great LB waves down there. Those guys are sooo much nicer than the Swamis crowd.

  8. Let's keep the contest in Encinitas!

  9. Cloudbreak is very longboardable at 6 ft. Men and women longboarders have already proven it can be done. This contest is for the world championship. Crown your champ in epic surf.

  10. Who cares if the contest is in Encinitas. I hope its not at swamis.

  11. Aside from all of the discussion, could the post-writer please note that the plural of "contest" is "contests". It's in there incorrectly twice, which starts to make those of us who surf AND speak English look stupid.

  12. Dear Anon. 5:30pm,
    Good call on the English errors, but that's the norm on blogs. Proofreading is non-existent on blogs. Mistakes abound (in brackets): "Tavarua has already hosted many high profile [mens] and [womens] [contest]. These [contest] gain international media exposure because of the high quality of the [wave]."

  13. I am the king of clunky sentence structure because I blog from my iPhone with a 2 year old on my lap. Also, I went to San Dieguito high school so I'm lucky I've made it this far in life.

  14. I don't understand why the contest should not be held at Cardiff Reef where it is has been held for the past three years.

  15. Good point JP... I too am another fine product of the CA educational system. Don't blame me, blame the none caring union so called teachers that were just waiting to retire.

    There English Queens- Crammer check please!

  16. It would be great to surf Fiji on a longboard during a contest... but let's face it, the reason the contest is being brought back to the U.S. (without the ASP sanction) is in large part due to the fact that the women can't afford to fly all the way to France, much less Fiji.

    The majority of the world's women longboarders live in and around this area.

    Wikipedia says that "[Swami] is a title added to one's name to emphasize learning and mastery of sports..." among other things. Seems to fit.

    The contest is donating all proceeds to non-profits too... the letter at the petition site is worth a read.

  17. How about supporting a reasonable policy such as limiting organized competitions that require a permit to 5 days a year, or two weekends after 9am.

    This would alow the dawn patrol (locals) to still get the best time, glass, and best breaks of the day.

    Still have Swamies to themselves for 360 days a year, and show a spirit of friendship and hospitality instead of the protectionist bullying of this is my beach, its sacred, stay the hell away.

    All of our coast line and surf spots are sacred.

  18. Bullshit!

    The contest is donating all proceeds to non-profits too. Total propaganda!

    This contest is being run through a FOR PROFIT LLC CORPORATION. The owners are a secret and so will their earnings.

    Linda, start a 401c3 FOR THE GIRLS, open your books and stop putting your good name at risk.

  19. Get Swamis to themselves! The only ones who get to OWN Swamis is Linda Benson and Cori.

    How about Linda and Cori show the spirit of openness, charity, and honesty? Do the contest as a 401c3 not with a for profit company with secret ownership.

    They should also explain why Cardiff doesn't work for a contest!

    Is Cardiff no good because Linda doesn't have cronies in the the state park system like she does at city hall?

    Fess up Linda.

  20. Linda starting to smell like 5 day old fish. Phewwwww....

    sometimes your sel"fish" ego motives can not be hid and come out as truth always does eventually.

    Phewwww... watch your step Linda... Karma is going to come home to roost.

  21. A Loving Encinitas LocalNovember 04, 2009 9:23 PM

    Linda Benson-

    You must have lost your Encinitas connection.

    The issue is not your history or connection with surfing or the need for a women’s long board contest. the issue is why have it at a spiritual place like swamis.

    Anywhere, but Swamis.... D street, Moonlight, Ponto, Cardiff.... Tabletops.... just not swamis....

    This would open up the box for every competition at Swamis.

    Secondly, I love this line... "Net Profit" Which means, after I Linda the profiteer take my huge administration fee from the contest on a sliding scale but anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000, and every other promoters agreements, any remaining few hundred dollars to the measly non profits..... this is the oldest trick in the books.

    The only one who knows how much ol Linda will pull from this event is Linda. Figures don't lie, but Liars figure.

    Linda- If you must hold a contest, hold it anywhere but Swamis. If it’s held at Swamis, you deserve all the karma you get. I am sure hitting home so close to several decades of gurus will make sure it all works out in the end.

    To me, you have worn out your welcome.

  22. Fiji?...ya I could see it..

  23. Malibu, San o, pleasure point, doheny, Cardiff . So many better longboarding waves than swamis.

  24. I don't even have an SUP, but i'm going to borrow one and paddle furiously right through your super rad contest until I get tackled by hot lady longboarders. I'll be easy to spot (hint: the one with no pants on)

  25. Non-Profits Are Cash CowsNovember 05, 2009 6:14 AM

    A lot of non-profits are anything but! They are very profitable for directors who pull in six figures, get travel expenses and entertainment paid by the "non-profit", not to mention leased vehicles and other perks.

    Swamis is NOT an appropriate venue for a surf contest and doesn't even come close to meeting ADA standards. A contest there opens a can of worms. Keep Swamis open for everyone, not closed to benefit just the chosen (seeded) few.

  26. Linda Profits and the public loses.

    Wow. That is the biggest thing.

    I can't wait to see whats next.

    Next year, can we hold an offroad sand race along our beaches?

    Now that would be big and put us in the league of Pismo Beach!

  27. To all the posters conjecturing that Linda Benson and this mysterious and yet-to-be named collective of "contest directors" are setting out to stuff their own pockets full of cash from a women's pro longboarding contest, I suggest you ascertain the facts before speculating as to how much profit will actually be drawn by this event. Whoever projected profits of $100,000 to $500,000 generated by this contest is out of his mind. Sorry for the reality check, but last time I checked, womens longboarding was the least profitable sector of surfing, with the lowest contest prize purses,the least media coverage, and close to zero corporate backing. The sad truth is, there's next to no money in women's longboarding. Past world champions like Summer Romero, Cori Scumacher, Joy Monahan and Kristy Murphy have won their titles in the past ten years (some, multiple titles) without even ONE corporate sponsor supporting them financially or otherwise. Women's longboarding is virtually ignored by the surf industry; its a double minority: women AND longboards. Could it get any worse? The last world championship Linda Benson hosted (Ocean Beach, 2005) she made precisely zero $ in profit, and actually contributed her own personal funds to fill out the prize purse as backing fell through at the last minute. And at this point, there aren't any big name companies lining up, checkbooks open, to sponsor this proposed contest. Your visions of grandeur of Linda enriching herself at the cost of "sacred" Swamis are just that: visions of grandeur. She is a wonderful woman with a huge heart and a beautiful vision who will receive little more for her troubles than a tirade of sleepless nights and a ration of grief from people like you.

  28. longboards and leashes?November 05, 2009 5:14 PM

    So you just admitted it..The Contest will not have a large economic boost the region, is not a big moneymaker, and to use your exact words"...women AND longboards. Could it get any worse?..." Exactly!

    All it will do is ruin a prestine part of San Diego and will only encourage a stream of other idiotic contest directors to try to push other worthless events at Swamis just to make a few bucks.

    I know all you rad girl longboard aficionados are trying promote this ugly, pathetic, and embarrassing sport that is competitive longboarding (I am also talking about men's pro longboarding so don't get your panties in a bundle ladies), but why, oh why do you feel like you are the privileged ones that are allowed to ruin a place that has been contest free for over 40 years!!!

    Talk about egotistical!!!I think its time to dump the cheater boards and learn how to surf like the rest of us.

  29. Its an unwritten rule:
    How come you transplants don't get it? What are you, a bunch of dorky kooks or just don't surf? Or could never learn.
    Have your contest anywhere else, we don't care, Cardiff Reef, Seaside, D Street, Goonlight, all great places with surfable waves, parking and facilities for crowds. All things Swami's lacks.

    And I am still waiting for someone to tell us all how much the Encinitas Street Fair nets for the non-profit that puts it on. I'll bet there are a few organizers who pocket close to 50 grand for us having to put up with 1o1 closed from D Street to SRF. Somebody prove me wrong. Probably the same thing with this event.

  30. I don't surf nor care to tryNovember 05, 2009 6:53 PM

    Even the contest pundits admit this contest is a pathetic exercise and a waste of time? WOW.

  31. Get Your Facts StraightNovember 06, 2009 5:59 AM

    Anonymous 2:37 - You say the so called "world champs" of women's longboarding have "never been sponsored financially or otherwise by corporate sponsors"? You must still believe in Santa Claus!

    Who do you think foots the bill for their travel and equipment? When they're flying around the world on photo shoots, it's through the misplaced generosity of board and clothing manufacturers.

    Long boarding is great for old people and beginners, otherwise, not so much.


Thank you for posting on the Leucadia Blog.
There is nothing more powerful on this Earth than an anonymous opinion on the Internet.
Have at it!!!