By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Thought those out-of-state plates were gone from our shores for at least another nine months? Not quite yet.
Sea Bright’s annual Skim Bash returns this weekend for its seventh annual edition, and it’s bigger than ever, as they say in the PR game.
Fear not. This shoreline tradition eschews Jersey Shore-style fist-pumping for a good old-fashioned watersport with a newfangled twist that is catching on nationally and counts Sea Brights as one of its shiniest nodes.
This year the wave-riding event, in which semi-surfers run into the ocean and a mount small board to ride an incoming wave, has caught the attention of heavy hitters on the skim boarding scene. Traditionally sponsored by the local recreation committee, the bash is now in the hands of Skim U.S.A., a national non-profit that promotes the innovative take on surfing.
Felicia Stratton, who started the event and continues to help put it all together, said the competition has reached a new level, with skimmers coming from as far west as California and as far south as Florida, as well as nearby places like New York and Delaware.
“They come from everywhere,” she said. “It’s a big deal.”
Big indeed. When the event started seven years ago, there were 15 competitors, Stratton said. This year, she expects hundreds to participate, with at least a thousand on the sand looking on.
“It’s just going to be in a whole different league from what it was before,” she said.
Like last year, this tournament will feature pro riders competing for a cash prize; all others go for a trophy or prizes.
There is no fee to watch. Competitors must register in advance of the event. Registration online is open ’til 9p here. Unlike last year, there is no same day registration.
The competition is open to contestants five-years-old and up. Food, music and an ocean view are offered, as always.