New Surf Contest Coming To Resort

OCEAN CITY – A new surf contest with a different twist is coming to Ocean City in late July after resort officials this week approved the request.

On Monday, the Mayor and Council had before them a request to approve the Red Bull Foam Wreckers surf contest on the beach at 39th Street on July 23, with a tentative rain date for July 24. Unlike many of the highly-competitive surf contests held in the resort, the Red Bull Foam Wreckers is more about the fun for the participants than the competition, and registration is open to anyone who want to get on a board and paddle out.

The event, brought to the Mayor and Council from Chris Shanahan and Mike Harrell of K-Coast Surf Shop, features only foam, or soft-topped, boards. Participants will register beforehand, and when their “heat” comes up, they will spin a wheel to determine what size and shape board on which they will be competing.

For example, a wheel from a prior event in a different location shows the types of boards ranging from essentially a standard boogieboard to a seven-foot, soft-topped surfboard and almost everything in between. The foam, or soft-topped, boards will be provided by the event promoter and participants won’t know what kind of board on which they are competing until they spin the wheel.

“I was contacted back in late March,” said Shanahan on Monday. “It’s billed as an anti-surf contest. It’s all about having fun.”

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Shanahan told the Mayor and Council the initial plan was to hold the contest on a section of beach popular for many other surf contests and events, but organizers moved in deference to residents and beachgoers in that area that often have to deal with special events on their beach.

“We initially asked for 36th Street, but we have had too many contests there,” he said. “We want to move it down the beach to 39th Street. Also, the convention center has plenty of parking, so that won’t be an issue.”

Shanahan said the Red Bull Foam Wreckers events are popular in other areas of the country.

“They have contests in Florida and New Jersey, and they wanted to bring one here,” he said. “Probably the hardest part for me is the July 23 date, because that is probably the busiest time of year for me. It will bring a lot of new people here that haven’t been here before.”

Councilman Mark Paddack said he was grateful the organizers decided to move the event.

“I want to thank you for moving it to 39th Street,” he said. “We get a lot of comments about the number of events at 36th Street and Castle in the Sand blocking off the beach there.”

With that said, the council voted 5-0 to approve the contest set for June.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.