Thursday, April 23, 2015

The 2015 Single Fin Mingle - A Traditional Logging Competition

The inaugural “Single Fin Mingle took place over the weekend of the 20th-22nd of March 2015.

Poster artwork by Bradley King

The Single Fin Mingle was the first ever traditional longboard surfing competition to be held in the South Island.

Single Fin Mingle 2015 from Jono Smit on Vimeo.

Held at the infamous Sumner beach in Christchurch - widely known as the premier longboarding break in New Zealand (if not the world).
Sumner offers long rides and super playful sections, perfect for traditional longboarding.

A selection of the many single fins on show (Photo: Tom Owens)

The rules for the competition were simple:
1. Single fins only, with no provision for any other configuration (This means no side fin plugs)
2. No leashes allowed (you fall - you swim)
3. Boards must measure over 9ft and weigh a minimum of 8kg (all boards were weighed on competition day by chief board inspector: Simon Brown)
4. All surfing must be traditional - Basically how they surfed in the early sixties with emphasis on noseriding, cross stepping and style.
5. Gentlemens rules apply - this means no technical drop ins interference calls. (cooperation was just as valuable as competition - as there was a prize for best shared wave)

Board caddie - Nic Todd (Photo: Tom Owens)

48 competitors came together from all over the country to celebrate traditional logging, with strong turnouts from Dunedin, Mangawhai, New Plymouth and Sumner, the title was anyone's to take.

First on the agenda for the weekend was the registration.
After a beer and a short surf film at Sumner’s very own Hollywood theatre on Friday night, Saturday morning dawned bringing a bright sunny day and waist high waves.

The biggest highlight of the day was the outstanding surfing from the mostly unknown Logger: Ryan “Moose” Campbell who fought his way through a tough heat on an ancient 1960s Dunlop log. Unfortunately Moose let the fame go to his head and consumed too many ales at the Saturday night party only to miss his Sunday morning heat.

Speaking of the party: It went off - competitors, friends and family packed into the Sumner Beach Bar for a few cold jars and to listen to some great tunes provided by local surf band: The Wendys.

Hot groms: Seb Johnson and Luke O'Neill (Photo: Tom Owens)
Grant Pacey and Homa Mattingly - post heat yarn (Photo: Tom Owens)

Sunday morning arrived with a new swell, stiff southerly winds and cloudy skies.
Despite the cool and grey conditions, the surf was absolutely smoking - head high, groomed peelers were pouring through the bay and excitement was high.

The early heats set the trend for the day - everyone was shredding from young to old, guys and girls - never has Sumner seen such quality traditional surfing. All competitors were throwing down long hang fives, big hang tens, silky smooth rollercoasters and even the occasional head dip.

By lunchtime, the finalists had been decided and it was time for them to down a mandatory 3 star beer and get down to business.

Luke O'Neill with some clean footwork (Photo: Tom Owens)

The men's heat was an epic battle between four local surfers: Luke O’Neill, Nick Sarjeant, Grant Cochrane and Nic Todd.

All four had been shredding all weekend but in a close battle Nic Todd stomped two of the longest hang tens I’ve ever seen, to narrowly take the win and lead the party at Clink bar in Sumner.

Tony Baker stretching a hang five (Photo: Tom Owens)

Although the women's section was smaller than the men's, the surfing was still a high standard.

3 surfers from Dunedin dominated the woman's Final: Tash Mattingly, Daisy Thomas and Mischa Davis, the lone competitor representing Sumner was Nina Young.

All four girls managed to score some nice long rides but the biggest standout was Mischa Davis. With some controlled noserides and smooth cross stepping she managed to snare the win, closely followed by Daisy Thomas.

Overall it was an sensational weekend organised by Sumner legend: Ambrose McNeill (who unofficially won best dressed for his suited effort all weekend) (Photo: Tom Owens)

Overall champion, Nic Todd demonstrating his fine noseriding skills in the semi finals (Photo: Tom Owens)


1st: Nic Todd (Sumner) (World Champion of the World)
2nd: Nick Sarjeant (Sumner)
3rd: Luke O’Neill (Sumner)
4th: Grant Cochrane (Sumner)

Day two competition site (Photo: Tom Owens)

1st: Mischa Davis (Piha & Dunedin)
2nd: Daisy Thomas (Dunedin)
3rd: Nina Young (Sumner)
4th: Tash Mattingly (Dunedin)
5th Equal: Alicia Erceg and Lili Bay (Both Sumner)

Best Beard: Sam Bound (New Plymouth)

Best Shared Wave: Daisy Thomas (Dunedin) and Tom Owens (Sumner)

Bolter of the event: Walt Robberds (Sumner)

Best Junior: Seb Johnson (Sumner)

Best Senior: Grant Cochrane

First round stylist: Homa Mattingly (Dunedin)

Mystery final winner: Dave Oswald (Sumner)

Wave of the Event: Luke Oneill (Sumner) - a huge hang heels

Thanks to all the sponsors below, without their generous support the event would not have been possible:

Mitre 10 Mega Ferrymead
Sadhana Surboards
Exit Surf
Surfing Tribe
Seventhwave Wetsuits
Garden City 2.0
Against The Grain Screen Printing and Graphic Design
Stoked Surf
Sumner Supervalue
Warren Hawk Photography
JD Smit Productions


Seventhwave Wetsuits are made in New Zealand from Yamamoto Limestone neoprene. Seventhwave Wetsuits are different because we make each wetsuit Custom-Fit, to the customers measurements. We like to get your measurements and details and then custom make your preferred wetsuit model and thickness to your exact size and shape. We think that's why we get such good feedback from our customers, many of whom come back again and again. To own a Seventhwave wetsuit is to support New Zealand made, to stand up for quality and to experience water sports in a warmer way.

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