If you were ever considering producing a big-wave surf contest, this was the winter to do it. Aside from a slow start and a couple pauses here and there, the North Pacific has been steadily churning out hits since early December. For the first time in five years, The Eddie ran and was a smashing success. The Mavericks Contest saw paddle surfing achieve new heights in giant, flawless conditions. The Billabong XXL Awards have probably had more legitimate submissions this year than in the past ten years combined. And now, Isla Todos Santos is calling from Baja Norte and she wants a piece of the action too.
On Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010, "Killers" will host its first big-wave event in over ten years. "The Bay of All Saints" must have been keeping a close eye on the contest window because the event is being held on the last possible day of the waiting period. The forecast looks big, and although the surf is not expected to be as gargantuan as it was for the Mavs event a couple weeks back, the wind conditions are favorable and there's more west in the swell, which means bigger bowls. Even on mid-sized swells, Todos has a knack for sometimes tripling the size of the swell when unloading on the reef, so there will definitely be some dramatic moments as the "Big Wave World Tour" comes to a close.
With victories in Peru and at The Eddie, Greg Long, who began his big-wave love affair at Todos when he was a kid, is in the driver's seat for the title. Carlos Burle, who won the first-ever paddle event at Todos in 1998 in giant surf, still has a chance to catch Greg with a victory this weekend. Interestingly enough, the event does not have a primary "presenting" sponsor. It's a grassroots effort, spearheaded by Gary Linden and made possible by a huge cast of surfers and big-wave enthusiasts who are stopping at nothing to produce a world-class event. With help from a handful of "supporting" sponsors, and Long even underwriting some of the production costs, this thing's a labor of love."Bringing back the Todos contest has been a dream of mine for many years," says Long. "A lot of hard work has gone into re-establishing the event, but I know it's going to pay off. Todos is undoubtedly one of the best big-wave paddle spots in the world and deserves to have a contest with world-class big-wave riders."
No big purses. No fancy cars up for grabs. No big trophies. No appearance fees. Right now big-wave paddle surfers are flying here from all over the world just for the love of big-wave riding -- and maybe some bragging rights. Besides, winning something like this means more than any over-sized check or trophy ever could.
Go to TodosSantosEvent.com for more information. Stay tuned for photos and nitty, gritty details.