Surf’s up this weekend as lifesavers from across the state flock to Palm Beach on the Gold Coast for the Queensland Board Riding Championships.
It represents the first of SLSQ’s state carnivals for 2019 and kicks off an action packed few months for competitive surf lifesavers.
Following this weekend’s competition are the State Surf Rescue Championships at Mermaid Beach (February 15-17), the Queensland Youth Championships at Burleigh (March 8-10), and the Queensland Surf Life Saving Championships at Broadbeach (March 15-17).
The Queensland Board Riding Championships will see almost 150 surf lifesavers, from nippers through to masters, swap their rescue tubes for long and short boards as they hit the waves to showcase their surfing skills.
Last year Sunshine Coast clubs swept the podium, with Alexandra Headland taking the top honours ahead of Noosa and Kawana.
While the majority of surf lifesaving competition is designed to test the rescue and patrol skills of members, SLSQ sport event coordinator Ryan Bennett said the Board Riding Championships were a little different.
“The Championships show off a different side of surf lifesaving altogether, and it’s a great opportunity for our members to get out there, have some fun, and showcase their surfing skills,” he said.
“The event’s run very similar to your regular surfing competitions, with three judges and 15 minute heats, with surfers progressing through the early rounds into semis and then finals in their age categories.
“We’re expecting some good conditions at Palm Beach this weekend and hopefully it gives our competitors an opportunity to get stuck in and really show us their skills on both long and short boards,” he said.
The action kicks off at Palm Beach on Saturday morning and wraps up on Sunday afternoon.
Photo credit: Salty Glow Photography.