Fun for all at Native Surf Camp
|Dylan "DJ" Joseph glides across a tide pool during Native Surf Camp activities in Holmes Beach. Islander Photos: Kevin Cassidy
|Participants in the Native Surf Camp pose for a picture before diving into a pile of pizza, culminating an end to their week of learning.
Fun was the order of the week during the annual surf camp put on by Native Surf Camp and the West Coast Surf Shop. Leading the young surfers was Ryan Helm, a professional surfer and former X-Games participant. Helm has an easy-going, let’s have fun attitude that fits well with kids trying something new, especially surfing.
Roughly 25 kids came out to the White Avenue beach June 30-July 4 to give surfing a try. The young surfers were taught the basics of paddling out in the surf, picking and catching waves, getting up on the board and even trying some switch stances before week’s end.
With instructors in the water and along the beach, safety was not a concern for the many parents watching from the beach. Among the instructors were former surf camp participants Travis Belsito, Luke Shakelford, Chris Pate and Giorgio Gomez. Other assistant surf instructors included Joe Mattay, Spencer Carper, Brandi Brady, Rainia Lardas and Paula Helm.
After riding two consecutive waves to the beach, 6-year-old Bolly “Bali” Turner of Bradenton was asked how he liked surfing? “The first time it kind of hurted because the board shot up in the air and I fell,” he said. But when asked if it was worth the pain, Bolly happily replied, “Yeah!”
Thanks to a nice little ground swell in the Gulf of Mexico, the waves were perfect all week long for kids learning to surf. In addition to surfing, the kids also spent a lot of time skimboarding and taking part in many of the usual activities that young people enjoy while at the beach.
The culmination of the camp was a surf contest, then concluded at day’s end with pizza and sodas for all. And unlike other surf contests that give awards for first or second place, this contest recognized the participants in different categories.
Best trick went to Jack “Black” Coleman, while biggest wave was shared by Bolly “Bali” Turner and Ben “Hercules” Stobaugh. Longest wave went to Brendan “Kracken” Sorenson, while best wipe out went to Madison “Monkey” Gsell. Brayden “Maverick” Hohman grabbed honors for best dance moves on a surfboard, while Jake “Ace” Batey pulled off the best switch stance. Biggest smile went to Dylan “DJ” Joseph, while Thomas “The Train” Moore, visiting from Atlanta, won the most fun award.
Stay tuned to The Islander for news of another Native Surf Camp before school gets back in session.
Cedars offers Saturday tennis instruction
The Cedars resort on north Longboat Key is offering weekly tennis instruction for three age groups on Saturdays until Aug. 2. Cost is $10 for first child and $5 for each additional sibling. Tennis professional Tony Easton is running the clinic, which gets started at 9 a.m. for children ages 5-8. Children ages 9-12 go from 9:45 to 10:30 a.m., and ages 13-16 play from 10:30-11:15 a.m.
For more information, contact Easton at 941-383-6426.
In hindsight, it’s probably a good thing not many people showed up for the July 2 horseshoe competition, considering the way Sam Samuels was throwing. He threw ringers on half of his throws throughout the day, but was at his best in the championship game when he threw three consecutive “six packs” — double ringers — on the way to a 21-1 thrashing of Debbie and Tom Rhodes.
The June 28 horseshoe session saw Samuels team up with Steve Doyle and post the only undefeated pool-play mark to earn outright champion status.
Play gets under way at 9 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Warmups begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by random team selection. There is no charge to play and everyone is welcome.
Key Royale golf news
The women of Key Royale Club are battling the heat during women’s summer golf league action. Tootie Wagner fired a 3-under-par 29 to claim first place in flight 1 on July 1. Second place went to Lois Beil, Joyce Reith and Barb Mason, who each carded 2-under-par 30s. Mary Miller and Shirley Cessna tied for first place in flight 2 with a 4-under-par 28. Norma Moran Shearer took second place with a 30, while third place was shared by Ruth Williamson and Meredith Slavin, who each finished one shot back.