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Local surf shops compete

June 08, 2006|By Matt Szabo

They can all hang-10, but several Newport-Mesa residents will find out today if they can hang with the big boys.

Newport Beach is hosting the third annual Quiksilver Surf Shop Challenge, today and Friday at 54th Street, and local surf shops Surfside Sports and Main Street Surf Shop are both fielding teams.

Teams may compete with two shop employees and two surfing professionals.

Competing for Surfside are employees Nick Skawinski and Brent Bearden, along with team riders Adam Popp and Geoff Moysa.

Competing for Main Street are J. Richie Rollins, Ardemus Gregurek, pro surfer Cordell Miller and Reagan Riley.

"I've never done the contest before, but it should be pretty exciting," said Surfside's Skawinski, who said he surfs everyday himself. "I heard some other teams are going to be pretty strong as well. We've got some good competition coming in."

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Two West Coast Regional champions will be crowned. Teams from Seal Beach and to the south of Los Angeles compete today and L.A. teams and teams north of L.A. compete Friday.

Both regional champions advance to the national championships in San Diego in September.

The competition will follow a "tag team" format. Each team gets 30-minute heats, during which each surfer can catch three waves. When a surfer is done, he must tag in his next teammate.

Adding to the drama, each team can designate a "double whammy" surfer who will receive double the points for his rides.

The top eight teams advance from the first round to the semifinals, with the finals to follow.

The eventual national champion will receive a $10,000 prize and valuable free advertising space in Surfer Magazine.

"That'd be huge for the shop," Skawinski said. "We don't do any advertising in the magazines, so that'd definitely be huge. And, of course, we'd also get bragging rights over the other shops until next year."

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