Photo: Santa Monica Pier Paddle

Photo: Santa Monica Pier Paddle

What’s happening this weekend at the 7th Annual Tommy Bahama Paddleboard Race and Ocean Festival?

While the river’s finest SUP athletes gather in Vail Colorado for the GoPro Mountain Games and the world’s best flatwater racers converge in San Sabastian, Spain for the sixth stop of the Euro Tour, the seeming remainder of SUP’s top athletes are gracing Southern California’s shores for the 7th annual Tommy Bahama Paddleboard Race and Ocean Festival this weekend. With both reigning champs—Mo Freitas and Shae Foudy—contending alongside a hardy collection of SUP’s elite ocean racer including Slater Trout, Dave Boehne, Lexi Alston and Candice Appleby, this surf race promises to be just as action-packed as any SUP event this weekend.

Freitas is already onsite practicing for tomorrow’s races, and he reports that conditions are prime.

“It's fun, sandbars are good right now,” Freitas says. “There are some waves and it’s picking up later this week, but for the event it's going to be kind of small.”

Small surf still makes for great contention, and the eager mass of hungry world-class racers is expected to mix things up for an impressive show.

“I'm holding the title from last year, so I'm hoping to keep holding onto it,” Freitas says. “But’s going to be a stacked field this year. There are tons of good guys and girls.”

Tommy Bahama’s Santa Monica event isn’t called a festival for nothing; there’s also music, food and other entertainment at the pier this weekend.

"The celebration of both paddling and lifeguarding history at this event is really cool," said competitor and organizer Anthony Vela. "It's not just the racing, but rather the music, festivities and history that gives this festival such an energetic vibe."

Roster of Confirmed Elites Racing this Weekend:

Slater Trout
Dave Boehne
Vinnicious Martins
Jonas Letieri
Tyler Bashor
Karl Ring
Nick Malcolm
Jack Bark
Cannon Ball
Mo Freitas
Ryan Helm
Chuck Glynn
Giorgio Gomez
Fernando Stalla
Chase Kosterlitz
Jared Vargas
Rob Rojas
Rodney Ellis
Karl Ring
Nick Scheel

Julia Garcia
Christina Boring
Bernadette Foote
Natalie Foote
Morgan Hoestrey
Alex Higginson
Jade Howson
Candice Appleby
Shae Foudy
Erika Benitez
Kristen Thomas
Maggie Hogan
Lexi Alston

Check out the events website for more info.
A history lesson on the Tommy Bahama Paddleboard Race and Ocean Festival.
See the event’s video preview.