Tommy Bahama Paddleboard Race and Ocean Festival
On Saturday, June 11, the waters beneath the famed Santa Monica Pier will be alive with the world’s elite SUP athletes duking it out during the 7th annual Tommy Bahama Paddleboard Race & Ocean Festival.
With a prize purse of $15,000, professionals and amateurs alike will be gunning for victory in a variety SUP races that will feature tight competition. These are highlighted by the Tommy Bahama Paddlecross Cup, a short-course sprint race out and back through the surf that takes place in a series of exciting heats throughout the day.
In addition to the pro and amateur races, the festival is also opening up the competition to the groms. For the first time, an expanded youth division will give lil’ paddlers a chance to compete in front of a large crowd-that is if they aren’t too busy doing loops on the famed pier roller coaster.
However, the fan-favorite festival features other competitions as well, including lifeguard dory races and an ocean swim. In addition to the fierce action on the water, fans on the pier and beach will be treated to a wide-array of family friendly activities and an epic performance by surf guitar legend Dick Dale.
This includes a taste of surfing history with the pop-up Waterman’s Museum giving attendees a chance to view antique surfboards, paddleboards, and vintage automobiles. Not to mention, a beer and rum garden for those who want to unwind under the California sun.
Best of all, the festival will donate proceeds to the Bay Foundation-a local Santa Monica organization that works to clean up waterways, create green spaces in urban areas and restore natural habitats both on land and under water.
The festival is always a highlight of the SUP racing season and this year is expected to be the biggest one yet. For more information about the festival, visit their website.
Photo gallery from past years’ events at the Santa Monica Pier.
A look back at when this event went off in 10 foot surf.