All contestants must surf on 1969 or older longboards, 9-feet or longer, with no leash. There are separate divisions for Open, Wahine and Menehune (youth 16 years old and under). Proceeds from the event go to benefit Drowning Prevention Foundation of San Diego AKA San Diego Junior Lifeguards. Those who are interested in competing or watching may find more information at ombac.org/omsurf.
For some, the OMSurf competition is more than just a surf contest. Ron Greene is a long-time participant of the Classic Longboard Surfing Contest. During the 2013 classic, Greene suffered a heart attack while out on the water. In the middle of the semi-final round, Greene drowned and had no heartbeat or pulse. Lifeguards on duty pulled him from the water and proceeded to use a defibrillator to restore his heartbeat. Greene then spent three days in a cold induced coma and was later sent in for an open heart quad bypass.
Flash toward two months, Greene was back in the Pacific Ocean surfing again and enjoying his lifelong hobby. For him, participating in the OMSurf competition means that he gets a second chance to get back on the horse after competing in the contest for many years. Greene and his son, Alex, who has participated in the competition four times, are signed up for this year’s contest and are excited to be part of the event.