King of Kingscliff, veteran champion Ray Gleave. Pic: Luke Sorensen
The Shannon Surf Vehicle Display. Pic: Luke Sorensen
13 February 19
We’re waxing down our boards, can’t wait for June and this year’s Australian Longboard Surfing Open at beautiful Kingscliff Beach in Northern NSW.
Entries have just opened for the 2019 event, now in its eight-year under the Australian Longboard Surfing Open (ALSO) banner though Contest Director Sean McKeown has been running a marquee longboard event in Kingscliff for the past eleven years.
McKeown said excitement is building for this year’s ALSO and he thinks, after experimenting with earlier times in the year, that the event has finally found the perfect time of year.
“We’re holding it from May 30 to June 2, this time, which is much later than in previous years,” he explained.
“February through March always sees us clash with other events including the QuikSilver Pro. But the real deciding factor was the swell. Last year there was a lack of swell and we were forced to rush events through earlier than programmed to suit the waves. On the final day, we had to go mobile around to the South Beach on the other side of the creek for the first time ever. While that was fun, it did cause some logistical dramas on the day.
“Kingscliff predominately has great swells around the winter months and more than that it is still warm and inviting up here.”
The Contest Director said he hoped the change in time would also attract more surfers from the southern states and even New Zealand, looking for good swells and nice weather.
“We thought we’d use the location to its best advantage -there is no nicer spot than this little coastal jewel at that time of year – certainly a nice change for all the southerners who will be feeling the full effect of winter,” he laughed.
“Let’s face it I know where I’d rather be at that time of year, don’t you?
“The fact that there is the contest in Crescent the week before means southerners can come on a road trip, do some surfing, and enjoy the great weather of NSW’s North Coast.”
ALSO has always been much more than just surfing, it’s a family event, a competition that attracts all ages and captures the friendly family feel of yesteryear. This year will be no exception with a full program of water events as well as plenty of activities planned for the beach.
“Our really popular Shannon’ Surf Vehicle display is back along with the Old Mal exhibition,” McKeown said.
“This event continues to grow every year and people always love checking out the great old surf vehicles and the vintage surfboard displays. The change in time means that we now match up with Wintersun-2 – which will be held in the Tweed Valley that same weekend -so fans of 50s and 60s cars and music will have just a short drive to enjoy even more of the culture. And if they stay an extra week the biggest retro-festival of them all, Cooly Rocks is the following weekend.
“It’s great time to be on the Tweed Coast and we can’t wait to add to that colour and atmosphere.”
– REPORT BY TANIA SPIERS-PHILLIPS, FOR ALSO
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The Australian Longboard Surfing Open is located in the unspoilt surfing location of Kingscliff village, on the doorstep of the Asia Pacific, and only 10 minutes from Gold Coast Airport. ALSO honours the history of Australian longboard surfing with music, indigenous surfing, old board display, surf vehicle display, art and lifestyle stalls.