beacons beach - leucadia state park - surfing web site
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Andrew started surfing at Beacon's when he was 13 or so... While most of his friends were shortboarding, Andrew also became proficient on a longboard. 

When he surfed there was always a whirlwind of action as he caught wave after wave, thus his nick name "Hurricane Andrew."

Well, the Hurricane now is a winning pro on the surfing circuit.

Riding the nose is a wondrous feat
By Terry Rodgers

If you've ever watched a pelican glide effortlessly mere inches above the sea as if suspended by a moving wire and wondered what that must feel like, wonder no more.

Longboarders experience that blissful sense of soaring on a fixed wing all the time. It's called noseriding.

A surfer perched on the nose of a longboard usually draws at least a grudging nod of respect from his shortboarder peers.

It's because noseriding is cool.

It's because noseriding looks easy, but isn't.

It's because anybody can ride a surfboard like a skateboard, but far fewer can cat-walk to the nose of a beefy log, maintain maximum warp speed and pull off a back-bending soul arch.

Hang five, you feel alive.

Hang ten, you're in heaven.

One of the finest exhibitions of this surfing art form was on display Aug. 25-26 at the first Guy Takayama Pro Noseriding Event at Oceanside Pier.

The noseriding competition was a contest within the 17th annual Oceanside Longboard Club Contest. Noseriding contestants are judged solely on the time the surfer has both feet within 24 inches of the nose.

The quality of the wave is unimportant. The judges use stop watches and have a spotter with binoculars checking on the placement of the riders' feet. A piece of black tape is placed across the board to mark the 24-inch line.

The surfer's score is calculated by adding the time spent on the nose for his three longest rides.

Winners at the contest were averaging heat scores of 20 seconds or longer.

I consulted with Guy Takayama, 38, the nephew of legend Donald Takayama, on the nuances of noseriding.

"It's definitely an art," he said. "When someone does it correctly, it's beautiful."

To set up a noseride, many surfers stall the board just after standing up and then head for the tip as quickly as possible.

Noseriding is far easier on a steady, peeling, point-break wave like Malibu. It's an enormous challenge at a thumping beach break like the Oceanside Pier.

"The strategy here for Oceanside is not to catch the biggest wave," Takayama advised. "You want to catch the small-to medium-sized waves because those are the ones that peel."

But the key to winning a noseriding contest is to maximize your tip time. Thus, it's better to skip any kind of bottom turn and simply angle your takeoff run to the nose right away.

"It's just physics," said Takayama, explaining how it works. "The wave breaking on the back teeter-totters the board so the body weight is pushed up. The water rushing underneath also gives you a lift at the nose."

Noseriding is more difficult for bigger surfers than petite ones like Takayama, who weighs 125 pounds.

Taylor Jensen, a 17-year-old high school senior from Coronado, has learned to excel at noseriding despite being 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds.

"I try to be as light on my feet as possible," Jensen explained. "I put my arms in the air to take some weight off the board. I keep all my weight on my back foot.

"I tend to curl my toes over the nose and pull back to keep my weight on my back foot."

Jensen, who advanced to the finals and finished seventh, said he benefited from advice offered by Australian surf legend Nat Young, another big man. "The Animal" told Jensen the key to good noseriding is keeping the torso straight and erect, bending the knees to maintain balance.

One of the few all-time great noseriders to compete in the event was Chris Schlickenmeyer, 48, a former L.A. South Bay resident now living and shaping surfboards in Oceanside.

"For me, every day when I go surf, I love noseriding so much that in a sense that's all I do," said Slick. "You're actually doing something that, in a sense, is defying gravity."

Slick lived up to his noseriding name and finished second in the contest.

The surprise winner was 17-year-old Andrew Logreco, a 5-foot-6, 115-pound surfer who scored an amazing 38 points -- an average of more than 9 seconds tip time per wave -- in the championship heat. (The four longest rides are counted in the finals.)

Few at the contest had heard of Logreco or observed his skills in the water until he surfed his way into the finals.

Despite his diminutive profile and shy demeanor, Logreco, a senior at San Dieguito Academy, was fearless and energetic during the finals. He outscored surfers who were far more experienced, including 2001 U.S. Open longboard champion Josh Baxter.

Like a fly perched on the tip of a butter knife, he whipped the field by wisely choosing the slower, left-breaking waves that peeled toward the pier.

Logreco, who earned $2,300 for the win, said he'd like to spend the money on a surf trip to some exotic locale like Sumatra in Indonesia or the Maldives off the southern tip of India.

Braggadocio is absent from his repertoire of victory claims.

Said Logreco: "I was just out there trying to have fun."

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