2020 Recap

Hello SBBC Members and Friends!

I hope that celebrations of Hannukah and Christmas went well amongst you, and I am certain everyone is looking forward to a wonderful year in 2021 with a lot less turmoil than what we have experienced in 2020. Have a very Happy New Year Celebration for the good times ahead!

I thought I’d put together a recap of SBBC’s activities in 2020 to summarize what actually did take place, and provide evidence that as I pledged in an earlier post at the beginning of the pandemic’s shutdown: “We will not remain idle”. Although many of our regularly scheduled events got cancelled in 2020 (3 out of 7 Surf Series Contests, End of Season Party at Subaru Pacific, The Big Wave Challenge and Surf Awards, the Grom O Rama, the Introduction to Ocean Fun (scuba diving, sailing, outrigger canoe paddling, deep sea fishing), The South Bay Paddleboard Race, SBBC Relay teams in The Rock 2 Rock Paddleboard Race, The Velzy-Stevens Pier to Pier Race, etc. etc.,) we still remained active in the community.

Check out below all that took place in 2020 and know that you all helped make it happen through your annual membership dues you generously pay, as well as our sponsors (Subaru Pacific, Kinecta Federal Credit Union, Beach Cities Orthopedics, Watermans).

Thank you for that and for your ongoing support of SBBC.

Solidarity in Surf Paddleout –

a paddleout at Hermosa Beach Pier held simultaneously with thousands of surfers at different surf breaks around the world standing for equal justice for all and an end to horrific and unjustified police killings such as the George Floyd incident. Inspired by @blackgirlssurf

Subaru Pacific South Bay Surf Series and Scholarships Awards Video –

4 of 7 contests held before LA County permits were no longer issued. Since we could not get together at Subaru Pacific for our End of Season Party and we had no venue to announce our SBBC Scholarship Recipients, we hired Greg Browning, John DeTemple, and JoloMedia/Todd Wanke to create an awards video and premiere which was pretty darn impressive if you ask me. Thank you to all the families and award winners who helped us put it together. Mark Cole nailed it as the MC and narrator. Go to live.southbayboardriders.com to see it.

Created an SBBC app –

Thanks to JoloMedia and Todd Wanke for creating our app that you can access for videos and live heats at future contests

Surfer Down –

Over $6000 distributed to local surf shop employees and a few individuals in need due to the pandemic as well as pizzas delivered to our key sponsors

Wetsuit collection and donation –

You all donated 100 wetsuits to Color the Water, an organization dedicated to anti-racism through free surf lessons for BIPOC from the Greater Los Angeles area. By the way, they are in need of leashes and booties. Please contact me if you have some to donate: tom@southbayboardriders.com

JoloMedia’s Live Streaming SBSSA Awards and showing of Brad Jacobson’s “Chasing South Bay” –

High school surf teams did hold some competitions so it was important to acknowledge those individuals and teams who stood out. Dickie O’Reilly announced the winners and then we got to enjoy Brad Jacobson’s movie which we would normally see at the South Bay Surf Awards and Big Wave Challenge night.

San O’ Surf Trips –

Several SBBC folks traveled to San Onofre for a surf and BBQ on Thursday afternoons throughout the summer. This is likely to be another annual event with a grand finale Seafood Boil like we had one Thursday at San O. An absolutely incredible time and there is always rideable fun surf no matter the size.

100 Wave Challenge –

SBBC members who participated raised nearly $10,000 benefiting Boys to Men which is a mentoring program for Jr. High School aged boys who have no father or father figure to be a positive role model or provide guidance.

Surfin’ Santa and Toy Drive –

Inspired by Derek Levy and Michael Cruz, this is yet another idea that will become an annual event. Derek paid himself for a custom Santa wetsuit and Candy Cane surfboard shaped by Pat Ryan. Cruz organized a toy drive in collaboration with local surf shops Dive N Surf, ET, and Spyder and all collected toys delivered to Beach Cities Toy Drive for distribution to local organizations and delivery to families.

Catalina Classic Commemorative Statue –

Fundraising efforts have begun for this initiative with a goal of $300,000 and over $100,000 raised to date. The life-sized bronze statue will be made by South Bay surf legend and highly successful sculptor, Chris Barela, and installed south of the lower south parking lot at Manhattan Beach Pier in the empty sandlot that is there currently. Ed McKeegan, Michael Lee, Brian Kingston and I have been working on this initiative since 2016 and we are getting very close to seeing it become a reality. See details and make a donation at https://catalinaclassicstatue.org/ Thank you to Jay Gleason at Insiteful Pros, Inc. for donating his services to the cause and making the website at no charge.

Virtual Subaru Pacific South Bay Surf Series –

Our 2020/2021 season is upon us and until LA County allows permits, we will be holding virtual surf contests. Our website is almost ready to receive your video uploads for the Spyder comp in December. Matt Walls, Wright Adaza, Michael Cruz, Todd Wanke and others are making this happen.


Storm Water Rapid Response Teams –

Board member Dan Ryan came up with this idea and has coordinated several teams to take responsibility for various storm drains in the South Bay to be in action when our first rain and flush happens so that we can minimize the amount of trash flowing out into our local shoreline and surf.



Pizzas for Heroes in Scrubs –

SBBC delivered pizzas from our friends at @manhattanpizzeria, to hospital staff all over the South Bay. Thank you to our heroes wearing scrubs as our hospitals throughout So. Calif are overwhelmed with COVID patients.

Just got this from a nurse who works at Kaiser South Bay:

“This actually brought tears to my eyes. Probably more than you wanted to know. I specialize in labor and delivery. We are now floating up to ICU and med/surg to help with Covid overload. The nurses up there are taking on patient loads that are double or triple what is deemed safe and normal. They are so tired, and it is heartbreaking to feel helpless at times. And it is always scary—we are literally in the face of it. I have been at the bedside, helping in the ICU with patients who can’t breathe—they can’t wear masks. Our hospital beds are at capacity. Thank you for the love and support. It means EVERYTHING. Hope to see you and yours on our waves.”

Peer to Peer Support –

A parent approached me a couple of months ago with a suggestion that SBBC creates some type of messaging and awareness focused on substance abuse due to our reputation in the community and especially amongst teens. The pandemic has shut down our schools leading to a lot of idle time, lack of regular social interaction, reduced school-organized athletic activities and team sports, and as a result, the area has seen an increase in substance abuse, depression, etc., especially amongst Jr. High and High School students. A recent SBBC Board meeting led to a lot of enthusiasm to get involved in some way. Kevin Sousa, a local therapist, along with the parent who suggested the idea, joined our Zoom Board meeting. No details have been worked out yet, but we will be collaborating with Kevin Sousa, Beach Cities Health District, Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation, and others to create something that will be peer to peer focused and include known surfers to share their stories. Additionally, there will be information provided for a path to take with qualified individuals/organizations after our event/s has taken place for those kids who want to seek help. Stay tuned for details!

Wright Adaza’s –

Please keep Wright in your prayers for a quick and full recovery. He has been admitted too Little Company of Mary due to a Stroke. Thankfully it wasn’t severe and has already begun physical therapy. He is experiencing some numbness on his left side, vertigo/dizziness and difficulty seeing.


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