By: Katie Rodriguez
The future is looking… foamy.
Starting on May 23rd, 2021, the world’s first-ever soft top surf contest – dubbed “Red Bull Foam Wreckers” – will premiere at BSR Cable Park in Waco, Texas. The series, comprising thirteen events hosted all over the United States from May through October, is coming to a wave near you. And you’re invited as long as you (important) bring the good vibes.
Touted as “the anti-surf surf contest”, the rules are minimal: have fun and do something outrageous using only a soft top – no hard boards permitted.
Fate will decide which boards will be ridden during competition; contestants will spin “The Wheel of Shred”, which will land them a random board from the Catch Surf quiver. Some lucky participants just might get to use a special, custom-made Catch Surf foamie that’s yet to hit the public. Prizes? Absolutely – but it’s a surprise.
Helping bring this event series to life is none other than Jamie O’Brien: freesurfer, Surf Vlog Pioneer™ and king of taking the sport of surfing to absurd places (on and off YouTube). According to Jamie, the collaboration between Catch Surf and Red Bull is a match made in heaven. “When you put two brands together like Catch Surf and Red Bull it’s a recipe for success. I feel like after this it’s going to open up the floodgates – everyone’s going to want one [of these events] in their backyard.”
Perhaps no one is more aptly suited to be one of the faces of Red Bull Foam Wreckers than JOB. Notorious for not only riding all types of waves on all types of crafts while amassing over 740,000+ YouTube subscribers, he’s taken soft tops to unimaginable destinations that include the likes of Pipeline and Jaws.
The soft top situation has seduced everyone from beginners to pros with its easy paddling, minimal consequences and “fuck-it” mentality. And it is precisely this mentality that tugs at surfing’s heartstrings with low expectations and maximum enjoyment, transforming a once “beginners only” image into what has now become the epitome of summer fun.
“I think what’s cool is that Catch Surf just brought the fun to the table… And they brought the color and the life of surfing and not caring what other people thought,” says JOB. “It’s a core business.” Red Bull Foam Wreckers was created to inspire just that: surfing stripped of its seriousness – less thinking and more going for it, sans pressure.
Home of the first American Wave Machine tech and widely acknowledged for being the best surf park to supply everything from slabby air sections to small-but-mighty-barrels, BSR Cable Park was chosen as the proving grounds for the inaugural soft top contest. The sheer number of waves the tech can pump out in a given session (an estimated 150 an hour) is fuel to the fire that’s sure to energize the carnage commencing this weekend. In fact, it’s reportedly the only other surf park the G.O.A.T Kelly Slater has ever tested, other than his own famed personal pool in Lemoore, CA (which says something).
“BSR is amazing,” says JOB. “It’s one of the best parks in the world. Top two I would say are BSR and Kelly’s pool, and I think it’s going to be one of the best events in the world because it’s going to be fun.” 112 participants will compete at BSR in front of a panel of judges that consist of Catch Surf team members, and be rewarded by the cheers of athletes like JOB, Kalani Robb, Ben Gravy and more.
A warning: “Just get ready to give a lot of high fives and a lot of smiling” says Jamie. “And I’m telling you, you put Red Bull and Catch Surf together – magic’s going to happen.”
Interested in competing in Bend, Oregon? Coco Beach, Florida? Atlantic City, New Jersey? See the full list and register HERE.