For the love of surf

By Dave Johnson, Tribune Staff


Wyldewood Surf Club members are hoping for some good waves this coming weekend as visitors from New York, Ohio, Michigan and across Ontario drop in on the second Glass Love, A Summer Surfboard Festival.

“We’d love to have waves. The forecast is iffy, but we are optimistic,” said Bob Sobering, a Wyldewood Surf Club member.

“Last year’s event was a huge success, we estimate 150 people visited.”

The festival — being promoted by the surf club and sponsored by Greenlight Surf Supply, Surf Ontario and Surf Dreams Canada — will be held at Pleasant Beach Lodge at the end of Pleasant Beach Rd. in Port Colborne on Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. Everyone, surfer or not, is welcome to attend.

“We will have standup paddleboard demos and test rides by Surf Ontario and a 1980s retro board with wetsuit to be raffled off. We’re also serving a Hawaiian-style luau pig roast at 5 p.m.”

The pig roast is $15, and there is free tent camping on the grounds on a first come, first serve basis.

Sobering, who surfs the Great Lakes and collects and builds surfboards, said one of the highlights of the festival will be the live glassing of a foam blank of a surfboard. Glassing refers to fibreglass being applied to the blank.

The board is being prepared for the Gales of November, another event to be held by the club on Lake Erie in the fall.

“I shaped it last week at Greenlight (Surf Supply) in New Jersey, who are big supporters of the club. Andy Holland, club president Chris Furminger and I are going to glass it. It’s very difficult to do outdoors, and we will do it in front of an audience.”

Sobering said in addition to the live glassing, there will be “very significant boards” on display including a 1940s Tom Blake, a Dave Sweet and a board ridden by the late 2004, ’05 and ’06 world surfing champ Andy Irons.

Wyldewood Surf Club is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, surf clubs on the Great Lakes. It was founded in 1965 by Canadian and American cottagers on Wyldewood Rd.

“We promote beach cleanups and contests, and our next event is an ESA (Eastern Surfing Association) contest in November,” Sobering said.

Twitter: @DaveJTheTribune


Will you be attending Glass Love, A Surfboard Festival?

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