By Erwin M. Mascariñas
Butuan City — The skimboarding community here gained grounds in the sport as they end their year with a competition in the hopes to push for better competitive spirit among emerging young talents.
With 20 participants from different parts of the city, the competition dubbed as Masao local Skimboarding competition 2018, was held in Barangay Masao, over the weekend, to simultaneously kick-off with the spirit of the local annual fiesta celebration.
“This is just a small local competition to hopefully keep the skimboarding spirit alive here in Butuan City. Over the past few years we have seen the slow growth of the sport here in the local scene but unfortunately, we lacked the support from our local leaders, so what we did is come up with an event and hopefully gain more grounds from it,” said Kenneth Flordeliza, event organizer of Team Ayg Pada Brah.
Flordeliza who is also a local skimboarder has ridden the waves off Masao beach for several years and has seen the growth of young local skimboarders.
“We have seen young skimmers with so much potential and skills in the sport. Hopefully, with enough support these individuals will bring more name and recognition for the city in the name of the water sport that has been an emerging favorite in the extreme sporting community,” said Flordeliza.
Marlboro Bolotaolo, one of the event’s sponsors and a skimboarder expressed his optimism with the rise of new blood in the sport.
“Years ago most of the skimboarder’s here in Butuan were mostly skateboarders and longboarders, now most of them are just young kids who have been enticed to try the sport from watching old skimboarders. Now these new blood has grown to love the sport without any influence from the previous extreme sport like skateboarding,” said Bolotaolo.
This year from the 20 participants, Justine Benigay took the grand prize while the first place went to Jusmil Cagapi, Clide Alawiran took the second place and the third place to Ronald Sumapad.
The participants also had its wildcard with its only female competitor namely 21-years-old Maria Theresa Iway. Two brothers below 15-years-old both from barangay Masao also took the shoreline waves, namely 12-years-old Justine Faelnar, and 14-years-old Dominic Faelnar who reached the semi-finals.
Skimboarding is a watersport similar to surfing, but performed on boards that are smaller, thinner, and have no fins compared to typical surfboards. It is performed by beginning on the beach, riding out the thinning wave into the water, meeting the breaking wave, and riding it back again onto the shore. Skimboarding shares several similar tricks to that of the skateboarding making the sport a hybrid between surfing and skateboarding.