Thailand Grom Comp

by Tim Campbell
(Español debajo)

Given that most of the surfers in Thailand are adults, with very few grommets coming up through the ranks, earlier in the season CST realised the opportunity to sow into the kids and to really encourage them to pursue their surfing. So we planned to run the first ever surf contest on Phuket’s Bangtao Beach, but for under 15’s only. We had crew bring groups of kids from four different areas of Thailand, including an island near Myanmar, which was a massive adventure for the small group of sea gypsy children, one of whom went home the winner of a brand new surfboard! It blessed us to see the coming together of the next generation of Thai surfers (many already being discipled by Jesus followers), and also to see the local surf community come out to support the kids by way of judging, spectating, donating prizes and for them to witness CS in action. Our MC for the day from the local church did an excellent job opening the contest in prayer and engaging the kids constantly throughout the day. There were lots of nervous kids as it was the first contest most of them had ever seen or been to and the first time they'd surfed with anyone from other villages, we were very proud of them all for having a go!

En Tailandia hay muy pocos niños que están surfeando, la mayoría son adultos, CST reconoció una gran oportunidad de sembrar en la vida de estos niños y animarlos en su surf. Planeamos el primer evento de surf en la playa Bangtao en Phuket, pero solo para menores de 15 años. Los chicos llevaron grupos de niños de diferentes zonas incluyendo la isla de Myanmar, que es una gran aventura para un grupo de gitanos del océano, uno de ellos volvió a casa ganador ¡con una tabla de surf nueva! Nos bendijo ver la próxima generación surfistas Tailandeses reunidos (varios ya están siendo discipulado por seguidores de Jesús), también ver la comunidad de surf local presente apoyando a los niños como jueces, espectadores, donando premios y ver a CS en acción. Nuestro locutor ese dia era de la iglesia local y hizo un trabajo espectacular iniciando la competencia con oración y interactuando con los niños constantemente durante el día. Habían muchos niños nerviosos ya que era su primer campeonato y para muchos era la primera vez que surfeaban con chicos de otras aldeas ¡estábamos muy orgullosos de ellos por su esfuerzo!

Margaret River Pro Service Team 2017

by Terry Bowdler

This year at the Margaret River Pro we had a great team combined of Christian Surfers and YWAM CS 4WD DTS with a team of approximately 15 people.

Right away we arrived a day early to a well set up event site organized by Surfing WA and their hired work crews. We came in as we have in previous years and helped in the final set up of banners, arranging rubbish bins, cleaned windows for judges and various other tasks. We were actually welcomed quite warmly by the work crews which we have gotten to know more of each year. They were stoked to have us back again. From day one of the event the event commentators were thanking us publicly for the services we were doing around the event.

A few days in and after handing out the event programs we noticed there was for the first time ever a public recognition and thanks in the programs and on a local sponsors sign that said thank you to Christian Surfers! This to me not only acknowledged each previous year's work but also gave us favour and authority to be there again as a CS Service team. I believe God really opened up new doors this year.

We loved all the valuable relationships we built with people feeling like we were truly making life long friends. The team did a great job caring for people like the security guards, work crew, and coordinators. We truly were there to give and to love, not to take. As a result we were entrusted with even more responsibilities.

The highlights of the event were also the quality of the waves on display and the high level of surfing that was demonstrated. Massive waves brought lots of spectators and media attention to the event and still the event went on without a hitch.

At the end of the event we were invited to a thank you/farewell dinner for the staff and the main guy in charge of running the event gave a big thank you to all those there who helped and contributed to such a well run event. He said this was the best run surf event he had ever been a part of. We again felt so grateful to be part of the service at this event and grateful each year for the way Surfing WA takes care of us. The event was over and run so well. We said our goodbyes to our many friends and look forward to another great event in the future.

Changed Life: Machete

by Dustin Miller

This is Cristian Machete Ruíz Mendez. Cristian grew up in Sipacate, Guatemala. He grew up in a home with a single mother and in intense poverty. A typical meal for them was tortillas and salt. Living right on the beach he found a way to get a surfboard and began to surf.

Cristian gave his life to Christ when he was given a Bible by a surfer who was visiting his beach. He became the national surf champion multiple times in Guatemala and, with the money he had made, set up a business for his mother, which she still runs and lives off of to this day.

Cristian is currently married with two children and has over 20 kids come to his place every day to do surf training and share with them about the gospel. Please pray for Cristian and the rest of the team at CS Guatemala as they continue to serve their surf community.

CS Peru Mudslide Assistance

by Aldo Ventura
(Español debajo)

Peru has been experiencing a very difficult moment. The heat of the ocean in front of the Peruvian coast is well over its historic temperatures and that has resulted in massive rains in the Andes Mountain range, causing enormous flooding and mudslides full of rocks and all sorts of materials, which destroy everything in their path through to the Pacific Ocean. It means not only destruction, death and road interruptions, but also problems with plagues and general water supply.

Christian Surfers Peru have collected water, food, clothes and health care products to help the people affected in Punta Hermosa district (the surf capital of Peru), not only giving the donations, but also going to the main affected areas nearby, crossing difficult points. However, even though the rains have decreased a little in the central area of Peru, in the North the people are still living in dramatic moments, with their homes under more than a meter of flood waters.

The rebuilding process will be continuing for some months, so if you would like to donate and/or come and help there are a lot of opportunities to do so along the coast of Peru, including simply cleaning the beaches.

Also as a result of the floods, there have appeared some world class waves with the sand brought by the mudslides and we can see the locals and the surfing community, before and after helping people, taking advantage of these new beaches despite the disaster. Incredible, isn't it?

Please pray for Peru during these difficult months!

Perú ha estado experimentando un momento muy difícil. El calor del océano frente a las costas peruanas se incrementó mucho más allá de sus valores históricos de temperatura, lo cual resultó en lluvias masivas en los Andes que causaron inundaciones y avalanchas ("huaicos" en voz indígena) llenas de rocas, lodo y todo tipo de materiales que destruían todo a su paso hacia el Océano Pacífico. Esto significó no sólo destrucción, muerte e interrupciones de caminos, sino plagas y problemas serios de abastecimiento de agua.

Christian Surfers Peru recogió donaciones de agua, comida, ropa y artículos de higiene para ayudar a las poblaciones afectadas de Punta Hermosa (capital del Surf en el Perú). No sólo se llevaron las donaciones, sino que fuimos a las áreas más afectadas de los alrededores, cruzando lugares con mucha dificultad. Sin embargo, aunque las lluvias han disminuido un poco en la zona central de Perú, en el Norte la gente sige viviendo momentos dramáticos, con sus casas bajo más de un metro de las aguas de la inundación.

El proceso de reconstrucción va a continuar por algunos meses, así que si desean donar y/o venir a colaborar existen diferentes oportunidades de hacerlo a lo largo de la costa del Perú, incluyendo simplemente limpiar playas de los residuos dejados por las avalanchas.

Por otro lado, como resultado de todo esto han aparecido algunas olas de clase mundial, debido a la arena traída por los ríos, por lo que se puede ver a las comunidades surfistas locales aprovechando estas playas, antes y después de ayudar a los necesitados, a pesar del desastre. Increíble, verdad?

Inaugural PNG WSL Event

by Andy Carruthers
(Español debajo)

I have just returned from an historic event. The first ever professional WSL surf contest in Papua New Guinea. The Kumul WSL World Longboard Championships was held in a remote region north of Medang. Tupira Surf Camp was the base and the surfing association of Papua New Guniea were the hosts. Andy Able and Justice Nicholas Kirriwon had dreamed of this event years ago and had been working towards its fruition for a long time.

It was into this event that I was able to serve as chaplain and Shannon Hughes was able to assist in her role as commentator. I also assisted through photography, particularly water shots.

The worlds best longboarders are at the emerging fringe of surfing. Here and in other parts of PNG the locals have an affinity with the ocean and waves. They have a traditional surf craft made of wood called splinters. These have been ridden in various forms for over 1000 years. Tom Wegener has been refining this wood board technology for a few years and has partnered with the surf camp to see locals crafting their own boards from local resources. The timber finless boards were incorporated into the program with a few heats of pro surfers and locals teamed up riding the sleek timber craft.

Surfing in PNG is also a way of promoting womens rights and taking a stand against domestic violence. Women are afforded equal access to the waves through the pink nose revolution. Boards with noses painted pink are for women's use only and upon entering the lineup all surfers are of equal standing. In a country where women are not treated as such this is a bold and innovative initiative.

The surf was an absolute surprise with perfect Nias-like open righthand barrels and nice shaped walls over a razor sharp reef. We were definitely in a tropical paradise three hours from any form of civilisation or city. The accomodation was in tents and the tropical monsoonal rain and heat had its challenges, as did the waves and conditions. Reef cuts and upset stomaches were a common occurrence, coupled with some dehydration. The doctor was kept busy, as was I, meeting and praying with, and for, many competitors. A torn bicep and multiple reef cuts saw one athlete's event ended though he valiantly surfed again with the injury, as did another with a blown meniscus. There are only two world longboard CT (championship tour) events so the pressure is increased and the stakes are high. It is in the middle of this that the chaplain is the listening ear the unbiased voice - the friend and confidant.

Some said 8,000 people from local villages far and wide were lining the point for the finals. It was hard to know numbers but it was certainly more than I have seen at events before. Cheering and clapping then gasping when a surfer falls. The atmosphere was unique and exhilarating, an unbelievable sight in the remote wilderness.

The WSL and Surfing PNG have an agreement to run more of these events each year for a number of years so PNG is emerging and opportunities abound.

N.B. I also met with a missionary family who have been in PNG working with surfers for a number of years. They are looking for the right person to join their efforts in mission there.

Recien volví de un evento histórico. El primer campeonato profesional de Longboard WSL en Nueva Guinea. El “Kumul WSL Longboard Championships” se llevo a cabo en una zona remota al norte de Medang. Tupira Surf Camp fue la base de operaciones y la asociación de Surf de Nueva Guinea fueron los anfitriones. Andy Able y Justice Nicholas Kirriwon habían soñado por años con hacer este evento y trabajaron por mucho tiempo para hacer ese sueño una relidad.

Yo estaba en el evento en mi rol de capellán y Shannon Hughes estaba ayudando en su rol de comentarista. También ayude con la fotografía, particularmente fotos en el agua.

Los mejores longboaders del mundo estaban en uno de los lugares mas remotos del surfing emergente. En PNG los locales tienen una afinidad con las olas y el mar. Tienen tablas tradicionales para correr olas hechas de madera llamadas “splinters”. Estas han sido surfeadas de diferentes formas por mas de 1000 años. Tom Wegener ha estado refinando esta tecnología de tablas de madera por un par de años y ha colaborado con el campamento de surf para ver a los locales hacer sus propias tablas usando materiales locales. Tablas de madera sin quillas fueron incorporadas en el evento con algunos locales y surfistas profesionales corrieron unas mangas juntos con estas tablas.

El Surf en PNG también es una forma de promover los derechos de la mujer y luchar contra la violencia domestica. Las mujeres tienen acesso igualitario a las olas a través del “Pink nose Revolution”. Las tablas con la punta pintada rosas eran solo para las mujeres y al entrar al mar todos los surfistas eran iguales. En un país donde las mujeres no son tratadas asi esto es algo innovador.

El surf era realmente sorprendente con tubos de derecha tipo Nias sobre un arecife. Definitivamente estábamos en un paraíso tropical a tres horas de la civilización o una cuidad. Nos quedamos en carpas y fuimos desafiados por la lluvia, el calor, y las condiciones. Cortes en el arecife, desidratacion, y dolores estomacales eran problemas comunes. El doctor se mantuvo ocupado, y yo también, reuniéndome y orando con muchos de los competidores. Un bicep roto y varios cortes en el arecife acorto la participación de uno de los atletas aunque igual hizo un esfuerzo con su lesión. Solamente hay dos campeonatos mundiales de longboard CT entonces hay mas presión que antes. En medio de eso el capellan es alguien que los puede escuchar y aconsejar.

Unas 8,000 personas de las aldeas locales estaban en la playa para las finales. Era difícil saber los números reales pero eran mas personas de las que había visto en eventos pasados. Celebrando y aplaudiendo al ver los competidores. EL ambiente era único y emocionante, algo increíble en medio de la naturaleza.

El WSL y Surfing PNG tienen un acuerdo de llevar uno o mas de estos eventos cada año así que PNG es un país de surf emergente y abundan las oportunidades.

N.B Tambien conoci una familia misionera que había trabajado con surfistas por varios años. Estan buscando a la persona correcta para unirse a la labor ahí.