Egypt Surf Contest 2016
After a four year absence, a reunion even with your best friend can be a little nervy, so as our plane touched down in the dusty nation of Egypt we wondered how our old surf friends would react to seeing us again. We spent a few days in Cairo with our team of 20 (21 if you count the baby!) seeing the sights, riding camels around the pyramids, reaching out to the impoverished of Garbage City, and marvelling at this modern city living side by side with echoes, whispers, and shouts of an ancient civilization.
The real fun started when we reached our base – the little beach town of Agami and the surf boys we dearly missed since our last trip there in 2012. Except for the facts that the quaint little beach town was now a bustling beach city and the “boys” had suddenly turned into men – everything was the same: these guys live for surf, love to “give back” and are real men of character and leadership in their community. They’ve been largely untouched by the western surf world besides what they’ve seen in movies and their interaction with Surfing The Nations since 2002.
Back on Oahu, we were overwhelmed by support from the surf world with donations of over 20 surfboards from individuals and companies alike: Eric Arakawa, Sergio & Carly Lima of Island Style Surf School, Marc & Crystal Hernandez, Ralph Schroeder, Buddy McCray, Jon Moyer, to mention a few. Good thing too. The boys had been riding the same boards and wearing the same wetsuits for years, so it felt really good to arrive with our own camels laden with goods! But first – a surf contest. Our key local guys gathered their surf groms and teens for the second-ever Egyptian Freedom Surf Contest (the first one was way back in 2009). What transpired was a chilly morning of stoke, froth and amp. Surfers gathered on the white sands of Mediterranean, were further inspired to be “Surfers Giving Back”, and then hit the waves.
Later that night, we hosted a banquet awards ceremony, complete with trophies and leis. The highlight for everyone was the moment we got to hand out new boards to over 20 surf guys and 1 girl! In the spirit of giving back, those who already had boards and were receiving “new” ones, handed theirs down to the next generation of groms. We’d managed to bring a few sets of fins and wetsuits too, and those found willing homes with some of the most amped surfers you’ll ever meet!
We are so grateful to be part of the Egyptian surf community’s story and also feel privileged to be the conduit of so many people’s generosity. Thank you to everyone who helped and gave and changed a few lives along the way.
Call to Action!
If you want to be involved in either an international trip with Surfing The Nations or want to donate surf gear to an international frother, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.