2017 International Surf Festival

Every August, thousands of spectators join the fun in Manhattan Beach, CA. for the popular costumed beach volleyball tournament known as 6-man/6-woman.

Teams compete on scorching sand wearing silly themed outfits; 80's WWE wrestling champions, Marvel Comics super heroes, Showtime Lakers, and even hairy cavemen and construction workers. 

Andre the Giant of Team 80's WWE Champions prepares the ropes courtside before a match. 

Andre the Giant of Team 80's WWE Champions prepares the ropes courtside before a match. 

Good-natured trash talking just goes along with the tough competition.

But the star attraction is just one of 18 events taking place over 4 days that began Wednesday, August 2, 2017, along South Bay beaches as part of the International Surf Festival.

The Weekend boasted all things beach: bodysurfing, city lifeguard competitions, paddle boarding, sailing, a pier-to-pier swim race and even a sand castle design contest were slated on the busy agenda. 

I caught up with Pier-to-Pier Swim Director, Gary Crum as he weighed in on the action...

For the young shredders in the South Bay, scoring some waves, having fun and winning hardware were all they focused on. 

But the real family fun was had at the Velzy-Stevens Pier-to-Pier Paddleboard Championship. The atmosphere was electric as hundreds of paddlers took off north of the Manhattan Beach Pier, heading south towards Hermosa Beach Pier. Near the finish line, after the race horses had crossed, it was nothing but whoops and hollers for parents and kids riding swell back to shore. 

Soon after, the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier swimmers entered the drink heading north. 

A competitor cleans his goggles in quiet mental preparation before the race. 

A competitor cleans his goggles in quiet mental preparation before the race. 

And they're off!

And they're off!

Like trout swimming upstream, competitors jostle for space and position as they break through the impending surf before rounding a marker buoy, channeling them towards Manhattan. 

As suddenly as they entered the water, they make make the turn, leaving only the doormen lifeguards to remove the buoy, until next year when the grunion run again. 

Final results and image galleries of the 2017 International Surf Festival can be seen by visiting: SurfFestival.org.