Jacksonville has a long, rich history of rebellion, innovation and inspiration in the art of riding waves. In an era that gravitates toward defining and categorizing one’s dominant style, surfers are once again looking to break the mold in their quest to be seen as more than one-dimensional.
Competitive surfers, as well as free surfers around the globe, are pushing the boundaries of surfing into unimaginable areas. Air maneuvers, or “hucks,” have become full rotational spins, reaching their zenith far above the lip with clean landings on the open face of a wave. Hacks, or turns, of epic proportions have redefined power surfing.
The world’s surf culture and mainstream media continue evolving with the sport, recognizing the exciting and endless possibilities to come.
Local hometown legend, Jeffrey Crego, predicted the need for a unique platform that measures the radical new moves surfers are performing around the world. Thus, a new formula was born, “The Huck and Hack Tour.”
The contest is structured so that you get scored for going big and hard, while also demonstrating creative style. Scores are based on a per maneuver system instead of how many maneuvers per wave. Each surfer will compete in 20-minute, four-man heats and receive scores for every huck and hack executed on the wave. The model is based on quality over quantity and creates a platform that allows surfers who typically may never wear a competitive jersey to compete.
“The tour will step up competitive surfing because guys will be going harder than they ever have done before,” Crego explained. “Unlike in a normal contest, surfers can’t be comboed, potentially allowing the winner to score the top maneuver in the very last second of a heat.”
Crego’s abundant energy for the tour comes through in his surfing and stories about growing up as a “pier rat” at the old wooden pier at 6th Avenue South in Jacksonville Beach. Jacksonville rarely has peeling perfection, causing locals to often surf less than ideal waves that only offer one or two maneuvers. The Huck and Hack Tour allows for up-and-coming Jacksonville surfers to compete in a platform they will excel at, regardless of the conditions.
The Huck and Hack Tour stop in Jacksonville will be an on-demand hurricane contest, meaning when a hurricane swell arrives, the contest will happen. Although no location has been determined, Vilano Beach or a “secret spot” where surfers can best display their maneuvers seems to be ideal for the contest’s structure.
For surfers who may not choose to competitively surf, but continue to live out their passion, there is an online component to the Huck and Hack Tour. A $1,000 purse is awarded monthly for the best Huck and Hack video submitted online. The online contest creates a happy medium for competitive surfers and free surfers.
The Huck and Hack Tour will test the waters of what is understood as competitive surfing. As the art of surfing continues to evolve, the people most likely to be considered as rebellious in surf culture may instead be viewed as forward-thinkers.