Surf Report with John Veage | New Southside Malibu surfers at 'loggerheads'

Autumn is the time of year that transitions summer into winter. Along with the tree leaves changing color, the temperature grows colder and the daylight grows shorter.

As a bonus the waves in Cronulla also get better and this Monday was a great example when a 1-2 ft south swell turned into a 4-5 ft east ground swell before our eyes.

The winds are also supposed to turn offshore for a little longer and the crowds also grow a little smaller.

The good waves we had this week still didn't last long with a southerly buster blowing through on Monday afternoon keeping the swell up but the surface conditions down-this morning we still have some size around 3 ft with some glassy early conditions due to the rain-it is predicted to go onshore.

Today's pictures are from earlier in the week.

The forecast isn't too bad with the swell predicted to hang around the 3-4 ft mark for the rest of the week,the only problem is the winds will be almost always onshore-blowing from the nor-east and then the south with Friday morning the only offshore period to look forward too.

The swell will peak on Sunday at 4-5 ft so at least we will have size to surf on the weekend.

Inaugural: The 2020 Southside Malibu Club logger competitors line up before their historic final at Wanda Beach on Sunday. Picture: John Veage

Inaugural: The 2020 Southside Malibu Club logger competitors line up before their historic final at Wanda Beach on Sunday. Picture: John Veage

It was back to the future for Cronulla's Southside Malibu Club when they held their second club contest for the 2020 season on Sunday.

The surfing conditions were perfect for the longboarders to ply their trade in the clean two to three foot breaks at Wanda Beach.

The club, which formed in 1984, exists for surfers who like classic longboarding and is only as good as the contribution each member makes to it.

Traditionally the club has run one longboard competition, where each club round results are accumulated and added up for the yearly point score winner.

After some intervention by younger members, a new 'loggers' category has been added to the club roster this year.

Brad Whitaker

Brad Whitaker

Loggers are a different, more traditional form of longboard and have to be more than nine-feet long with a single fin and no provision for any other configuration. There is also a minimum weight of eight kilograms and the rail shape can have no hard edges around the tail, rail or nose and have to be 50/50 with no resin edges.

Judging is also different where normally traditional style, grace and flow linking manoeuvres into continual motion is taken into account.

In the loggers division, the important factor is the whole wave has to be considered where the functionally defined manoeuvre repertoire is taken into account with how cleanly the flow and control a surfer has transitioned into the next manoeuvre.

Each wave is judged as a package with cross-step walking, cutbacks and fades used to link the surfing, always maintaining speed and flow.

Nose riding has to be clean and clearly defined, providing elevation, with unique individual style displaying balance, control and poise at all times making the task seem effortless.

The inaugural finalists lined up on the beach all friends before their historic heat but once in the water, the gloves were off with the favourites Brad Whitaker and Matt Cook going wave for wave on the predominately right-handed bank.

In the end, it was former multiple club champion Whitaker who took the top prize in a super close result - 45.9 to Cook's 43.4 with Luke Taplin in third on 33.3 points.

Meanwhile, excitement is building ahead of the 2020 Sydney Surf Pro, the opening event of the World Surf League Challenger Series, which will take place at Manly Beach from March 8 to 14. With 10,000 qualifying points on offer for both the men's and women's winners, this year's event has attracted the most impressive field in the event's recent history.

Matt Banting has taken out the 2020 Vissla Central Coast Pro .Picture WSL / Ethan Smith

Matt Banting has taken out the 2020 Vissla Central Coast Pro .Picture WSL / Ethan Smith

Port Macquaries Matt Banting and Sarah Baum (South Africa) have taken out the 2020 Vissla Central Coast Pro at Avoca Beach in an action-packed Finals Day that saw massive scores and exciting surfing.

After a runner-up finish at the 2019 Vissla Central Coast Pro Banting went one step further this year, taking the top spot. Banting put on an impeccable performance over the course of the entire event, consistently posting massive scores in the majority of the heats he surfed.

Sarah Baum's stellar beginning to 2020 continued as she took out top honours in the final against Avalons Cedar Leigh-Jones.

Merewether Beach is home to the 35th annual Newcastle Surfest Pro World Surf League Qualifying Series 5000 event thats on now.

With day one having some of the best waves seen in the events recent history, competitors gorged on perfect four-to-six foot pits and groomed open walls to post massive totals on a memorable day of surfing-Cronulla has no surfers represented.

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