Catch Surf, Kalani Robb invade local beaches for ‘Get Wet’ tour
Legendary pro surfer Kalani Robb has traveled all around the world. Whether it was competing on the World Tour and once being touted as “the next Kelly Slater,” or stealing the spotlight in Taylor Steele movies for the better part of 20 years, the Hawaiian native has been and surfed practically everywhere — except Delaware.
That is, until last Monday, when Robb, along with the rest of the Catch Surf team, paid a visit to the First State on their “Get Wet” tour, giving local groms the chance to test out boards and compete in a Catch Surf-style contest.
“I’ve been to the East Coast a few times. I haven’t been here in Delaware, so that’s something new,” said Robb. “It doesn’t matter if it’s totally pumping or if it’s kind of small, it’s just about having fun, and everybody out here knows how to have fun.”
The event was hosted by K-Coast Surf Shop and featured a laid-back competition in which local surfers and bodyboarders could test Catch Surf products, such as their signature “Beater” board and soft-top surfboards including the “Odysea Stump.”
Robb joined other Catch Surf team riders, including Delaware’s Bill Baxter and Brian Stoehr, to help judge the event and give away prizes.
“It’s pretty remarkable how far it’s come,” said Delaware native and Catch Surf East Coast Sales Manager Ryan Savage. “It’s probably been four or five years in the running. We started with five to 10 kids in the winter in wetsuits, and now we’re 100 to 200 kids in the water.
“This year was actually one of the better ones [for waves],” Savage noted. “It was waist high, a couple little peaks, and everybody had an overall great time. We just want this to keep this for fun and let everybody have a really good time.”
The laid-back vibe of the contest was on display, with groms dropping in on each other, sharing waves and knocking each other over, only to laugh about it.
“Everbody who knows about Catch Surf knows that’s the vibe — having fun, going out there with your friends,” Robb explained. “Everybody’s ripping. I’ve seen some serious ripping from kids out here on the Beater. It’s rad to see all the kids doing skate moves and stuff.”
After the contest, the team headed up to Fenwick Island to hit the town for a while, before making their way farther north for the rest of the East Coast tour the next day.
According to Atlantic Shoals Surf Shop manager and Catch Surf team rider Jay Kleman, they’ll be back in town next year.
“It was awesome, and everybody was pumped,” said Kleman. “I think they are gonna keep this in the process. I think it’s gonna maybe get more frequent.”
After this year’s tour, all the pros will head back to their respective home breaks, but Robb said he was impressed by his visit to the East Coast so far — including Baxter’s winch device to help out when the surf has been less than ideal.
“This is pumping. We’ve had some good luck so far everywhere we’ve gone, we’ve had little waves,” he said. “When we haven’t had waves, we’ve had this ‘grinch’ thing that pulls us down the beach — all kinds of fun stuff here on the East Coast.”
To see more photos of Monday’s stop in Ocean City, check out the Catch Surf blog at www.catchsurf.com/blog.