Beach Sports – SB Boardriders Big Wave Challenge Awards night

Beach sports

SB Boardriders Big Wave Challenge Awards night

The best South Bay winter surf since the turn of the century was celebrated during the South Bay Boardriders Big Wave Challenge Awards night on Friday, May 27 at the Hermosa Beach Community Center.

Palos Verdes surfer Angel Luhrsen received the top award for catching the biggest, documented wave of the 2015-16 winter. Photographer Charlie Scholz snapped Luhrsen on January 7, making a bottom turn on a barreling, Redondo Beach Breakwall wave, with an estimated 30-foot face. The surprise presentation of the evening was the First Annual Howard Eddy Award, presented by brothers Derek and Keith Brewer, Greg Browning and Matt Walls. When the four were groms surfing 16 Street in Hermosa Beach, Eddy, who lived on 16th Street and was a retired Panasonic employee, videotaped them almost every morning. The Brewers, Browning and Walls said the tapes were of enormous help in their development as young surfers. Mike Balzer was selected as the first recipient of the award for his co-founding of the South Bay Board Riders Club, whose annual contest series is credited with spurring a local resurgence in surfing, especially among groms and gromettes.

Among those groms are Nathaniel Harris and Billy Atkinson. When the SBBC contest series began five years ago, they competed in the assisted (push in) grom division. At the awards ceremony, the two were presented with the Big Wave Hard Charger Award for holding their own in triple overhead surf at the Redondo Breakwall during the same swell that delivered Luhrsen’s  30-foot wave.

Also honored at were Breakwall regulars Jeremy Griffin and Michael Lurhsen for rescuing surfer Doug “Doc” Scheller after a wave knocked him down on the breakwall on the day Luhrsen’s son Angelo caught his award winning wave.

Runner-up Big Wave Challenge honorees were: 2.  Matt Meistrell. Photo by Charlie Scholz at the Redondo Breakwall. 3. Derek Brewer. Photo by Charlie Scholz at the Redondo Breakwall. 4. Chris Wells. Photo at the Redondo Breakwall. 5. Trevor LaShure. Photo by Tim Tindall at Burnout.

For more information about the South Bay Boardriders Club visit — Kevin Cody B

Photos by Steve Gaffney (


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