Easy Reader Staff

SBSSA Kick Off Surf Classic: Purcell, Williams and Neal Repeat

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Mira Costa’s Cody Purcell continues his competive tear.

by Eddie Solt

All photos courtesy of SBSSA

The conditions could not have been much more ideal last Saturday for the South Bay Scholastic Kick Off Classic. A chest to head high combo swell, bringing warm water, greeted 42nd Street in El Porto. Sunny conditions and Santa Ana light offshore 80-degree winds prevailed all the way to the afternoon finals. Each high school surf team lined the beach with their school’s insignia marked canopies. With the addition of the Santa Monica High and West Torrance High School surf teams to the league, this year’s SBSSA Kick Off Classic had the biggest draw in league history.

“We had over 200 plus competitors in the Men’s shortboard alone,” said SBSSA League Director Richard O’Reilly. “The number of surfers made the competition tougher. The performances of repeat winners were all that much more impressive.”

Handling the clipboards are coaches who also have and continue to sport contest singlets.

Alex Fry

MCHS’s Alex Fry

“I’ve noticed a lot more planning and discussion preheat than post-heat review and critique,” he said. “We have more coaches than ever with competitive surfing experience. Greg Browning [former pro surfer] is now the head coach at South.”

The underclassmen held their own. There were a lot of younger standouts. Mira Costa High freshmen Megan Seth, brought up in the South Bay Boardrider’s Club beating surfers twice her age, placed runner-up in Women’s Shortboard Division, her first high school competition. Her teammate, sophomore Kyra Williams, won the division and placed 3rd in Women’s Longboard. Sophomore Shane Frontino kept El Segundo High soaring as the only Eagle to place in the entire contest with a Men’s Shortboard 5th place finish. Freshmen Billy Atkinson made varsity on the talented MCHS Men’s Shortboard team. In his first SBSSA contest, he took it to league veteran Redondo Union High Senior Kyle Beatty and event 4th place finisher in the reperchage heat.

Shane Frontino

Shane Frontino

“The men’s Repercharge heat had the crowd cheering, yelling, ooohing, aaahing with back to back airs by Beatty and freshman surprise Billy Atkinson,” said O’Reilly.

The peaky conditions lent themselves perfect for equipment over 9 feet.

“Men’s Longboard final was the best Longboard surfing I’ve ever seen with Andrew Neal [MCHS], Will Allen [PV] getting nose rides for blocks,” said O’Reilly.

Andrew Neal

Andrew Neal

RUHS’s Tate Curran and Neal both continued their multiple discipline attacks. Curran made all three finals and Neal won Men’s Longboard and placed 3rd in Men’s Shortboard.

“The level of surfing has definitely gone up another notch this season, especially in the women’s divisions,” O’Reilly said. “There are more good surfers than ever.”

Full Results:

Men’s Shortboard

  1. Cody Purcell MCHS
  2. Chad Coons – MCHS
  3. Andrew Neal – MCHS
  4. Kyle Beatty – RUHS
  5. Shane Frontino – ES
  6. Tate Curran RUHS

Men’s Longboard

  1. Andrew Neal – MCHS
  2. Will Allen PV
  3. Rodney Buck PV
  4. Danny Charvat – MCHS
  5. Tate Curran RUHS
  6. Alex Fry MCHS

Women’s Shortboard

  1. Kyra Williams – MCHS
  2. Megan Seth – MCHS
  3. Lauren Freidrich – MCHS
  4. Ashley Naylor – MCHS
  5. Teya Hartzel – MCHS
  6. Emma Waldinger – RUHS

Women’s Longboard

  1. Emma Anderson PV
  2. Peri Nathan – MCHS
  3. Kyra Williams – MCHS
  4. Emma Waldinger – RUHS
  5. Sophia Arky – MCHS
  6. Mckenna Hawkes – MCHS


  1. Kyle Beatty – RUHS
  2. Tate Curran RUHS
  3. 3. Cooper Garner – MCHS
  4. Trey Mahan – MCHS
  5. Ranger Woodland – Peninsula
  6. Beck Cherry – MCHS



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