ZJ Boarding’s haunted house, haunted heats


Neptune leads the way.

by Steven Rodriguez (six12media.com)

All photos and captions by Steven Rodriguez


All the competitors pose for a group shot before the contest.

A thick fog blanketed Santa Monica on a recent, chilly Saturday morning in October. And just like in the classic John Carpenter “Vampires,” the fog brought with it a gang of monsters. But these ghouls weren’t searching for stolen gold. There was something much bigger at stake at Lifeguard Tower 26. Captain America, Bob Ross, a ninja, and some wrestlers were seeking out the glory that comes with competing the Sixth Annual ZJ Boarding House Haunted Heats surf contest.


Vienna Werner completes her surfing cheer routine with a big jump into the water.


Two famous Venice landmarks, the lighted sign and the ballerina clown, made up this grom’s costume


Heather Blanda as Edward Scissorhands


The Androgynous Vegetable Person takes aim at the judges.

This year the costume performance highlights included a Speedo’s wrestler going one-on-one with a stuffed teddy bear, Bob Ross painting a beautiful mountain landscape, Edward Scissorhands trimming bushes, performances by the Village People and a blond Michael  Jackson, and Alana Blanchard strutting the stuff that made him famous. That’s not a typo. Blanchard was male and if you think that’s weird, the contest started off with the Androgynous Vegetable Person shooting his corn-on-the-cob gun at the judges. The waves weren’t big, but that might have been for the better. Bob Ross had his easel strapped to his board and painted his masterpiece as he surfed. The ‘80s Rocker Chick played some mean air guitar on a wave. Gumby jumped on Pokey’s board and rode Pokey while Pokey surfed. Even the Venetian Blind Man surfed several waves with the help of his cane, of course. From the ghoulish cheerleaders to the Grim Reaper on his custom coffin-shaped board, everyone was out there just having fun.Raffle tickets for Libtech and Firewire Surfboards raised nearly $1,000 for Boarding For Breast Cancer. Top finishers received custom made trophies and goodie bags that included skateboards from Lost and Dogtown.

Groms: 3rd Cheerleader Vienna Werner; 2nd West Adler with his Brian Wilson costume; 1st Jack O’Rourke the the Venetian Blind Man.

Adults surfing: 3rd Sean Owolo the Grim Reaper on his coffin surfboard; 2nd the team of Andre & David Quiros as Gumby & Pokey; 1st tennis player Anna “Killakova” Dimond, who hit tennis balls to the judges while surfing.

Adult costumes: 3rd Heather Blanda as Edward Scissorhands; 2nd Carolyne Durkalski the Surf Ninja throwing soy sauce at everyone; 1st David Nickerson for his hilarious portrayal of Bob Ross. He donated his painting for display at ZJ’s shop.

Best overall costume: John Boz who wore that tiny Speedo and called himself The Ultimate Warrior. Not only did he wrestle a teddy bear, but he rode his wrestling ring surfboard and did a WWF worthy flip.

Dread Last: Lorenzo Maggiore, the Angry Pumpkin Witch, who was late to the contest because his van, which had his costume, was hijacked. DZ


Anna Killakova was hitting balls to the judges.


The Indian is able to keep it up as the Construction Worker goes down on him while the Cowboy watches. Just another day for these Village People.


Zj Boarding House Co-founder Todd Richards poses for a selfie with a competitor.


Praying for surf.


Gumby was able to ride Pokey to a 2nd Place Finish.


He is from Venice and he is blind, so he calls himself “The Venetian Blind Man.”


Announcer Todd Roberts couldn’t hold it in when he met Alana Blanchard.


The ZJ Boarding House Halloween Cheerleader


Lorenzo Maggiore as the Evil Pumpkin.



The mummy was one of the many monsters surfing.


The Ultimate Warrior strikes a pose in his wrestle ring surfboard.


Sean Owolo as the Grim Reaper on his coffin board.


Tammy Mowery flashes a winning smile for the judges.


Captain America showing good form.


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