Hainan’s premier surf competition will be held over the 3rd and 4th of December. International surf brand Billabong will be the presenting sponsor for the event, now in it’s fourth year, and headphones brand Skullcandy will come aboard as co-sponsor.
The Surfing Hainan Open will take place in Riyuewan, a coastal area on Hainan’s southeast coast. It is one of the best places for surfing in the Chinese island province. The competitors will seek to better each other on Riyuewan’s left-hand point break, which frequently sees days of head-high surf during the fall and winter, when Northeast swells are prevalent.
The number of Chinese competitors in the Surfing Hainan Open has more than doubled every year. While only one Chinese national entered the first Surfing Hainan Open, this year there will be fifteen Chinese.
Competing for her third time is Hubei native Darci Liu. A former ballerina, she brings a lot of grace and style to her longboarding. Regarding the Surfing Hainan Open, Darci said “I love this event because it gives local surfers a chance to get the experience of competing.”
Hubei Native Darci Liu surfing in Hainan
Competing for his fourth time is Moyu Huang, a Xi’an native who started surfing four years ago when he moved to Sanya for university. “I look forward to this competition every year. It’s a great chance for surfers around China and Asia to come together.”
Moyu Huang, 2010 Surfing Hainan Open
Peter Thew, Brand Manager from Billabong’s head Asia office in Singapore said “We are excited to get behind this years event. Hainan Island has all that a tropical surf destination needs; beautiful beaches, great weather, and some really decent surf… it’ll be great to see this event grow over the years”.
Billabong previously sponsored Surfing Hainan’s SUP and Run Biathlon earlier this year, as did headphones brand Skullcandy, who are co-sponsoring the Surfing Hainan Open. Brand Manager Elijah Kislevitz , an old hand in China’s extreme sports industry, said “The Surfing Hainan Open is a perfect match for our brand – making progressive change to really bring surfing to China.”
The event will feature three disciplines of shortboard, longboard, and stand up paddleboard, with separate divisions for men and women. The Surfing Hainan Open is popular with expat surfers living in China, and many of the competitors this year have competed multiple times in the years past. Vaughn Hill, a New Zealander living in Hong Kong who has come to every event, said “We get our Hong Kong surf crew together to make the trip over to Hainan for the competition. It’s always a great time, getting to catch up with my fellow surfers around Asia. No matter how I place, it’s a fun weekend of waves and seeing old friends.”
Hainan Beer will sponsor the event for the third time, with ice cold beers available on the beach throughout the event.
For more information, see the Surfing Hainan Open website.