Los Cabos Surfing Contest

Head over to Zipper’s and watch the pros catch some waves

From June 11th-17th, the Baja California Sur government, (that’s our state, Bunky),  and the Los Cabos tourism board, along with some other hangers on sponsors will present the annual Los Cabos Open of Surf at Zipper’s Beach in San Jose. Zipper’s is a world famous surf spot at Costa Azul just south of San Jose.

The Los Cabos Open of Surf is a professional surf and music event that has taken place here since 2013. It started as a men’s only event, but in 2014 it became the first professional surfing competition for women in Mexico. It now has three separate competitions: the women’s QS6,000, the men’s pro junior, and the women’s pro junior. Competitors are placed into one of the three events based on their age and performance level.

It turns out surfing is way more complicated than I ever thought. Here’s what I’ve learned about surf competitions.

There are different levels of surfing competitions: the World Championship Tour (CT) and the World Qualifying Series (QS). The CT is essentially the major league, and the QS is the minors. To become a part of the CT and compete in the bigs, surfers must earn enough points in the QS competitions. Each year, the World Surf League puts out a calendar of events, and anyone who wants get in the CT can sign up for QS events and try to qualify. In order to sign up for QS events, aspiring competitors must pay for a membership with the World Surf League. From there, anyone can sign up for QS1000 and QS1500 events. Once they start earning enough points in the lower events, they’ll qualify for QS3000, QS6000, and QS10000 events. The higher the QS event, the more points a surfer can accumulate. The surfers with the highest rank can compete in the CT competitions.

Still with me? Read it slowly, I know it’s a lot.

Regardless of whether it’s a CT of QS event, all of the competitions work pretty much the same way. They are done tournament style. Each round is called a heat, and each heat has two to four surfers. Surfers have between 20 and 30 minutes to choose the best waves possible, and only their best are counted. They must choose their waves wisely-- it’s about quality, not quantity-- as judges rank the quality of the wave as part of the surfer’s final score. Interfering with another surfer will cost them half the points of their second best wave, so competitors are careful not to get in the way of each other. The winner of each heat moves on to the next heat until there is a final winner.

Surfers competing in the Los Cabos Open of Surf come from all over the world and compete for big prizes in addition to points that will (hopefully) up their ranking. Last year’s top prize for the Women’s QS6,000 was $10,000, and second place was $5,000. Men’s and Women’s Pro Junior winners took home $2,000, $900, $600, and $500 for first through fourth place respectively.

Big crowds are expected and spectators can get a good view of the competition from the beach. Surfers and their guests will have a designated area roped off on the beach, as well as separate restrooms and parking.

The Solead is hosting the event so all the surfers can relax in the pool, and enjoy the juice bar. you can stay at the beach and enjoy food from the booths that will be set up around the area, or just sit and enjoy a cold one from your cooler. The fun begins at 8:00 am and ends at 4:00 pm each day, except for the finals that will go from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm on Sunday.

While the Open of Surf is first and foremost a surfing competition, it doubles as a music festival of sorts. On June 15th, the Open of Surf will present Grammy winning Venezuelan group Los Amigos Invibles at El Merkado in front of H+ hospital at Cerro Colorado on the fourlane. The show begins at 8:00pm in the center courtyard of El Merkado with an opening set by Chris Coté and a closing set by DJ DOC. This event requires a bracelet to get in, and you can get them at the offices of Koral Concierge at El Merkado for 600 pesos.

For more information, visit their website at loscabosopenofsurf.com, or check their Facebook page under Los Cabos Open of Surf. ,