OCEANSIDE — The athletic agility of the best females surfers on the planet will continue to be on display in Oceanside on Saturday, as the Paul Mitchell Neon Supergirl Pro kicks off its second day.
In addition to hosting the largest all-female surf competition in the world, the Supergirl event features pro women’s skateboarders, gamers and more. It’s a way of showcasing —and empowering — girls and women in the sports where they’ve often gone underrepresented.
Plus, it’s just pure fun, serving up live music, vendors and the best of So Cal beach culture throughout the weekend.
Dimity Stoyle, a 26-year-old pro surfer from Australia’s Sunshine Coast, said the Supergirl Pro makes the athletes “feel like little stars.” Stoyle certainly shone brightly on Friday, taking the top spot in her Round Two heat with a score of 15.16 out of 20.
“I got good waves,” she said. “I thought it was going to be a little tricky because it was quite windy, but the wind backed off right around the time of my heat.” Just south of the Oceanside Pier, the waves consistently rolled in on Friday at about three-to-four feet in height — a good backdrop for the women to use to show off their skills.
Samantha Sibley, a 16-year-old from nearby San Clemente, also dazzled the crowds with fast-moving board work and stunning tricks that saw her catch air, earn a 14.07 overall score and show that she’s ready to run with the big dogs on Saturday.
On Saturday, attendees will be treated to the skills of six-time World Surf League champion Stephanie Gilmore, who makes her first appearance ever at Supergirl Pro. Also in the mix is three-time world champ Carissa Moore, the number-two ranked Lakey Peterson, the 2017 Supergirl Pro winner Courtney Conlogue and many more.
Sibley and Stoyle earned their way into Saturday’s first round, when those who made the cut on Friday go head to head against the highest-ranked contenders already slotted into twelve heats. Stoyle’s looking for a “big result” at this competition, she said, which would provide momentum and points going into the second half of the year’s circuit.
She’s not alone in that ambition. The Supergirl Pro provides a shot at earning valuable qualifying points that increase the further along in the competition the surfers advance. The winner takes 6,000 points, making this event one of the most anticipated in the U.S. for the Qualifying Series.
Enter the ‘Curb Queens’
In addition to all-star surfing, the “Curb Queens Skate Pro” competition will give female skateboarders a chance to compete in a street-style event from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Professionals and amateurs alike will be presented with curbs and rails that they have to navigate skillfully, demonstrating style and control in a course that simulates a street environment.
On Friday, 17-year-old Carly Vanderkarr checked out the course layout and chatted excitedly about her plans for Saturday’s contest. “I want to do a back 50,” she said, a favorite trick of hers that requires grinding the back half of the board on a rail.
Vanderkarr, who says she skates about four times a week, including at a ministry and outreach spot in Oceanside informally called “skateboarding church,” inspected the course’s surface. She noted the indents and imperfections that could catch a wheel and send one tumbling.
“I’m going to have to be careful,” she said, but it was clear that this smiling Curb Queen was thinking more about the fun she would have when the contest kicks off.
Last man standing at ‘Fortnite Friday’
In the gaming tent, “Fortnite” was all the rage on Friday — from opening to close. Matt Brown, who was working there, shared, “At 9:59 a.m., there was a line of about 15 to 20 people just waiting for us to say, ‘Okay, you can play Fortnite now.’”
When asked why the game is so popular, Brown attributed its appeal to the “cartoony, kid-friendly” look as well as the risk quotient, which he said is a common feature in the battle royale genre of games. In “Fortnite,” when the character you’re playing dies, you’re done.
Brown grinned. “You’re looking to be the last man standing. Isn’t that what America is all about?”
On Saturday, the games switch to “League of Legends” and “Smash 4,” with free play and tournaments available. On Sunday, some of the world’s best female gamers will compete in “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.”
The musical talents of various artists will continue to entertain and inspire at The Strand near the pier. Saturday offers five free shows and an all-female DJ competition from 2:45 to 4:45 p.m.
For more on the Supergirl Pro’s surf contest, musical offerings and more, check out http://supergirlpro.com/welcome-to-super-girl-jam/.