There's a thick fog blanketing Santa Monica on this chilly Saturday morning in October. And just like in that classic John Carpenter film, the fog has brought with it a gang of monsters, but these ghouls are not searching for their stolen gold like in the film. There is something much bigger at stake here. They are meeting up on the beach near Lifeguard Tower 26 with Captain America, Bob Ross, a ninja, and some wrestlers to seek out glory. The glory that comes from competing in one of the funnest surf contests of the year, ZJ Boarding House's annual Haunted Heats. And with the fog burning off, even more glory seekers arrive, there's a trio of ghoulish cheerleaders, an anorexic Santa Claus, a penguin, a huge banana, and dozens more. Even Willie from Duck Dynasty is here.
This is not just a surf contest, it's a Halloween costume surf contest. All the competitors are in costumes, and before any surfing happens, they take part in the costume performance show on the sand, where they are not just judged on the costume, but on how well they act out as the character they are dressed up as. This year the costume performance highlights included a barely fitting speedo wearing wrestler in surfboard wrestling ring going one-on-one with a stuffed teddy bear, Bob Ross showing us how to paint a beautiful mountain landscape, Edward Scissorhands trimming some bushes, performances by the Village People and a blonde Micheal Jackson, and Alana Blanchard strutting the stuff that made him famous. Oh yeah, that's not a typo, Blanchard was male and if you think that's funny or weird, the contest started off with the Androgynous Vegetable Person shooting his corn-on-the-cob gun at the judges.
|Announcer Todd Roberts was unable to hold|
it in when he met Alana Blanchard
This is the sixth year Santa Monica's ZJ Boarding House has held this contest. As the guys at ZJ's put it, this is a "fun first" contest, a time to get silly and wear costumes in the water. While the contest was going on, raffle tickets for Libtech and Firewire Surfboards were being sold, which raised over $700 for Boarding For Breast Cancer.
|Edward Scissorhands shows the judges her handy work.|
|The Ultimate Warrior strikes a pose in his surfboard ring..|
After some truly funny and a few scary performances, the surfing portion of the contest was next. And since this is really just a fun Halloween contest, the judges were looking for those who surfed best as their character. This type of judging meant you can have any level of surfing ability and still win, you just have to act as the character you're dressed as while out there on your board. The contest has male and females competing together, but it is divided into grom and adult divisions. There's no elimination rounds, no semi-finals, no finals, everyone gets to surf in only one of the several heats.
Like the entire week before, the waves weren't the biggest nor the best, but it might have been for the better since the smaller tame waves gave everyone a shot at portraying their character out on the water. Bob Ross had his easel strapped to his board and continued painting his masterpiece as he surfed. The 80's Rocker Chick was able to play some mean air guitar on a wave. Gumby was able to get on Pokey's board and ride Pokey while Pokey surfed. Even the Venetian Bind Man was able to find and surf several waves, with the help of his cane, of course. From the trio of cheerleaders to the Grim Reaper on his custom coffin shaped board, everyone was out there just having fun.
|As always, Bob Ross just keeps on painting.|
|Gumby riding Pokey to the winners stable.|
|The spooky Vampire.|
With the contest winding down it was time for the judges to tally up the scores. Custom made coffin trophies and goodie bags that included skateboards from Lost and Dogtown were ready to be given out. In the groms division, Cheerleader Vienna Werner scored 3rd, while 2nd place went to West Adler with his Brian Wilson costume, and Jack O'Rouke the Venetian Blind Man saw his way to the front of the pack to a 1st place finish.
The adult division had awards for surfing and then for costumes. In surfing, Sean Owolo the Grim Reaper killed it on his coffin surfboard getting him 3rd place, while 2nd place went to the team of Andre & David Quiros who were in the Gumby & Pokey costumes, and 1st went to the tennis player Anna "Killakova" Dimond, she was able to hit tennis balls to the judges while surfing. For the costumes, Heather Blanda got 3rd for her Edward Scissorhands costume. 2nd went to Carolyne Durkalski the Surf Ninja who all morning, on and off the board was karate chopping, kicking, and throwing soy sauce packages at everyone. And 1st place went to David Nickerson for his hilarious portrayal of Bob Ross and in return he donated his painting to be displayed in ZJ's shop. And last but not least there were two special awards to give out, one of which was a best overall award, this went John Boz who wore that tiny speedo and called himself The Ultimate Warrior, not only did he wrestle that teddy bear, but he rode his wrestling ring surfboard and did a WWF worthy flipped off it. Then a "Dead Last" award that went to a Lorenzo Maggiore the Angry Pumpkin Witch, who was late to the contest because his van, which had his costume in it, was hijacked.
|The Grim reaper on his coffin board.|
With well over 500 photos, that's just way too many to post on this page. There's a huge photo gallery, with all the surfing, costume, and awards photos, here:
There's also a huge gallery of last year's contest:
Haunted Heats 2012 Photo Gallery
A video of all this madness will be online soon, check back again, or "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.
Thanks to ZJ Boarding House for another fun and frightening Halloween event. Visit them at http://www.zjboardinghouse.com/
|Just one of the many wrestlers.|
Over 500 more photos of everyone in
Video coming soon.