9 January 2024, San Juan, La Union, Philippines: The 10th edition of the now legendary Single & Unattached Classic Single Fin Invitational kicked off this morning with competitor registration, briefing and board check at Clean Beach, followed by a welcoming kick-off party and Vans Night Skate session at Eliseos Home, in what promises to be an epic 9 days of logging joy and fun times on the shores of the Surfing Capital of the North, La Union, starting today until the 17th of February.
Over 100 men and women invitees from countries including Australia, Hawaii, Japan, Korea, Reunion Island, Thailand, Taiwan, and the USA, along with invitees from all around the Philippines joining Men’s, Women’s, 40 and Over, and Newly Single divisions of competition.
This year’s Single & Unattached will feature a trio of longboarding’s most renown afficianados;Robert “Wingnut” Weaver from the USA, Sam Bleakely from the UK, and Matt “the Waxhead” Chojnacki from Australia, who will share their extensive knowledge of logging and all things surfing via a live broadcast and beach commentary.
“This Single & Unattached event, since its creation, totally lends itself to what the best part of longboarding is,” says Robert “Wingnut” Weaver. “So to finally get a chance to come here and support it in person is amazing. It’s my second time coming here, last year I came for the Queen of the Point event and had such a good time, so I thought I’d sneak back over here this year a little later and do this one. Looking at these boards, looking at the people and the energy in the water, I’m so glad that I came!”
Prize money has doubled from last year, with a fat PHP 200,000 (approximately $3,500 USD) prize purse on offer, as well as products and services from the many event sponsors and supporters, but the primary drawing card for this event is the sense of community and the camaraderie that is shared when like-minded loggers come together from all over the world to join this yearly event.
Single & Unattached co-creators Buji Libarnes, his wife Nikki and along with their friendscreated Single & Unattached as part of the 15th year anniversary of the Philippine Friendship Longboard Cup, which took place from 8-10 February in 2013. The dominant style of the time was progressive/high performance longboarding, but Buji, as a long-time devotee of single fin surfing, came up with the event name and a poster design, and explained, “It’s a leashless single fin contest and its held in the month of hearts, the perfect time to show some single fin lovin”
“I can’t believe that it’s already been a decade since we started this, exclaimed Nikki Libarnes. “When we created this surf event it was with one purpose in mind, and that was to share the pure joy of surfing. Now it’s become a celebration of this thing we all love so dearly, this thing that’s outrageously fun and brings so much joy and beauty to our lives. People have come to embrace this event as their own too and have made it part of their lives through the years, it’s just wonderful.”
“Thank you to everyone who has made each year of S&U happen, from our very hard working team lead by Arturo Dedace, Jerick Robleza, and Louise Fortinez, to Vans Philippines for always backing us up, to all our sponsors who have generously shared so much, all the local and international participants, and to all our supporters who have come to partake and have become part of the Philippine surfing community. It has truly been such a good long ride.”
The waiting period for the surfing competition starts tomorrow, and the swell forecast looks very positive for an early morning start at Mona Lisa Point. If the North Swell increases on Sunday as predicted, the elusive Carille just may come into play, which locals and travelers alike will certainly be excited about!
Meanwhile, there are many other activities being offered around the surfing, including live music, surf films, a visual art show, a backyard BBQ, a beach cleanup and more. Here is the schedule:
Single and Unattached 2024 is proudly presented by @vansphilippines and @vesselhostel.
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