For those of us fortunate enough to have one or more children enjoying contest surfing as their sport of choice, here is my humble view.
Enjoy the beach.... No matter what your still out for a day at the beach, many a time that my son & I have started the day with thoughts of making a final only to go out in the first round and basically having to decide if we head home or take advantage of the opportunity presented us and find that local break offering that next "best wave I ever got" to recant on the ride home. Over the past four years we have met this challenge week after week, some are great adventures and some are very long quite rides home.
Each contest I witness awesome displays of surfing, the finest equipment, strong focused minds, muscles tuned for amplitude, well structured event systems, families staked out in support of their groms, and marketing at it's finest with stickers, tents and banners that could cover a house. These are a bunch of my favorite things and I will proudly defend each facet, as I believe they are all needed to take this sport to the level it seeks.
Remember that this is a JUDGED sport, and all the good and bad that is said about judging may come into play when your grom is in the lineup. Many times I have felt the sting of a low score for what appeared to be a great ride, but just as often when I think he has not done enough to advance and boom he's on to the next round, so preach the "stick with-it" attitude and when the time is right and the stars align and your grom is the "In Form" surfer of the day, he will get those scores...and occasionally even the WIN...Surf 4-Ever.
I have had the incredible pleasure of having a small taste of that experience as a step dad with Kyle. His mom and I are no longer married but my greatest times were going off to his surf contests up & down the coast of CA to watch and cheer him on, then afterwards searching and finding other surf spots together.
Being single again with no kids has its surfing time advantages but it can never touch the level of stoke even on that quite ride home... lol.
I was great to get to know the kids and watching them compete. I would find myself cheering them on as Kyle would be sitting out that heat.
It will be awesome to see Jay and Kyle make their marks out there in the surf world.