I've just spent about an hour fruitlessly searching for an old clip of mine from the '90s about the OP Wintersurf competition that pitted surfers and snowboarders against one another first in the waters of Huntington Beach and then on a slalom course in Big Bear, with the overall scores determining the champion. I used to cover stuff like that for the free lift tickets that came with your press pass because, then and now, I can't afford to participate in my favorite sport, skiing. Cue the violins.
But I was reminded of that stunning competition–I want to say a Mt. Hood snowboarder whose name escapes me won the year I covered it–when I read that Red Bull Switchboard, whatever that is, invited 500 college students to surf in Huntington Beach or La Jolla Shores Saturday morning before taking an energy drink-logoed bus up to Bear Mountain for an afternoon on the slopes.
This is not a competition, it's just surfing and skiing or boarding for shits and giggles, but the students from SoCal colleges and universities will be joined by pros. John Jackson is a snowboarder out of the greater Mammoth Mountain area who made the switch from competitive racer to back-country boarder. He's appeared in ski/snowboard porn, had his own web series and been written up in magazines such as Snowboarder and TransWorld Snowboarding. Also along for the rides is Jamie Sterling, a big wave surfer who hails from Oahu's North Shore and has competed around the world, won championships and sat on a committee of riders who created the Association of Pro Tow-Surfers in 2006.
If you'd like to catch the local surfing, head out to Golden West Street and Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach at 7 a.m., which is the same time participants put toes in the water at La Jolla Shores Park, 8260 Camino Del Oro, San Diego. The bus is scheduled to arrive at Bear Mountain by noon. Don't know if tickets to take part are still available, but you can check that out at www.RedBullUSA.com/Switchboard.