Scottish National & The Lowland Longboard Championships 2024

Last weekend we celebrated longboarding in a big way at Pease Bay! This was the first time the Scottish Surfing Federation had chosen to run a separate Longboard Nationals away from Thurso. It was a brave move and was rewarded with the biggest entry ever for a National longboarding event in Scotland with 47 competitors in the National event alone – where we were also rewarded with the biggest number of female and junior longboarders ever.

The competitors met on Saturday morning to be greeted with a very typical east coast surf chart with both poor and nice surf conditions forecast for the longboard competition each day. The conditions eventually ranged from a 1ft mess (and the event having to be put on hold), to perfect logging A-frames in the 2-3ft high region. It really was a case of surviving heats and adapting to conditions as the heats progressed. The evening finals in all events would be the time where the best conditions arrived. 

Through the early rounds there were a few upsets with an unwell Malcolm Findlay (multiple past winner) and Clover Christopherson (the current Scottish Universities champion) exiting in the first round and it was clear even at the first round stage that a lot of the junior surfers where surfing really well. 

Moving to the finals.

The girls U18 final had three very talented young girls going toe to toe in the closest final of the weekend. The girls showed lightness on their feet, grace and beauty in their surfing. The heat was lead to half way by 16yr old Sylvie Christopherson (Belhaven Surf Club – BHSC) whose flow and turns on the unbroken waves was matched with some nice cross stepping in the white water. Mid way through Rosie Moore (BHSC, 14yrs), took the lead with two lovely waves, gliding and cross stepping with control on the unbroken wave, only for Annie Herd (EBSC, 17yrs), to take the final on her last wave with some quality surfing on the best and longest ride of the final, and with some traditional moves thrown in as well. In the end the final was separated by only 0.4 points between 1st and 3rd with Annie taking the title and the potential to represent Scotland at the Euro Juniors in Portugal later this year. For the other girls the future is in a good place.

The boys U18 final was another close affair with Tam Hood (BHSC, 14yrs), Charlie Pugh (BHSC, 15yrs) and Ansel Parkin (BHSC, 15yrs) facing up to Finn Clark (17yrs) from EBSC. The boys standard was exceptional with quality waves being caught in the waist to shoulder range and combination of moves on every wave from big cut backs, floaters and cross stepping and the occasional hang 5’s. In the end Finn Clarks local knowledge got the win, just, from youngsters Tam (2nd) and Ansel (3rd) with Charlie (4th). Considering most of these kids had never long boarded properly until the Lowlands in 2023 the standard was exceptional. Finn also takes the potential Euro Junior national team position and could do well in Portugal (should the European Surfing federation hold this category).

The womens final would create a brand new longboard champion, with this division being new in the nationals. The ladies opening heats had seen excellent surfing and the final did not disappoint. Megan Mackay (Aberdeen Surf Club), who had won all her heats, continued her devastating form and picked the best waves to produce some lovely turns and cross stepping in the final. Iona Turner (BHSC) who had pushed her hard having really improved in the space of 6 months, was 2nd. Iona’s combos of cross stepping and sweeping turns were just let down by wave choice. Hannah Sharp (BHSC) was third, charging it with energy and commitment and Ingrid Morrison (OSC) was 4th again unlucky due to wave choice in the final. The standard here was the highest of any Scottish Longboard final to date.

The mens final saw juniors Ansel and Finn up against old timers Fraser Reid (from Fife) and Sam Christopherson (BHSC). Experience versus youth. The young boys held their form and Ansel took it to another level with an exceptional hang 5 in a critical section of the wave taking the title aged only 15yrs, the first junior to do this. Finn Clark was a close 2nd with Sam 3rd and Fraser 4th and the title deservedly passing to the next generation.

Longboarding competition has a reputation for a very positive relaxed vibe more so than most competitions, it’s more welcoming and there is a general friendly stoke between competitors of all standards just on wave catching and a sharing of each others success. 

The organisers were keen to keep the vibe across all categories, so combined our local competition “The Lowlands Longboard Championship” with the weekends National events. This allowed our international friends a chance to join and compete for the Lowland title, with the Scottish National finalists joining the International finalists to run semi finals and finals of the Lowland event. The standard of the mens international longboarding was the highest standard of longboarding competition ever seen in Scotland with longboarders from America, Holland, New Zealand, England and more …..even Slovakia turning up to compete. 

In the ladies Lowland final the Scottish Competitors had the edge with Megan gaining her second title (a rare combo) with Hannah 2nd , Iona 3rd and Rachel Kimbell-Jack (from St Andrews) 4th. In the mens final our two young juniors Finn (4th) and Ansel (3rd) finally met their match and two of the stand outs from the whole competition put on a demonstration of top quality longboarding. Billy Ansty from Newcastle won the event even managing a barrel on his last wave, with a strong combo of controlled longboarding, cross stepping, fades and hang 10’s and Johannes Meijer from the Netherlands (last years Lowlands winner) being pipped to 2nd again with some special hang 10’s and great surfing.

The event ended on a high with great waves in the sun and some wonderful longboarding and its clear to see that the future is very bright.

A special thanks to Dan and Iain (BHSC) and Brendan (SSF) for their organisational skills and endless energy, to the team of judges from all over and the St Andrews crew (who without them we would have no competition), to the stewards (Jo, Kirsty & Stewart BHSC), the beach lifeguards Martin and Owen (EBSC) and to Mal Anderson for filming the full event. Thanks also to sponsors Finisterre, Vision Events, Coast to Coast Surf School, Lost Shore and Verdant Leisure for allowing us to surf over the weekend.

All photos below from Mal Anderson (credit)  

Ansel on his way to the Mens National Title
National Men
National Women
U18 Boys
U18 Girls
Lowland Men
Lowland Women

Judges and Helpers