The Australian Longboard Surfing Open is a five-day celebration of the surfing lifestyle held in March each year in the warm, wave-rich waters of Kingscliff.
Over the years it has been an excuse to get together with other like-minded surfers from around Australia, Asia, New Zealand, Europe and the USA.
This year’s event has attracted the current crop of professional longboard surfing superstars including reigning world longboard champions Harley Ingleby and Chelsea Williams.
Together they rub shoulders with stars from the early years like the world’s first-ever surfing champion, Phyllis O’Donnell, surf mogul Doug Warbrick and the godfather of soul surfing Ray Gleave.
As well as showcasing some of the world’s best longboard surfers as they compete in the World Surf League (WSL) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS). The event will also feature surfing’s lifestyle image of art, music, cars, movies and more.
This week will see Williams hit the water to compete for the first time since the Final of the GoPro World Longboard Championships in China last year where she claimed her inaugural World Title.
Williams is also the reigning Australian Longboard Surfing Open event champion and will be one to watch as action gets underway this week.
‘This will be my first event since winning the world title!’ Williams said. ‘I’m looking forward to competing in Australia again and catching up with everyone.
‘Hopefully there will be some good waves at Kingy so everyone is able to surf to their full potential. Being the world champ still sounds strange and feels surreal, but nothing changed at all. I thought there might be a slight chance of getting some financial sponsorship, but so far it’s still the same.
‘I do get random moments when I think, wait, I’m the world champ and in those moments it feels pretty good.’
The event will run over March 25–29 at Kingscliff. More info available at www.australianlongboardopen.com.