Costumes and surfing? You can’t not love that! Happy Halloween from Seeking Peaks!
Spooky Newport Beach event sees 100 people surfing in Halloween costumes
NEWPORT BEACH – Bridget Arthur knows how hard it is to make a Halloween costume that can withstand the power of waves.
The Costa Mesa surfer has worn a range of costumes through the years: from a corpse bride, to a pirate, to last year, when she was a slice of bacon.
This year, the blue-haired mermaid took off on a wave, got tangled in her dress and wiped out.
That was enough to send her back to shore.
“It’s not an easy task,” she said.
The surf in Newport Beach turned spooky Saturday morning, when about 100 surfers adorned in costumes took on the waves as amused crowds watched from the sand.
The annual Blackies surf gathering, named after the surf spot on the north side of the Newport Beach Pier, brought out costumes that included a family of Smurfs, a few surfing bananas, and plenty of pirates and monsters riding waves and trying not to run into one another.
“You get people who don’t even surf down here to watch, so it brings attention to the surfing community of Blackies,” said longtime event participant Vanessa Yeager, who coordinated a couples costume with her husband, Nick, each of them dressed as cards. The Costa Mesa couple were the king and queen.
There were plenty of other creative collaborations – a Batman and Robin dynamic duo paddling next to each other, a bottle of ketchup sharing a wave with a bottle of mustard, and a father dressed like an inmate pushing his daughter, a police officer, into the whitewater.
Newly married April Torregroza was dressed as a voodoo doll, husband Erik as a Catholic nun. They rode waves together, holding hands as they came toward shore.
The fun started a decade ago with just a few surfers who showed up in costume, but over the years it’s grown to the 100 or so who show up each year. The event used to be run by the Blackies Classic Longboard Association, with awards handed out for best costumes, but these days it’s more of a casual gathering of friends and strangers who simply show up to share waves.
The Witting family brought doughnuts and coffee down to the sand, where they gathered with friends.
Dad John was dressed as Papa Smurf, 8-year-old Hudson was Brainy Smurf and Ruby, 10, was Smurfette. Mom April watched from shore.
“I’m the only Southern California person who doesn’t know how to get in the water. I don’t like how cold it is,” said the Oklahoma native, preferring dry land to trying to surf.
Each year, she’s tasked with not only figuring out their regular Halloween costumes, but also waterproof ones that work in waves.
“We love it, we look forward to it every year,” she said. “But every year, I’m like, ‘Oh my God, another costume.’”
Bill Zavala was dressed as a “pier rat” and was hoping his mask wouldn’t get in the way of seeing the waves.
“We get together and have fun and be silly. We all feel like kids again,” he said. “That’s the surfer spirit.”
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