The Panama City News Herald
Skim with Pros
April 10, 2008
PANAMA CITY BEACH The Gulf attracts visitors from all over the world. This weekend, it's for the skimboarding. The 10th annual Zap Pro / Am Skim Jam is Friday through Sunday, April 11-13, at the Edgewater Beach Resort in Panama City Beach.
"Water sports and beach is the No. 1 attraction to this destination," said Andy Phillips, general manager at Edgewater Beach Resort.
One attraction of skimboarders to the Gulf of Mexico is that the sport requires smaller waves.
"There is a lot of surfing on the East and West coasts, but skimboarding is very popular in this area. In the Gulf of Mexico, there are not as large of waves as on the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts," Phillips said.
Skimboards are about half the size of regular surf boards, and skimming takes place along the coastline.
Phillips said he has watched his 13- and 15-year-olds skimboard, although he has never tried it.
"I watched them do it for years. It's a very popular sport among the youth," he said. The Panama City Beach event is one of the nation's largest skim jam competitions. The nationally recognized sporting competition features the best pro and amateur skimboarders from around the world, including the No. 1 ranked pro in the world, Paulo Prietto from Dana Point, Calif.
There is a chance to meet the pros of skimboarding on Friday, April 11, from 10 a. m. to noon.
"A lot of people do travel from all over Southeast and West Coast," Phillips said. "It's a nice mix of visitors and locals. Also, with the tail end of Spring Break, next Friday we won't have anyone skipping school."
During the day on Saturday, activities on the beach include Panama Jack's Lil’ Sandiggers Treasure Hunt at 1 p. m. for kids 11 and under.
The competition on Saturday is from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., where riders will be scored on style, difficulty, tricks and length of their ride. After the contest is a pool deck party with live penguins, courtesy of Gulf World Marine Park.
At sunset, at 7:10 p. m., a double feature of "Surf's Up" and "Big Wednesday" will be shown as dive-in movies at the lagoon pool, where pool-goers can watch the movies in their floats.
Contest finals will take place at 9 a. m. Sunday, April 13, with the awards ceremony to follow at 3 p.m.
Mr. Surf's has hosted the Zap Pro / Am Skim Jam at different locations along Panama City Beach. Last year, the Towne of Seahaven on the west end of the Beach hosted the three-day event.
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