Red Bull Rivals Contest this Saturday in OB

Big wave surfer Jamie Sterling has proved himself to be one of the most well known surfers on the beach today for good reason. He has top placed in all the big name surfing events from Mavericks to the Aikau Waimea Bay event. This weekend however, you’ll find Sterling helping his pals at Red Bull put on the San Diego edition of Red Bull Rivals. This event takes the best surfers from North County and pits them against the surfers from South County in a battle for beach domination. The winning team gets to leave with bragging rights and the other team’s boards.  The whole event will be overseen by Sterling who tells me that he’ll be acting as a judge and commentator for the event. With Sterling in town a few days before the event, he’s been checking out the local surf spots and visiting his favorite places. Fresh out of the water after an O-side surf sesh, he called me up for an interview.

Sterling seems to be the guy that you’d expect him to be, daring and adventurous, passionate about surfing. He was excited to be a part of this surf competition and wanted to share this passion with other people. For Sterling, this passion has been around since an early age. Born on the North Shore, his first time surfing was at the young age of four. Due to the fact that he came from a surfing family, his mom starting taking him to play in the waters of the Pacific when he was only two weeks old. Around the age of 14 or 15, Sterling got his first taste of big wave surfing at Sunset Beach in Oahu. It was that experience that caused Sterling to feel incredibly connected to the ocean. There was passion and there was power, creating a hunger that has only driven Sterling to get better and get more experienced.

In terms of surfing dynamics, I found the most interest in the fact that Sterling sees a push away from tow-in surfing. For him, tow-in surfing was fun and allowed for new knowledge to be learned. On the subject Sterling said, “We’ve gained a lot of knowledge through tow surfing, now we’re applying it back to the paddle surfing approach and it’s been really nice.” After ten years of tow-in surfing, Sterling explained that he’s now trying to bring it back to the opposite end of the spectrum.

Make sure to catch Jamie Sterling this Saturday at the Red Bull Rivals. The contest starts at 10:45 at the Ocean Beach Pier. It’s the perfect excuse to grab some Hodads while you’re down there.

Jamie Sterling - Courtesy Red Bull Photo Files