THE first Gold Coast surfing event for 2013 will be the annual Burleigh Board riders' single fin competition presented by Billabong on January 5-6 at Burleigh Point.
Last year Cabarita surfer/shaper Jason Jameson was the first Tweed Heads surfer to claim a win on a board made before he was born.
Surfers are required to ride single-fin boards made pre-thruster (three-fin design created by Simon Anderson in 1981).
Trying to find a single fin in reasonable condition and with a competitive short board shape in the six-foot range is a challenge within itself.
The other day a friend of mine, Luke Johnston was lucky to score a vintage MP ala Michael Peterson personally shaped single fin from the mid-'70s in mint condition.
Peterson is regarded as the last of the single fin champions before Mark Richards' swallow tail twin fin was introduced in 1979 and Simon's thruster that replaced MR's dominance from 1979-82.
MP won the first professional event in Queensland at Burleigh Point in 1977 on a single fin. It was his last big win of an amazing career.
There's the famous photo taken of Michael after the Stubbies final that has been transformed into an artistic caricature of MP immortalised on the side of the Burleigh Point Break restaurant.
There will be many vintage single fins on display from some of the well-known shapers of that period including Dick Van Straalen (DVS), Alan Byrne (Hot Stuff), Col Smith and Phil Myers (Freeflight) and many more.
Both open and junior competitors will revel in surfing singles in a fun atmosphere, although when the guys hit the water they will be competitive without focusing on prize money or points.
Dwayne Harris of the Burleigh Boardriders loves the spirit of this event hosted by his club and Surfing Queensland.
Dwayne is referred to as the 'Sheriff' of Burleigh Heads and a life member of Burleigh Boardriders.
"The single fin is a fun contest; a reunion for all the old crew and an opportunity to remember our fallen brothers and sisters," explains the Sheriff who will compete and commentate over the two day competition now in its 16th year.
"It is not a pro contest; it's all about fun."
The single-fin competition caters for surfers from 10 to 50 years of age, all surfing on pre-1985 boards. Some grommets will be ripping on boards twice their own age.
Burleigh local ripper, Kyle 'Dvex' Robinson, also known as 'Three-in-a-row Deveccio' after winning the event three consecutive years, is a perennial finalist.
"I received my first surfboard for Christmas in 1983, an MR single fin," he said.
"The single fin classic is held after Christmas each year, so every year I dust off the old single fin and re-live some of the golden times.
"I get to say Happy New Year to my mates, surf my favourite contest, at my favourite place on earth."
Before the weekend competition the annual Friday, January 4 charity luncheon at the Burleigh Bears League Club will attract sporting celebrities like Nathan Brock, Jarrad Brennan (Gold Coast Suns) and Dave 'The Coal Train' Taylor (Gold Coast Titans), Kevin McDonald> attending the fundraise.
Proceeds raised will assist the Burleigh Boardriders' junior development program and the White Christmas Fund, supported by Gold Coast Suns.
Guest speakers will include Brock, Brennan, Taylor, new world champ Parko and his shaper Jason 'JS' Stevenson.
There will also be a bumper sports memorabilia auction and giant raffle, including a 2012 world champion Joel Parkinson-signed JS surfboard.