Lucas Fink with a Driving Barrel in the Quarter Finals | Photo by Artur Costa (IG)
Lucas Fink of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil won the professional men’s division at the 6th Annual Intrafalgar skimboarding competition on September 10th and 11th at Faro de Trafalgar in Canos de Meca, just south of Cadiz, Spain. The professional men’s division counted as part of the United Skim Tour, the world’s only international professional skimboarding tour. The 2022 Intrafalgar was the first time the United Skim Tour has had an event in Spain and the first international stop of the UST since 2017. The contest was put on by Dogflut Skimboards.
The professional men division featured 43 competitors from 9 different countries, including competitors from the Philippines, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Portugal and the United States. Professional men riders included Yahir Valencia who was ranked 3rd on the UST coming into this event, Tim Fulton who just finished 2nd at the Vic in Laguna Beach, CA as well as locals from Spain such as Juanlu Gonzalez and Javi Sola.
Emanuel Embiaxador Connecting a Mystery Sider | Photo by Artur Costa (IG)
The waves were 3-6 feet and glassy on day one of the event where competitors had to be very selective in finding reachable waves amongst all the swell. As the tide filled in on the beach, contest directors were able to move the competition area every few hours to the north to avoid troughy conditions with the 12 foot high tide, a strategy that worked well to offer contestable waves throughout the entire day. On day two, the swell had dropped to 2-4 feet, but the smaller waves were much more rippable with competitors completing very techincal combinations in nearly head high waves. The quarter final round in particular saw some of the most competitive heats of the event. Finally the semi finals and finals were held just before the sunset with 1-3 foot waves with glassy offshore winds.
Yahir Valencia Driving Barrel | Photo by Marti Aviles (IG)
For the professional men, the final heat came down to Yahir Valencia and Lucas Fink, a heat that would determine the UST title race. Before the event, Fink and Valencia were two of three competitors who had a mathematical chance at the UST title with Fink sitting in first on the standings and Valencia in third. Since they both made it to the final, if Fink were to win, he would clinch the 2022 UST title. If Valencia were to win, he would have a shot at winning the UST title if he could snag an additional win at Newport Beach. The heat started off with Valencia immediately spinning a 720 out to a small clean wrap. Fink answered back with a 360 shuvit out to a speedy floater and another 360 shuvit in the flats before popping his board back into his hand. Soon after that exchange, both competitors ran for the same wave and collided, and Valencia was penalized with an interference call. The rest of the heat was filled with incredible riding by both competitors, but Fink was ultimately the winner the Intrafalgar Dogflut and he clinched the 2022 Men’s UST Title.
Local Juanlu Gonzalez and a Head-high Wrap | Photo by Artur Costa (IG)
“On December 31, 2021, I spent new years in Spain in Puerto Banus, just like 30 minutes from here. On that day, I decided my next goal was to be the world champion of skimboarding,” said Fink after his win. “Every single day, when I would think of that I would write down in my phone that I want to be the champion, most days a couple times a day. My main phrase, besides ‘boratime’ is ‘do what you love, work hard, follow your dreams, and make it happen.’ It was a hell of a year man.”
Thanks to everyone at Dogflut who helped put on such a tremendous event.
The final UST tour event is the Exile Oktoberfest in Newport Beach, CA on September 17th-18th, which will count for both the Men’s and Women’s division of the UST. In the men’s division, points from the best four placings of six count toward each skimboarder’s 2022 UST points total. In the women’s division, points form the best two placings of three count toward each skimboarder’s 2022 UST points total.
- Lucas Fink – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Yahir Valencia – Barra de Navidad, Mexico
- Javi Sola – Malaga, Spain
- Sonny Boy Aporbo – Mati, Philippines
Words by David Haefele