Yahir Valencia Wrapping at Aliso Beach | Photo: Nick Souza (IG)
Yahir Valencia of Barra de Navidad, Mexico won the professional men’s division and Chabe White of Mazunte, Mexico won the professional women’s division at the 45th Annual Vic West skimboarding competition on August 27th and 28th at Aliso Beach in Laguna Beach, CA. The top pro men and pro women finishers took their piece of the $9,000 combined pro men and pro women prize purse. The professional men’s division and the professional women’s division counted as part of the United Skim Tour, the world’s only international professional skimboarding tour. The contest was put on by Victoria Skimboards.
The professional men division featured 39 competitors and the professional women division featured 9 competitors, including competitors from Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Hawaii, Florida and California. Professional men riders include the 2021 men’s UST champion Gerardo Valencia of Barra De Navidad, Mexico, the 2019 men’s UST Champion Lucas Fink of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, and locals including Tim Fulton of Laguna Beach who won the event in 2015 and Dane Cameron of Laguna Beach who was ranked second on the UST coming into the event. Professional women riders included Casey Kiernan of Stuart, FL who was ranked 1st on the UST coming into the event and Amber Torrealba of Palm Bay, FL who won the Vic West in 2019, 2018 and 2016.
Chabe White Backside Slash | Photo: Nick Souza (IG)
During the event the waves were three-to-seven feet in height and close to shore throughout both Saturday and Sunday. Aliso Beach is known world-wide as one of the top skimboarding destinations, and the conditions were good throughout the weekend.
For the professional men, the final heat came down to Tim Fulton of Laguna Beach and the UST 3rd ranked rider Yahir Valencia. Fulton started off the heat strongly, finding a few of the biggest barrels of the day. Yahir answered back with technical combinations like a 360 out to a barrel and a 360 shuvit out to a wrap barrel. Ultimately Valencia finished in 1st place, winning by 0.53 points and securing the win.
Billy Howie in the Spot | Photo: Braden Walker (IG)
“I feel very happy to have won the tournament after a lot of effort and dedication,” said Valencia after his win. “I feel very happy to be able to represent my country, family and sponsors.”
For the professional women Chabe White made it to her first UST final against Julia Dias from Ubatuba, Brazil. White found the biggest and cleanest waves of the heat, propelling her to her first UST win.
Julia Dias Bashing a Wave | Photo: Dingo (IG)
“I’m so grateful for winning. I still can’t believe it. I’m in shock,” said Chabe White after her win. “This win to me means I’m representing all the girls who come from small towns who want to follow their dreams. I can’t believe I’m here. I’m in another country doing what I love. Viva Mexico!”
The Vic West counts as the fourth stop for the professional men’s division for the UST and the second stop for the professional women’s division for the UST. After the first four stops for the professional men’s division, Lucas Fink is currently on the top of the UST rankings followed by Dane Cameron and Yahir Valencia. For the professional women’s division, Amber Torrealba is currently in first on the UST rankings.
Johnny Salta Out Running a Bomb | Photo: Braden Walker (IG)
Remaining UST tour events include the Intrafalgar Dogflut in Cádiz, Spain on September 10th-11th and Exile Oktoberfest in Newport Beach, CA on September 17th-18th. In the men’s division, points from the best four placings count toward each skimboarder’s 2022 UST points total. In the women’s division, points form the best two placings count toward each skimboarder’s 2022 UST points total.
- Yahir Valencia – Barra de Navidad, Mexico
- Tim Fulton – Laguna Beach, CA
- Dane Cameron – Laguna Beach, CA
- Timmy Gamboa – Laguna Beach, CA
- Chabe White – Mazunte, Mexico
- Julias Dias – Ubatuba, Brazil
- Amber Torrealba – Palm Bay, FL
- Irais Ibarra – San Patricio, Mexico
Words by David Haefele