Acid Drop Classic surf contest revived

“It’s been over 17 years since the last Acid Drop surf contest..So I guess you might say this contest is due,” said Andy Melamed of KONG radio.

Melamed, who helped run Acid Drop contests in the 1970s and 1980s, is working with surf contest organizer Nelson Togioka, the Hawaii Surfing Federation and the YMCA in bringing back the South Shore-based surfing contest, this time in a new format.

“Our main concern is to provide a platform for Kaua‘i’s surfers, while creating an opportunity for them to earn trophies, prizes, cash and recognition right here on Kaua‘i, without incurring travel expenses,” said Tokioka.

Contest registration is open only to Kaua‘i residents. To enter an entry fee and check must be mailed in to the HSF in enough time to have arrived by August 8.

Entry blanks are available at Hanalei Surf Company and Backdoor in Hanalei, at Déjà vu in Kukui Grove Center, at Nukomoi surf shop at Po‘ipu, at Progressive Expressions in Koloa, at the Tamba surf shop in Kapa‘a, at Kai Kane in Hanalei and Liko Kauai Cruises at Waimea, plus at Miura Store in Kapa‘a.

Over $3000 cash prizes are being awarded, along with over $6000 in merchandise from sponsors like Honolua Surf Company, Signature Lining, Kauai Watersports and more.

Random drawings are set to be held during the running of the contest for prizes from Quiksilver after every four man heat in the preliminary rounds.

All contestants will receive slippers, a T-shirt, a hat and key chain complements of Hawaiana’s, and Mormai. The top surfer of the day who is not sponsored by a surfboard manufacturer will get a free custom board up to 7 feet in length from Hawaiian Blades’ Max Medeiros; Medeiros placed high in many of the Acid Drop Contests in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

First place finisher in the contest will receive $1200, second place will receive $750, $300 will be awarded for 3rd place, and $250 for fourth.

Each heat will consist of up to four surfers, be 20 minutes in length with surfers judged on their two best waves.

The contest is limited to the first 48 entries received, and the first 14 surfers to enter will be seeded. The date for the meet has been reserved with the County of Kaua‘i for either the weekend of August 9-10, surf permitting with waves needing to be 4 feet or larger necessary. If the contest needs to be postponed until the following week, the Beach House Restaurant is letting us use their PK’s surf site if conditions dictate such a move with possible alternate dates as early as August 15 (Admissions Day holiday) through August 17.

Koa bowls along with $175 cash will be awarded to surfers in the following categories and sponsored by the following businesses: Dippin Dots Best Ride of the Day, Nukomoi’s – highest two wave heat combination score plus HawaiiLink’s – Most Radical Maneuver.

The Acid Drop contest started back in 1976 by Andy Melamed and Reggie Deroos, then both employees of KUAI radio in ‘Ele‘ele.

The contest continued for nine consecutive years with winners in a variety of divisions.

Standouts in the earlier contests included surfers Steve Kline, Byron Wong, Reuben Balmores, Laola Lake, Nikki Bockwinkel, Maureen Chung and Titus Kinimaka.

In the later contests, surfers from off island started flying over to participate including Hans Heidemann, Lance Ho‘okano, Alec Cooke (aka Ace Cool) and Ben Aipa.

The new format, however, dictates that the contest is restricted to only surfers who live on Kaua‘i. In addition, competitors cannot currently be on the profession surfing World Qualifying Series or Association of Surfing Professionals’ WST pro tour.

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