We think it’s less about what you do
and more about how you do it.
To help set the scene, there are probably more surfers in Encinitas than there are in the entire country of Jamaica. When you paddle out into the lineup, it’s like slipping into a time warp. Sort of what we imagine surfing in California was like back in the 50’s, when you knew everyone out there because they were the same few dedicated locals, day after day.
And it’s this core group of local surfers (including Sun Bum ambassadors Icah Wilmot and Shama Beckford), that have helped nurture a thriving surf culture in Jamaica and continue to make waves in the future of surfing in their homeland. It was a no-brainer for us to make Jamaica our next stop on the Bum Rush tour.
Just to give you a lay of the land, the surf scene in Jamaica is broken up into two camps, the North and South coast. The south tends to get a little more attention because of its wave-rich coastline and proximity to the capital city, Kingston. The north is fickler, more rural (only 90 miles from Cuba) and takes a specific swell angle to get good surf. Our hope was to find a way to bring the two rivals together for the Bum Rush Tour.
After days of debating on where to hold the event, Icah suggested posting up at a free-surf session before one of Jamaica’s National Qualifying Series events in Portland, on the north coast. We pulled up to this perfect right hand cobblestone point lined by coconut trees as Jamaica’s best paddled out and knew we made the right call. Within a matter of minutes, the horn was blown and the heat was on, whether they were warmed up or not. The exciting exchange played out as surfers young and old battled for 3–4-foot set waves. The judges agreed the criteria for the day wasn’t about what the surfers were doing but how they were doing it.
One surfer, Ellim Beckford stood out among the crowd with clean lines, perfect flow and impeccable wave selection. Most impressive of all, she was having a blast.