Words by: MEGA @themegaman_
Photos: Artur Costa @arturcostacosta -
Team Zap's trip to the International Trafalgar Contest in Spain for stop number five of the United Skim Tour WAS DEFINITELY ONE FOR THE BOOKS!
It was Yahir Valencia's first trip to Portugal-Europe. I picked him up from the airport and we went straight to Surf Clube Sesimbra - Skim Camp for a couple days of skim lessons and sessions with the kids.
We also skimmed Praia Das Bicas, Sesimbra on one of the best days of the summer with many local kids watching Yahir put on a great show at their home break!
A few days later the McCoy brothers (Sam and Lucas) arrived for what was also their first time in Europe. Straight off the plane they joined us for another great session at the Surf Club Sesimbra - Skim Camp. Shortly after our session my girlfriend Joana, the team, and I were off on a long car ride to meet with Sonny Boy Aporbo and his girlfriend Cynthia.
It was Sonny's first experience at a major UST competition. There was this feeling that he would do some crazy stuff because of the clips everyone had seen on the internet of him skimming in the Philippines. No one had seen him before live! It was crazy to watch him and the team warm up on Friday. European riders were watching our guys and everyone on the beach seemed to expect the best from the Zap team!
The competition started on Saturday with unusually big swell in the south of Spain. Sunday the swell dropped a little but the offshore conditions all weekend and the amount of the swell made this contest one of the best ever in terms of wave quality and amount or competitors. (More than 40 professionals)
We had the chance to hang out with our Zap host in Spain, Juan Carlos Banderas.
"This weekend was amazing with the team Zap, I met Mega around 10 years ago and I always feel the vibes like my family. At this contest I met Yahir Valencia, Sony Boy and the McCoys and they are legends for sure! Nice people and good vibes! I can't wait to have them here in Spain again. I love you Zap family 🌊💙" (Juan Carlos Banderas).
Sam and Lucas skimmed solid and consistent all trip! They showed us how to compete strongly and represented the US well!
"Meeting the legend Sonny Boy was sick! My brother and I shared a room with him and his girlfriend Cynthia, and getting to spend time with them throughout the weekend was really nice. Sonny Boy is insane on a skimboard on instagram, but in person he is completely out of control! He has taken the technical aspect of the sport to a new level. People are going to lose their minds once this guy gets the opportunity to make it to the states for a competition in Dewey or Laguna Beach." (Lucas McCoy)
During warm ups Sonny was a little nervous but he landed a few varial kickflips and felt more comfortable as heats progressed. Sonny was a favorite to watch with a very special heat against Yahir in the semi-finals that was a major highlight. Everyone was cheering on the beach going crazy!
“I was so stoked to participate in a United skim tour event; that has always been my goal and dream since I was a kid: to compete on international level. I’m so happy that I could meet a part of the Zap team and a lot of other skimmers. I have been following them and talking on social media for years and now I could see and meet them and gain inspiration from their skimboarding style. Experiencing an event like this has taught me tricks and technique are my strength, but also things that I can improve on such as barreling. I’m proud that I could make it to the semi-finals for the first time and very thankful for the opportunity. I 'm so stoked and happy to meet the team, new skimmers, and friends. Thank you Zap, Mega, Jason, and my girlfriend Cynthia for making it happen. Hopefully I can make it to the US next time 🤙" (Sonny Boy)
Even as a younger competitor Yahir's experience and competitiveness made the difference and set him apart from the rest of the pack. He ended up taking second place overall to Lucas Fink.
“Incredible first experience in Europe! I never expected to go to Portugal or Spain. Super great-full that zap gave me the opportunity. I had no idea how good the surf and skim can get over there! I’d love to go back and spend some time in Portugal; traveling the coast surfing and skimming. It’s super cheap, the food and beer is really good, and the waves are super consistent. Also every girl is beautiful. Every girl..” (Sam McCoy)
It was really good to have my team here in Europe. I can't wait for the next ZAP trip!
Yahir Valencia: @yahir_valencia2
Sonny Boy: @aporbosonnyboy
Sam McCoy: @surfcooker
Lucas McCoy: @ljmccoy