Proof Lab hosts Cron Rocks surf competition

By Nathan Robinson, Reporter

Proof Lab, a local surf shop, hosted the 2023 Cron Rocks Surf Competition at Rodeo Beach on Saturday, May 20. Conditions were less than ideal, with high winds creating choppy conditions, but competitors made the most of the waves at hand. 

The competition featured many heats, consisting of five to six surfers who would compete in 20-minute-long rounds. Scoring was based on vertical turns and maneuvers on the best wave scored by each competitor. Only the top two scorers from each round would advance. The competition as a whole featured a preliminary round, a semifinals, and a final round. 

The majority of the competitors were adults, but multiple Tamalpais High School students also competed, including seniors graders Mac Swergold, Johnny Ratcliffe, Soren Alamin, Bodhi Smith, and sophomores graders, Gus Merkham, and Adam Dali. 

Dali surfed well, ending in second place in the ages 13-18 division. Swergold ripped his way into the semifinals, but just missed the finals. Ratcliffe put on a show, making it all the way to the finals, where he placed fourth overall. First place was taken by Ambrogio Panesi, a surfer from Pacifica. 

Merkham described his favorite part of surfing in the competition, saying, “I think the best part was seeing all the locals and all the older dudes who have been surfing Cron for a really long time all being there together to hype up all the younger kids and the new generations. That was fun to see.”

The competition attracted a beach full of spectators, including local videographer Morgan Charles, who filmed the competition from the sand. Charles described his experience filming saying, “It was a blast filming the comp. Everyone was ripping, it was so fun to watch.”

In a statement on its Instagram, Proof Lab thanked the competitors and indicated its plans to continue to host future competitions, saying, “Thanks to everyone who came out and supported. We look forward to putting on more of these.”