Innovative wave riders compete, raise funds for Outer Banks families

Matt Price, organizer of the Which Craft Surf Gathering, presents $5,000, 100% of event proceeds, to Relief Foundation executive director Patty McKenna. [submitted photo]

Enthusiasts of nontraditional surf crafts met on October 2 at Byrd Street in Kitty Hawk for a unique contest that benefited Outer Banks families.

The Which Craft Surf Gathering brought together the creators of nontraditional surf crafts and the freethinkers who ride them. Entrants spun a wheel to find out which type of innovative board they’d be riding in each heat.

Sponsored by Ashley’s Espresso Parlour, Forefront Dermatology, Scarborough Lane Shops, Surf & Adventure, Swells’a Brewing, Sunken Surf Co. and The Waterfront Shops, the event builds community around challenging the traditional ideas of surfing and exploring the ways we can ride waves.

At the end of the contest, rider Erik Linnken came out on top and so did local families.

Organizer Matt Price and volunteer Jess Rienerth show off the wheel entrants spun to find out which nontraditional surf craft they’d ride at the Which Craft Surf Gathering. [submitted]

The $5,000 in proceeds from the event were donated to the Outer Banks Relief Foundation to pay household bills for people who live or work in our community and are burdened with financial difficulties due to debilitating illnesses or other personal tragedies.

There were also free skincare checks on the beach performed by Dr. Linda Heffernan-Stroud of Forefront Dermatology.

Thanks to fundraising events like the Which Craft Surf Gathering and the generosity of community philanthropists, the Nags Head-based Outer Banks Relief Foundation has distributed over $2 million of financial relief to more than 1,100 local families since 2005.

Text OBRF to 269-89 or visit to learn more.

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