by Michelle Michalak September 07, 2017

Taylor Char has been on Slyde's radar since December 2013 when he won our virtual "Ryde For Slyde Hawaii" rider search.  

It's awesome to see Taylor and the sport of handboarding continue to charge forward.  In this feature Taylor shares with us a recap of The Point Panic Experience 2017, an annual contest hosted by DafinHI & Vissla at an iconic break in Hawaii.

What makes Point Panics different than most waves?

Point Panics is such a unique wave. It is one of the longest high performance waves on the island if not in the world. You can get a barrel ride, and perform maneuvers on a single ride. It is the perfect wave to bodysurf as its a relatively low impact wave that doesn't really slam you, unlike shore break.

What were the weather, water, and wave conditions like on contest day?

The waves and the weather were perfect. The swell was a straight S (south) showing some south SW, making it the ideal conditions to get the In-n-out and do tricks. The size of the waves were 2-3 Hawaiian with occasional pluses through out the day with perfect slight off shore winds. It was almost consistently pumping through out the day with occasional lulls during the high tide.

The Point Panics Experience 2017 Slyde Bula BoardPhoto credit: @unkoshots

How many competitors at contest? Any woman? How many contestants in each heat?

There were roughly around 50 competitors for the contest, including women to compete in their own heat. Each heat was 25 minutes and had 5-6 competitors with a 5 wave max top 2 wave scored.

What are other highlights/standout moments from the event?

There was a lot of standout moments in the contest. Everyone was shredding, getting In-n-outs and doing a lot of innovative maneuvers. Wyatt Yee won his age group (19 and Under) for bodysurfing, and went on to beat a lot of top dogs like Mark Cunningham and Kaneali'i Wilcox in the Grand Champion Division making him the youngest to ever win the overall Point Panics Competition.

Sanja du Plessis won her women's division in bodysurfing, and also dominated the men's open Handboard and made it all the way to the finals. The waves in general was a big highlight for the competition because the whole summer season lacked a lot of swells that we typically get. Seeing these waves was a great surprise and treat since everyone was itching for a swell to hit Panics.

Taylor Char Charging Point Panics on Slyde Bula Board

What advice would you give to someone looking to compete for the 1st time (next year) in the Point Panic Experience?

Some advice to someone entering a competition at Panics for the first time, it's not your typical wave. It is much longer than most and is very high performance. Wave positioning and selection is key to getting the perfect ride and score . Judges like to see the contestant ride the barrel, and do maneuvers in critical parts of the wave. 

What wave you do prefer Point Panic or Sandys?  Why?

Point Panics and Sandys are two different waves and are hard to choose which one is my favorite. Panics offers great rides, that can run really long which are very satisfying when you complete each section. Sandy beach is also a very fun wave, that has great bowly sections that whomp onto the sand.

Sandy beach is more of a year round spot that almost always has waves where as Panics typically only has waves during the summer - fall season. I definitely look forward to the panics season though because it is only firing at specific time of the year.  I think that it is up for anyone to make their own conclusions because I love each of the spots equally. 

Watch Taylor Char in action on the Bulaboard below ⬇️
Michelle Michalak
Michelle Michalak

Michelle's diploma reads BA Psychology with a minor in English, and her license plate reads #CaliforniaDreaming4Life. She begin her career in the NYC fashion industry working with fashion and internet pioneer, However, due the constant "nagging" of her entrepreneurial spirit, her crush on surfing, and hardcore love for the ocean, she chosen to call San Diego home for the past 10 years. On the west coast she 's chased waves & enlightenment working alongside "Gurus" in the online marketing & personal development industries. It in May 2012 she found her true Zen & Stoke, and joined the Slyde Handboards Team.

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