The first ever tanker surfing competition took place over the weekend at the Texas City Kite Festival. Surfers turned out to compete, ride ridiculously long waves, and shine a light on a sport unique to the Texas Gulf.
The flat, shallow waters and smooth winds off the Gulf already make southeast Texas on of the best places to learn to kite surf in the nation, but Phil Midler and the rest of Houston Kiteboarding wanted to showcase tanker surfing, a variation of the sport created in Texas and steadily gaining notoriety in the surf community outside the state.
The tankers rolling in and out of the deep water port at the Texas City Dike are nearly three football fields long and displace a massive amount of water. Depending on their weight and nautical speed, these ships leave in their wake chest-high waves sometimes running a mile long. The constant activity in the port also allows for consistent waves, even when the rest of the Gulf is flat.
Chris Summers took home first place with the longest rides of the group sessions. Houston Kiteboarding anticipates making this an annual event.
More Texas tanker surfing here: