The Atomic Surfers are just one surfing team ready to pop up and hang ten on the Island’s waves in this weekend’s competition.

The Atomic Surfers, led by Aarin Hartwell, the defending long board champion, will be riding the waves at this year’s 28th annual Texas Gulf Surf Association event.

Hartwell said more than 100 members between the ages of three and 70 will be competing.

Hartwell, one of the local surfers helping organize the annual event, said it is a heavily anticipated one.

“We have one of the best surf locations in the state of Texas,” Hartwell said. “The Island has the bluest water and the surf is pretty consistent down here.”

She said surfers on the Island like to say, “when the surf is good, it’s good.”

The South Texas Gulf Surf Association’s mission is to promote the sport and spirit of surfing on the Texas coast through healthy competition, while promoting good sportsmanship, supporting education, and environmental awareness.

The association holds between eight and 10 amateur events per sea-son that are healthy, family oriented and fun.

“People can sign up to compete in the morning, and registration starts at 7 a.m.,” Hartwell said. “They are responsible for the membership fee and division registration.”

The two-day event will be held on Saturday and Sunday at Isla Blanca Park.

Hartwell said if the surf is not strong enough for competition, the Open will be rescheduled for the following weekend.

“It is fun for people to come out and watch,” Hartwell said. “Some of the best surfers in the state of Texas will all be there.”

Harwell said the surfers from around Texas will be competing for first place trophies in the South Padre Island Open.

The South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau is a sponsor of the South Padre Island Open.

“We are excited to host this competition and are very supportive of surfing, paddle boarding, windsurfing, and kite boarding events in South Padre Island and throughout the state,” said Keith Arnold, Director of the South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau.

By RAUL GARCIA Staff Writer