SEA BRIGHT, NJ - Some people walk the beach, see debris at their feet, and sidestep it. When Skim USA contest directors see beach debris, they scoop up as much as they can find and transform it.
Shrewsbury resident Melissa Stevenson is one such director. She helps gather materials from the ocean tidal washup of beach debris and driftwood, and creates fun, artistic, quirky trophies for the Sea Bright SkimBash, an annual Pro/Am skimboarding contest sponsored nationally by Skim USA and locally by Jersey Shore Skim Camp.
“Skim USA contests have a long tradition of presenting contest winners with unique trophies, rather than store-bought ones,” says Stevenson, who is contest director for the Sea Bright SkimBash, and regional director of Skim USA.
She got the idea to create "trash trophies" because she wanted to fulfill both the need to award unusual trophies, as well as support an environmental initiative. SkimBash directors and contributors work to spread awareness of ocean pollution, and demonstrate how everyone can contribute–in this case, by turning trash into treasure, or trophies.
Artist Alex Jackman lends his talents to Stevenson, assembling 48 trophies for the 12 divisions comprising the 2017 Sea Bright SkimBash competition, which takes place in June. His creations come from the heart, as well as a love for skimboarding–he is a competitive skimboarder and instructor at Jersey Shore Skim Camp. Every trophy Jackman creates is truly a work of art, ensuring that each contest finalist receives a unique trophy and that no two look the same.
Every year, SkimBash contestants anticipate the unveiling of the “trash trophies” at the awards ceremony that take place at the end of the contest. "I would rather get second place because I prefer that trophy over first place,” said one competitor at last year’s contest.
Want to check out the trash at the Bash? The 14th annual SkimBash contest happens June 24-25 in Sea Bright, a longstanding hot spot for skimboarding in New Jersey and the East Coast. Visit www.skimbash.com for details.