Many years ago I read about tray surfing at the famous Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii. They were using McDonalds fast food trays. If you have ever been to Hawaii and seen this wave, or caught a glimpse of it in movies or on a live telecast of a pro surf contest, you know how bone crushing and dangerous the waves are. It makes you think that the people who swim out in to the line up with trays are crazy! Little did I know, you can ride waves well with a tray and those who ride them at Aliso Beach get no less satisfaction or joy from riding waves and being in the ocean than any other type of wave rider.
What I have learned though is that they are a great surfing vehicle. Brandon Brown and Matthew Van Deren have given this sport a revival of sorts and have taken it off life support. These two do things with trays that you shake your head in amazement at. They often get the best waves that come in at Aliso Beach fending off body boarders, skim boarders and even surfers. They are so good at what they do that they command a respect that allows them to get waves. In terms of the line up pecking order goes, tray surfers aren’t necessarily high on the totem pole and yet they do. They have to be incredible to get the other competitive wave riders to respectfully back off and let them get their waves. Largely because of the enthusiasm that these two have brought, tray surfing is talked about in the Laguna Beach region and some of the characters from other wave riding disciplines have taken a crack at tray surfing.
You may see these two guys at Aliso Beach. You may hear them talk back in forth using words from the tray surfing dictionary which are a play on English words that are modified to include some form of tray in them. These dudes are a riot! You may also see them tearing up the waves at Aliso Beach with their signature “Double Garage Door” move. If you visit Aliso Beach while these two are out, your lower jaw may hit the sand in amazement watching them do things you never could have imagined with a tray!