New guests & auction item announced for Surf Nite in SLO

Surf Nite is shaping up to be another epic event this year with the North American premiere of THE BIG WAVE PROJECT on the Big Screen at the Fremont Theatre. Director/Cinematographer Tim Boynthon will be here from Sydney, Australia and Big Wave Tour founder and surfboard shaper, Gary Linden will be joining us from Southern CA. Gary is featured in the short film THE AGAVE GUN, playing before the feature.

Surf Nite is presented by Visit SLO CAL / Film SLO CAL, and also sponsored by Apple Farm, City of Pismo Beach, Cliffs Resort, Coast 104.5, Quality Suites San Luis Obispo, Sea Venture Resort, and Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort.

We are delighted to also welcome Maverick’s surfers, Sarah and Mike Gerhardt. Sarah grew up on the Central Coast is very excited to return for her first Surf Nite experience.

Sarah started surfing during her freshman year of high school in Pismo Beach and four years later took her first trip to Oahu’s North Shore to begin a big wave dream. She became the first woman to paddle and tow into large surf on Oahu’s outer reefs. Surfing was a passion but her real focus was earning a BS in chemistry from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. After graduating from Cal Poly she returned to Hawaii to surf until graduate school started.  While on Oahu, Sarah married her big wave partner, Mike Gerhardt and they moved to Santa Cruz for work, surf, and graduate school. They paddled out together to Mavericks in 1998, and after watching Mike ride waves, she eventually caught waves too, becoming the first woman to surf Mavericks. Since then, Sarah completed her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, surfed Mavericks many more times, had 2 children, completed a Post-Doc in Molecular Biology and is now a Chemistry Instructor and Cabrillo College. She lives with her family in Santa Cruz, where they enjoy board sports and volunteering with the Ride A Wave program and partnering with Save the Waves Coalition.

Mike grew up in Malibu California and has been surfing since age 7. Mike was invited to surf in the Maverick’s contest in 2005, but due to a shoulder surgery could not compete. He came out swinging the next season and survived another shoulder injury! He has been a finalist in several of the biggest long board club contests held in Santa Cruz and Pacifica. He has been on PBS, The Learning Channel, and several local news stations and in several Maverick’s videos. He is also involved in his community, as the tandem surf coordinator for the Ride A Wave (R.A.W.) foundation (, which gives mentally, physically, and financially challenged kids and adults a day on the beach and a chance to experience the joy of the ocean.

Joel Tudor, Walter Hoffman, John Peck, Peter Cole, Bruce Brown, Linda Benson, Gerry Lopez (all pictured here) and Jack McCoy, Bud Browne and Fred Van Dyke, signed the collectible poster in this year’s special Surf Nite auction.

If you haven’t got your tickets for Surf Nite yet, do not wait! And don’t miss the chance the bid on a piece of history! In 2008, Surf Nite honored filmmaking pioneer Bud Browne, who was 95 years old at the time. He was surrounded by legendary surfers who had flown in from around the world to pay their respects, and we had them all sign a poster that commemorated the event. The poster was designed by longtime Surf Nite Coordinator, Tim Eidson.

We are now putting that poster up for grabs at this year’s Surf Nite, ten years later! Starting bid will be $500 and Surf Nite host, Adam Montiel (Coast 104.5) will auction this cool piece of memorabilia before the movie begins. This year’s Surf Nite is dedicated to surf filmmaker and two-time Surf Nite guest, Bruce Brown.

To read more about Surf Nite and purchase tickets, click here!

See you at the movies!

Wendy Eidson
SLO Film Fest Director