On July 28 at 4 pm, the spectators surrounding the Oceanside Pier had a double-feature; the pro-surfers in the water and the hand-standers in the sand by the rocks.
This was the second day of the Supergirl Surf Pro competition.
Michael Gutierrez was mounting what appeared to be a pair of candlesticks.
“It looks like you guys are taking some of the attention away from the champion surfers,” I said.
Gutierrez laughed and said: “We’ll see who has the strongest upper-body.”
Gutierrez is a handstand instructor from North County Hand-balancing Krew, a group of hand-balancers that practice by the Oceanside pier on Saturdays, the OB pier on Wednesdays, and at the Santa Monica pier on certain Sundays.
“We can do anything from handstands, side bends, stabs,” he said,
There were four pairs of hand-balancing canes made of sticks with blocks on top that measure about three-five inches wide where your hands grab on to; on the other side, the sticks are mounted on solid metal bases which rest in the sand. The crew had a set of parallel bars that measured about three feet tall.
“Hand-balancing stems off from the circus,” Gutierrez said, “a lot of people that get into it are yogis, gymnasts, regular dancers ….
While we interviewed, another hand-balancer wearing colorful socks and fatigue-patterned cargo-shorts jumped on the three-foot canes; he kicked his legs up in sort of an aú batido manner from capoeira, but froze still so his legs were positioned to form the letter “L” reminiscent of the L-kick breakdance maneuver that I once did.
“Breakdancers are some of the best at this,” Gutierrez said. “They start out with a practice very similar to this.”