Bill “Beaker” Bryan was completely in his element Sunday night.
The skimboarding legend from Laguna Beach stood in the packed room at Seven Degrees, a smile on his face and a drink in his hand, watching the premiere of the skimming movie “Up in Stoke.”
Bryan and his brother George — under the name “10th Street Bros.” — made the movie. And, as it played on the various screens at the after-party for the 33rd annual Victoria Skimboards World Championship of Skimboarding, Bryan didn’t stop smiling.
Bryan, 36, has won “The Vic” 14 times. This year, he again made it to the pro division final but finished fourth competing against three other guys from Laguna, although he wasn’t too disappointed in what he said were poor wave conditions.
All three of Bryan’s competitors in the pro final were more than a decade younger. Winner Brandon Sears is 25, Paulo Prietto is 24 and Sam Stinnett is just 16. Stinnett wasn’t born yet when Bryan started his remarkable run at The Vic by winning it in 1991.
The competitor in Bryan might have been upset at the fourth-place finish, but he was all smiles.
“For Brandon Sears, that was a life’s work,” Bryan explained. “He’s been skimming with me, against me since he was 8 years old. And he finally beats his idol, and I’m totally cool with it, because he’s totally respectful and he’s such an awesome individual. I couldn’t be happier. If the waves were better, I might have been [upset], but since it wasn’t, I can let go of it.