May 25, 2009

Department of Beards Special Update: David Traver wins 2009 World Beard & Mustache Championships

A local Alaskan won the 2009 World Beard & Mustache Championships! God Bless America, we can compete on the global beard stage!

From the Anchorage Daily News:
[David] Traver was among 300 competitors from around the globe who converged here over the weekend for the 2009 World Beard and Moustache Championships. His beard, dyed several colors and woven into the shape of a snowshoe, beat out more than 140 others to become the coolest beard in the world. He took home a commemorative gold pan and a salmon fishing trip. [...]

Along with his overall title, Traver took first in the freestyle beard competition, a category that's been dominated by Germany since the contest began in the early '90s.

"They have never lost in full beard freestyle, but not yesterday. Yesterday is the first time they got knocked off," he said. "They were humble, and you have to respect that."

Outdoing the Germans in the category for avant-garde whiskers took ingenuity, he said. Plus, they were getting predictable.

With his beard stylist, Ledjha Carson, Traver months ago started brainstorming a beard shape that was "out of the box," he said. They considered eagle wings, moose antlers and a sled dog team before settling on the snowshoe. It took Carson 90 minutes to weave it the day of the competition.

"She wanted it right. She was very meticulous," he said. "But my neck is still stiff."

Traver, who is 43 and works as a driver for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, got into facial hair competition locally about 10 years ago with the Mr. Fur Face competition during Fur Rendezvous. After that, he got involved with the South Central Alaska Beard and Moustache Club, which bid to bring the international championships to Anchorage this year -- beating out Liechtenstein. He dedicated his win to his father, David Traver, who died in September.

Traver enjoys being immersed in the beard-positive environment of the competition, he said.

Sadly, Travers is now going to shave it off. The next championship will be held in Trondheim, Norway, in 2011.

More from itwaslost's Department of Beards here.

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