O.C. surfers shine at Nike Lowers Pro day 2
The second day of the Nike Lowers Pro saw mixed results for Orange County surfers, as the action heated up with 3 - 4 foot surf at Trestles.
The swell has dropped a bit, but that didn't stop some of the world's best surfers from tearing apart the skate ramp-like wave at Trestles, known as one of the best waves in the world for progressive surfing. The contest got underway under grey skies, but surf fans still layered up and showed up to support their favorite athletes and to see who is in contention for a piece of the $250,000 prize purse.
Huntington Beach surfer Brett Simpson was surfing strong, putting solid scores on the board during his 25-minute heat.
He was surfing smart, taking the sets as they rolled in and using a combination of power surfing and airs to post a 7.17 and 6.10 to win the heat.
"My game plan was to go out there and ease my way into it, but it was sporadic," he said. "It's Lowers, you gotta be ready for that... it's a bit spread out today, the rights swing wide. You're just begging for those south sets."
Simpson is on his third year on the ASP World Tour, sitting on the elite list of the 32 best surfers in the world. Even though the Lowers Pro is less points than the bigger contests, it allows him to enjoy time at home.
"I'm always excited to surf at Trestles, it's fairly close to home, it's one of those waves you really want to enjoy. I haven't had the success I've wanted out here in the past... I'm excited about the event. I guess that's what it comes down to. I wake up still nervous, it's just competition. I guess that's why I still love it. I'm just excited to do well."
Fellow Orange County surfer Luke Davis was unfortunately knocked out of the event. He went most of the heat without putting much of a score, then took the second spot as the clock ticked down, only to be knocked back to the third spot as the buzzer went off.
Ventura surfer Dane Reynolds kicked off the day with the big airs he's known for, posting big scores to win his heat. Reynolds is taking a break from competitive surfing, but showed up to Lowers to put on his jersey once again.
"I'm only competing part time this year, choosing the events where I like the wave and this is one of them," he said. "I'm stoked. it's definitely cool there's some swell for this event and everyone can cut loose a little bit."
San Clemente surfer Patrick Gudauskas was surfing strong, posting high scores of 8.27 and 7.17 to win his heat.
His brother Tanner Gudauskas and Huntington Beach' Tim Reyes surfed well on Tuesday, the first day of competition, and will be going up later today.
The event – now in its fifth year – is one of only two ASP Prime events held on the U.S. mainland, with the other being the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach in August. The prime event is huge for surfers because a win here is the same as a third-place finish at a World Tour event, meaning big points for those looking to stay or get on tour.
Watch it live at nikelowerspro.com