This Doesn’t Feel Like A Surf Contest
Day 1 of the Quiksilver Young Guns Surf final.
The bus groaned and grumbled and fought its way up and down steep jungle roads. After two hours, just as dawn was breaking, it finally roared to a stop. And there it was: the wave. A right with an air section, a turn section, a tube section, any section, every section. Weariness was rubbed off of eyes, wax was rubbed onto 5’7”s and just like that, the 2017 Quiksilver Young Guns final began.
In case you missed this post (we forgive you), the #YGSurf final uses the same format as the earlier stages of the event – it’s a competitive freesurf with an emphasis on airs, turns and combos. It doesn’t feel like a surf contest. It feels like a surf trip with friends. Except, “friends” happen to be the best teenage surfers in the world.
With the whole crew finally in town, the past two days have been spent settling in. As in, setting in to barrels. The waves have been firing and the Young Guns have been smoking…or maybe that was just a trash fire down the way. At any rate, the level is incredibly high. And it keeps on getting shoved higher.
Back to the “contest.” In the first heat of the morning, Dwight Pastrana stuck a full roter. On a left. At a right. Onto dry reef. That’s good for a 9, little fella. Not to be outdone, Kehu Butler went big with a barrel and a turn. Pretty good for a dude who lost half of the skin on his back after a rendezvous with the reef yesterday.
However, Kael Walsh was the day’s best — he earned himself a 9 in all three categories. After three years of making the final, this is his last chance to seal the deal before he’s too old. Fair to say he wants that $10K.
The good news: we should be back on tomorrow. The great news: there is a big swell coming. We’ll keep you updated. Until then, dig some photos of the action and the warmups.