Jacob Szekely Bamboozles QS Judges With A Top Ropes Acid-Drop At Steamer Lane - Stab Mag

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Imagine a pre-heat ankle break... Photo by Brant Schenk

Jacob Szekely Bamboozles QS Judges With A Top Ropes Acid-Drop At Steamer Lane

Give it a score.

elsewhere // Nov 19, 2022
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: 3 minutes

This week at the reinstated O’Neill Coldwater Classic, Jacob ‘Zeke’ Szekely, the great villain of Stab Highway California introduced himself — flamboyantly as ever — to his Round of 64 heat with a caveman leap into the whitewash. He didn’t stomp it but, if he did, the judges would have been forced to score the first bona-fide acid drop in the history of the QS. And what would the score be – the WSL awards progression, no?

Regardless, the San Diegan made his heat, and headed to the next round of the most prestigious QS1000 this side of the Mississippi. 

Does screen recording count as copyright? Video:WSL

The towering cliffs at Steamer Lane have served as the amphitheater for many memorable moments in Northern Californian surfing history. They’ve seen hundreds of blowtails from the likes of Ratboy, Barney, Pete Mel, Nat Young, and countless other coldwater lords. They’ve also played spectator to many brawls, contests, and adult learners on Wavestorms getting cussed out by guys with face tattoos.

Earlier this year, the Steamer Lane cliffs were the launching pad for a handful of our daring Stab Highway Presented by Monster Energy surfers, who repeatedly sent 20-something-foot acid drops in an attempt to grab their own chunk of surfing history. Of yet, a successful acid drop has never been landed at The Lane, but not for lack of Jacob Szekely trying.

Everyone was glad to see the return of the Coldwater Classic. After a brief hiatus, the event returned this November for its 35th year, and some heavy hitters showed up to pay their Table Rock dues. 

Kolohe Andino out for blood. Photo by Andrew Nichols/World Surf League

As NorCal’s premier —and pretty much only — professional surfing contest, the Classic provides a stage for underdogs and local heroes to compete against guys like Griffin Colapinto, Nat Young, and Kolohe Andino. It’s pretty much the only QS1000 you’ll see CT surfers willingly travel for. 

The reason?

The waves nearly always provide, with this year as little exception.

After a few days of kelpy righthand bowls, Finals Day rolled around. The sun shone, the waves pumped, and the Men’s Quarterfinals saw local legends Shaun Burns and Sam Coffey facing some serious talent — Kolohe Andino and Ian Crane, respectively.

Taro Watanabe has a style you’ll be hearing a lot about in the coming years. Photo by Andrew Nichols/World Surf League

Unfortunately, both local boys fell out of the draw, leaving Wake-Ki disciple Taro Watanabe in the Final with Kolohe Andino. After besting Griffin head-to-head in the quarters, Taro took a heat-long lead against Brother. It looked as though his stylish bottom turns might prevail against the CT-level talent, but it was not to be. Kolohe blasted his way to the 7 he needed in the final moments, claimed it like he forgot it was a QS1000, and walked up the stairs with glory at his side.

Also, Ladybird Bella Kenworthy powered her way through a tough draw into the finals, falling in an evenly-matched heat to 17-year old Zoe Benedetto. We can’t wait til the CT is filled with these gals.

The points gathered in the Classic go towards potential Challenger Series qualification for surfers in the North American region. Though, on the mens side, most of them will go to Kolohe’s confidence. Hopefully he brings it at Pipe.

The winners also got REAL Megalodon tooth trophies. Photo by Andrew Nichols/World Surf League

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