All things came together for this year's Assn. of Surfing Professionals Prime Event, the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro. A pumping southwestern swell hit midweek, giving the top surfers in the world waves 4 to 6 feet high with some 8-foot sets, with good shape. The rights and lefts were both firing with sunny skies and pretty much glassy conditions most days.
In the final, East Coast sensation Gabe Kling caught the biggest waves, threw some mean slashes and some big old roundhouse cutbacks to ice the first-place prize of $20,000. Second was Aussie ripper Chris "Davo" Davidson, who was pretty much going off, too, slashing away on the right-handers and throwing water, but still needed a moderate score for the win at the end.
In the semis, Kling took out an in-form three-time world champ, Hawaiian Andy Irons, who buckled his magic board on his first wave and never regained momentum. In the other semi, "Davo" beat Brazilian Adriano de Souza, who was hot all event, busting some sick air moves. Making the quarters was No. 2 in the world standings, South African Jordy Smith.
In the Oakley Pro Junior final, Newport Beach's Andrew Doheny was selective, getting the biggest and best waves, and made them count for some big scores with some hard-driving carving turns, throwing huge sprays and edging the hot goofy foot from Santa Cruz, Nat Young. Young was flying through sections and hitting killer slashes to take second as Hawaiians Dylan Goodale and Tyler Newton were third and fourth, respectively.
The season's winding down with only a few events left. The Western Surfing Assn.'s West Coast Championships are Saturday and Sunday at Church's in San Clemente. And the National Scholastic Surfing Assn.'s West Coast Championships are at the Huntington Beach Pier Wednesday to May 23.
Well, friends, surfers and readers alike, I hoped you liked some of the columns I've written over the last 10 years. It's been fun.
I started writing with the idea of getting some print for a lot of our surfers who were excelling but weren't getting any publicity like other sports, and with the hopes of making surfing more mainstream with international updates. Due to budget cuts, time has run out. This is the last one.
Keep stoked on surfing, and I'll see you in the surf zone. The Rockin' Figster signing off!