Oakley Big Day Out Surf Series
A pack of hungry groms emerges from the fog like zombies. "The Night of the Living Dead" is morning at the Taco Bell Reef in Huntington Beach. Although I can’t see far, I know the hidden waves are not horror sequels. Still, the two-to-four footers will offer some workable sections for the grom pack, once they finish devouring registration and filling the 80-plus slots in the free funfest. Although the air will still hang wet in early heats, the water at 9th street will see high scoring in early heats.
By 11 A.M. the fog lifts, the wind is calm, and the biggest problem is the surfer swarm that buzzes the contest area, salivating for a taste of the rippable waves. The surf is improving and so is the view. I can see that these competitors are no strangers to this peak. Early action is dominated by Chase Kane and John Ellis in the Mini-Groms. Eddie Ellis capitalizes on some long lefts in the Boys Division. But the day belongs to the Oakley regional team in the Juniors. Dita Saraiva and Marty Weinstein pull double duty, surfing for HSS in the shop challenge and all the way to the finals in the Junior Division.
The shop challenge goes down at high noon, and it’s a shoot-out. HSS, Jack’s and two Infinity board shop teams do battle. HSS scores the Oakley Thump music eyewear, and the Oakley Saddleback timepiece goes to Jack’s. Infiniti rounds out the field with some new style Oakley shades that everybody wants to check out.
After the shop challenge there’s an impromptu expression session with the Oakley groms releasing their water demons. Kalhoe Andino, Luke Davis, Tanner Rozunko and Andrew Steelman all offer to surf for twenty minutes to give the judges "a much deserved break." (More like owning the water with three of your friends.) Everybody refuels on salty carbos and the action resumes with the quarterfinals for the Boys and Juniors. The water is up enough to make combos swell and offer some peaky waves. Strategy involves waiting on the outside for a set, getting in some good hooks and pumping to the inside bowl.
Thanks to all the judges, Tim @ Futures, Twitty, Benji and the Oakley crew. The Big Day Out resumes in central Florida over Memorial Day weekend. On June 11th, it moves to Steamer Lane at Santa Cruz for the last event of the season. For more info, email BDO@oakley.com.