Surf candy from the Nike Lowers Pro
6:30 am. Phone cam shot of my walk to Lowers for the final day of the Nike Lowers Pro 2012 surf contest. Pat and Tanner Gudauskas sat a few seats down from us at the sushi place the night before. They were big smiles and totally calm, as usual, but I was so excited for them I almost couldn’t get through my soft shell crab roll. Ends up none of my guys made it past the quarter finals, but it was still a killer week and so much fun! Hope you’re enjoying all this surf candy, I’m just going where the days take me and these are some good days!
This is a typical sight at Trestles cuz there’s no car access which is one of the reasons the place is so pristine. It has this unique smell of salty air mixed with the licorice scent of wild fennel. I love it! Reminds me of all the Saturdays we’d drive down here from LA for surf and be walking the trail as the sun was still coming up over the mountains. I still can’t believe this is where we live!
Heitor Alves. Def a fave of mine! A solid, smooth, surfer!
Tanner on a morning surf before the finals.
Patrick Gudauskas, the older bro of Tanner. A lot of the surfers kind of put on this coolness with the dark shades and hoodies and hide out in the clubhouse all week. Not these guys, they don’t get sucked into the VIP shuffle, they hang on the beach with their fam and friends. On day 2 I walked the trail back to the parking lot with them and their parents. They are living the dream! Getting paid to have fun.
John John Florence and Pat Gudauskas heading out for a surf before the contest started.
Gabriel Medina. Still a kid and an incredible surfer. He hardly ever falls. I watched him land an aerial on his back and manage to abs his way upright for a landing. Nuts!
Dane Reynolds. He’s one of my favorites to watch. Pulls the craziest maneuvers. He does pro surfing his way!
Adrian “Ace” Buchan. The guy kind of comes and goes on the beach without a lot of fanfare but he knocks it out in the water. Might have just moved up into my top 5 this week. I’m fascinated with the preshow meditative focus a lot of these guys have. This shot is golden!
And so is this! Gabriel Medina has the longest pre heat prep of anyone I noticed. He goes off by himself for a series of stretches with his big white headphones. They come off and it’s stillness. He has a huge entourage of family there, they give him his distance. Quite beautiful to witness. AND he has the coolest board. Red stripes?? Done!
His prayer paid off! Gabriel Medina, the 18 year old from Brazil, wins it!