The Pro division has been absolutely off the chain for the first two Am Slam events. Radical surfing from morning to final heat. Kei Kobayashi finished third in Event 1 while looking like the in-form surfer all day. In Event 2, he showed what a pro is. He saved his energy, didn’t go huge and waited patiently to make the finals. In the final, he made his mark early, dropping two high sixes in the tricky high tide conditions. Those scores held up for the rest of the final and he was able to walk away with the $2,000 first place prize. Second and third was a back-and-forth battle. Leandro Usuna (Argentina Olympic Representative) and local ripper Jeremy Carter were throwing big turns on their shorter waves and coming out of them to a huge cheering section. In the end, Leandro just nipped Jeremy by 0.16 and grabbed $1,000 for second. Jeremy took $650 for third and Yago Ramos (Brazil) took fourth and a $350 payday.
Day two offered up a lot more open face and the groms were loving it!!! The Women’s shortboard final was the best of Sunday. Three surfers Ella Mccaffray, Taylor Stacy and Tiare Thompson were all blowing up waves in the Women’s final. Tiare got a left hander that just stayed open for her and let her belt the lip three times for an 8.3. She followed up with a solid back up to take the victory with 13.13 points. Ella Mcaffray stayed close behind with two radical backhand waves that saw her do multiple stabs in the lip. Taylor Stacy had some radical turns of her own but she just couldn’t find the waves needed to really open up her surfing. The two ladies took second and third respectively.
Boys 14U was a one man show as grown-man-looking Paul Karscay was on a heater. Riding a quasi-fish board he was on another level, carrying a lot of speed from radical turn to radical turn. Newly minted Sun Diego Boardshops team rider Luke MacBeth and Ryder Smith were engaged in a see saw battle for second all heat with Luke besting Ryder at the final buzzer.
The Juniors/Men’s division is a great mix of young up and comers and wiley veteran surfers. Many of the Pro Am Competitors surf this division as well. It is really interesting to see the different approaches to six man 15-minute heats. Davi Toledo (Brazil) and Thatcher Johnson (Hawaii) made their intentions clear early as they went at it in the fun summery conditions. Airs and big turns were called for in the battle these two engaged in. When the dust settled Thatcher just squeaked by Davi for the dub and the massive prize pack to go along with it.
The Women’s longboard final saw super grom Reid Van Wagoner take the win with stylish boardwalking and solid maneuvers. In the Men’s longboard San Clemente local Ethan Mudge edged out Jack Van Wagoner for the win with extended nose riding at his local break.
San Clemente always shows up huge for Am Slam — what an amazing spot and local surf scene it holds!!
Can’t wait for the Am Slam time machine to take us all on a cosmic ride to Ocean Beach for event #3 August 21-22. We hope you can join us. Sign up for Event 3 here.
Thank you to all of our sponsors: Sun Diego Boardshops, RVCA, Bones Love Milk, Surface Suncare Systems, Creatures of Leisure, Spy, Nixon, Nomadix, Melin, and HydroFlask. Without them none of these events would be possible.