The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) 2-Star Ocean Beach PLA Pro and Ocean Beach PLA Pro presented by Gidget saw men’s and women’s professional longboarders battle through the early rounds of competition in stormy two foot (1 metre) surf at San Diego’s Ocean Beach Pier today with Noah Shimabukuro (Oceanside, CA), 27, and Jen Smith (San Diego, CA), 23, earning the day’s top honors.
All competitors competing on the ASP North America LQS have the opportunity to qualify for the ASP World Longboard Tour (WLT) by finishing within the top of the ratings on the regional series. Once qualified, surfers have the chance to battle the globe’s finest competitive longboarding talent for the title of ASP World Longboard Champion.
Shimabukuro kicked off his 2010 ASP LQS campaign in top form by securing the event’s highest heat total of 17.00 out of a possible 20 point score by capitalizing on two lengthy lefthanders peeling off of Ocean Beach Pier in his opening heat before effortlessly marching through his Round 2 heat.
“The stormy weather makes it tough, but it’s a good start to the year,” Shimabukuro said. “I like surfing Ocean Beach Pier, because there’s usually a good left and since I’m a goofy footer, I’m usually looking to capitalize on the lefts.”
The talented goofy-footer is hoping he can continue to build momentum throughout the San Diego based event and establish himself as a top threat on the regional ASP LQS as the season progresses.
“It’s a good first heat for me,” Shimabukuro said. “It’s nice that the PLA has put on a full American tour this year and I’m hoping to do all of the North American events.”
Smith, who is the reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Longboarding Champion, started strong at the Ocean Beach PLA Pro today, clinching two heat wins by navigating through the tough afternoon conditions with stylish noserides and committed turns.
“It’s really hard out there,” Smith said. “It’s stormy and bumpy and hard to even stay on your board.”
The San Diego native is capitalizing on her familiarity of the Ocean Beach Pier lineup while cashing in on the benefits of competing in an event in her home city.
“It’s great having an event close to home,” Smith said. “I was still relaxing at my house this morning at 11am before my heat. It’s just nice to not really have to drive very far or get on a plane to do a contest and to be able to sleep in my own bed.”
The two-time ASP Women’s World Longboard Champion is also using the 2010 ASP LQS season to hone her competitive skills in an attempt to defend her title while hunting for the ASP North America women’s longboard title as well.
“I’m definitely planning on trying to defend my World Title again,” Smith said. “There’s no reason for me not to. I plan on doing all of the North American events and hopefully can swoop up a North American title too.”
Tomorrow’s Ocean Beach PLA Pro and Ocean Beach PLA Pro presented by Gidget will see the men’s top seeds including former three-time ASP World Longboard Champion Colin McPhillips (San Clemente, CA), 34, and fellow ASP WLT competitors Taylor Jensen (Oceanside, CA), 25, and ASP WLT rookie Steve Newton (San Clemente, CA), 24, take to the water tomorrow. Both Men’s and Women’s Ocean Beach PLA Pro Champions will be crowned by day’s end.
For all of the LIVE action log on to www.surfpla.com
Ocean Beach PLA Pro Round of 56 Results:
Heat 1: Zack Howard (USA) 9.84, Mike Gillard (USA) 7.63, Jimmy Lee (USA) 1.03
Heat 2: Noah Shimabukuro (USA) 17.00, Isaac Wood (USA) 8.00, Scott Shannon (USA) 7.56, Krystan Stierne (USA) ns
Heat 3: Tim Reda (USA) 5.34, Ryan Pierce (USA) 4.40, Scott Flynn (USA) n/s, Duane DeSoto (HAW) n/s
Heat 4: Terry Gillard (USA) 10.03, Josh Rapozo (USA) 9.70, Job Ishiki (HAW) 8.60, Travis Long (USA) 2.27
Ocean Beach PLA Pro Round of 48 Results:
Heat 1: Zack Howard (USA) 12.27, David Arganda (USA) 11.00, Darren Eudaly (USA) 5.33, David Gotay (USA) 2.83
Heat 2: Seth Bowman (USA) 5.50, Mike Gillard (USA) 4.70, Brett Heimstra (USA) 4.50, Justin Brand (USA) 2.83
Heat 3: Noah Shimabukuro (USA) 14.16, Corey Hartwyk (USA) 5.90, Brandon Garske (USA) 4.80
Heat 4: Eric Marin (USA) 8.20, Blaine Lewis (USA) 7.43, Isaac Wood (USA) 7.40, Mike Lamprides (USA) n/s
Heat 5: Cameron Fullmer (USA) 6.07, Tim Reda (USA) 4.53, Artie Castro (USA) 1.54
Heat 6: Ty Roach (USA) 11.27, Cody Ulrich (USA) 7.07, David Carvalho (HAW) 5.70, Ryan Pierce (USA) 2.30
Heat 7: Terry Gillard (USA) 11.07, Bucky Barry (USA) 8.46, Wyatt Potts (USA) 7.46, Darryl Bowman (USA) 2.40
Heat 8: Josh Rapozo (USA) 10.43, Matt Elias-Calles (USA) 9.50, Ramon Perez (ESP) 6.93
Ocean Beach PLA Pro presented by Gidget Quarterfinals Results:
Heat 1: Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 9.84 def. Hallie Rohr (USA) 3.44
Heat 2: Jen Smith (USA) 14.16 def. Erin Lewis (USA) 10.66
Heat 3: Summer Romero (USA) 9.50 def. Kelly Nicely (USA) 7.83
Heat 4: Bianca Valenti (USA) 8.29 def. Marissa Graham (USA) 5.27
Ocean Beach Pro presented by Gidget Round of 16 Results:
Heat 1: Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 14.33, Erin Lewis (USA) 8.10, Kate Easton (USA) 6.17, Jennifer Lee (USA) 2.67
Heat 2:Jennifer Smith (USA) 12.33, Hallie Rohr (USA) 5.17, Amy King (USA) 4.20, Juli Warisaya (JPN) 3.97
Heat 3: Kelly Nicely (USA) 11.84, Marissa Graham (USA) 5.57, Christiana Pires (BRA) 3.23, Tory Gilkerson (USA) 2.07
Heat 4: Summer Romero (USA) 11.33, Bianca Valenti (USA) 11.33, Anneke Barrie (USA) 5.14, Kaitlin Maguire (USA) 1.40