July 26, 2016

How to Watch the Hurley Pro at Trestles

Every now and then, one of my road trips coincides with a professional surfing event. In September 2015, a road trip to San Diego gave me the opportunity to watch the Hurley Pro at Trestles, an event that is part of the World Surf League's Men's World Championship Tour (the coinciding women's event is the Swatch Women's Pro.)

The 2015 Hurley Pro turned out to be a memorable one.  It featured intense heats with world title implications, a nostalgic Heritage Series Expression Session with some legendary surfers, and Kelly Slater's controversial 4.17 score in the quarterfinals (on a ride in which he lost his board during an aerial maneuver but remounted it to finish the wave.)  But perhaps most memorable was Mick Fanning's gut-check performance after his horrifying shark encounter at J-Bay that led to his victory in the event.

Though I wasn't there for the entire event, I did get to experience enough of it to share some advice on how to watch the Hurley Pro at Trestles next year or in the years to come.

March 5, 2016

Mitch's Surf Shop

"He doesn't really do interviews," a shop employee told me after I told him about my blog and inquiried if the older man behind the front sales counter was the owner. "But you can still ask him."

"I don't really do interviews," the man behind the counter said in a polite, soft-spoken manner when I explained to him why I was there. But then he told me that I could talk to one of his shop managers and ask him anything I liked. When I asked if I could take pictures inside the shop he said "Sure, go ahead."

So I ended up talking to Carter, the shop manager on duty the day I walked into Mitch's Surf Shop in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, CA.  He confirmed that the man behind the counter was indeed the owner, Mitch.  He explained that Mitch (who asked that his last name not be used) was a very private and humble person who didn't really care for much attention or acclaim. But as he spoke about Mitch's background and his shop, I came to understand just how private and humble he was, because he had a lot to brag about.

October 23, 2015

BC Surf Shop

The 2015 Hurley Pro at Trestles was a memorable one.  If you were there, you got to see intense heats with world title implications, Mick Fanning's gut-check performance after two previous confidence-shaking events, a nostalgic Heritage Series Expression Session with some legendary surfers, and Kelly Slater's controversial 4.17 score in the quarterfinals that will be debated for a long time to come.

Besides watching some world-class surfing at the Hurley Pro, I took some time during a recent road trip to San Diego to check out some local surf shops and their original shop t-shirts. My first stop was in San Clemente, the closest beach town to the Trestles surf break where the Hurley Pro took place.  There I ventured into BC Surf Shop, which lays claim to the title of San Clemente's oldest surf shop.

September 23, 2015

2015 Hurley Pro at Trestles Round 4 Heat 2

When you plan a vacation around a surfing event, you have to take chances with your arrival and departure dates.

WSL World Championship Tour events typically unfold over a nearly two week window.  In the case of the 2015 Hurley Pro at Trestles, it had an 11-day window, from September 9th-20th.

If you can't get that kind of time off from work, you have to plan your trip in a way that gives you the best chance of catching at least some of the event, if not all of it.

I took my chances by arriving on the 11th.  It was bad luck for me that the event went off on the first three days of the window.

Further complicating matters, the swell that hit Trestles on the 9th was forecast to subside gradually over the next couple of days.  The next swell wasn't expected until the 17th, the day I planned to leave.

Fortunately for me, both the Men's and Women's World Championship Tour were at the Hurley Pro, so there was a lot of surfing to get through.  I also caught a break because the surf held up into Saturday, which was the only day I was able to catch.

By then, the men were already into the fourth round.  I was able to get some good video from some heats in that round. And I also caught the Heritage Series Expression Session.  Those videos are in another post.

This post features the Round 4 Heat 2 match-up between Adriano de Souza, Joel Parkinson, and Wigolly Dantas.

September 22, 2015

Heritage Series Expression Session at 2015 Hurley Pro at Trestles

Ever since I saw the documentary Bustin' Down the Door, I wanted to see some of those surfers from the early years of professional surfing.  Heritage Series heats at WSL events allow surf fans to watch professional surfers from years past perform.  The Heritage Series at the 2015 Hurley Pro allowed me to fulfill my wish.