World's Best Surfers Head to Florida for King of the Peak
Quiksilver’s Skins Format Surf Contest Starts November 7 At Florida’s Sebastian Inlet
(Sebastian Inlet, Florida) October 28, 2009 – For easily one of the toughest surfing contests on the Eastern Seaboard, competitors and spectators alike have cleared their schedules for the 15th Annual Quiksilver King of the Peak Skins Pro-Am, which returns to Sebastian Inlet, Florida, on November 7 and has a waiting period through November 15. The event runs over two days, utilizing the best two days of surf within the waiting period. Commencing at a time of year when nor’easters begin kicking up solid swells, Sebastian Inlet’s north jetty promises to be the place where the globe’s best competitive and free surfers slug it out for $10,000* and the coveted crown.
Each year, King of the Peak contest director Matt Kechele fills 92 heat slots, drawing touted international pros away from their respective November preoccupations to challenge Florida’s best surfers. Ninety-two surfers compete in two rounds, with 46 heats total, as they vie for the $10,000 purse. The $100 entry fee from each surfer is pooled together comprising the award money. Within each heat a surfer must determine what he feels is his best wave by holding his hands up after the completion of the scoring ride, making his “claim” and submitting to the judges the wave for which he’ll be scored. For each heat win, surfers are awarded a $200 skin and advance to the next heat. The unique format is both equitable and fair, leveling the playing field as all entrants’ names are thrown into a hat and randomly selected, producing eclectic match-ups throughout the draw. On the second day, drawn names are flipped upside down, shuffling the field and allowing each competitor a second chance at redemption and prize money. The surfer with the most skins at the end of the two-day contest is crowned winner and Quiksilver’s King of the Peak.
The history of past showdowns reads nicely, including former Association of Surfing Professionals World Champions, former World Championship Tour notables, and free surfing savants – interspersed with local legends and top East Coast pros. Originally conceptualized in 1995 by Kelly Slater, who wanted to institute a homegrown event at the place where he first started pushing the barriers of performance, the inaugural King of the Peak doubled as a fundraiser to bring attention to the potential closing of Slater’s alma mater, Cocoa Beach High School. Today, the contest remains the nation’s most popular skins event.
- ‘95 Kelly Slater, Cocoa Beach, Fl
- ‘96 Cancelled
- ‘97 Todd Morcom, Melbourne Beach, Fl
- ‘98 Bill Hartley, Indialantic, Fl
- ‘99 Eric Hatton, Fernandina Beach, Fl
- ‘00 David Speir, Melbourne, Fl
- ‘01 Kelly Slater, Cocoa Beach, Fl
- ‘02 CJ Hobgood, Satellite Beach, Fl
- ‘03 Brian Hewitson, Indialantic, Fl
- ‘04 Justin Jones, Melbourne Beach, FL
- ‘05 Kyle Garson, Melbourne Beach, FL
- ‘06 Jeremy Johnston, New Smyrna Beach, FL
- ‘07 Eric Taylor, Vero Beach, FL
- ’08 Cody Thompson, Jacksonville Beach, FL
*Based on a field of 82 surfers and limited to a maximum of 92 surfers
For more information about Quiksilver’s King of the Peak, or other Quiksilver events, please visit www.quiksilver.com/surf; also, be sure to check the King of the Peak update hotline at (321) 259-5443 for updates prior to the event!
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* Boardriding is about timing and style. It’s youthful, active, casual, and free flowing. There is no wrong way to ride a board. The goal is simply to learn, progress, improve, and give it your own interpretation.
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