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2007 NSSA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS Doubling Down at Lowers

| posted on July 22, 2010

June 29,2007
What’s the first thing you would expect to see when you get to the NSSA National Surf Championships? Maybe an 85-pound frame flying across an overhead peak or a pack of tow-headed groms plotting their next prank?

Well, what you’ll actually see at the 2007 NSSA National Surf Championships is anywhere between eight and twelve young men seated at a poker table. Their inexpressive faces mask their excitement about the event, and their eyes are on the prize – the poker prize that is. The winner of Nike 6.0′s Trestles Hold ‘Em Poker Table can win items ranging from iPods to cash to surf trips. No wonder the kids’ attention has diverted from the two-foot surf.

“That will be the last time we re-run a heat,” blared the announcer’s voice from the P.A. atop the scaffolding. “There are contestable waves out there today, so please surf them.”

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In fact, the first heat of Round Two in the Open Junior’s Competition saw each of the competitors refuse to catch a wave.

“There were no waves with about three minutes left so we all decided that if a set didn’t come through before time ran out we wouldn’t catch a wave,” said NSSA West Coast Champion, Nat Young.

And that’s just what they did. In the Second Round of Nationals, after twenty minutes in the water the surfers paddled right back to the beach.

“That will be the last time we re-run a heat,” blared the announcer’s voice from the P.A. atop the scaffolding. “There are contestable waves out there today, so please surf them.”

Pointing to a set that just rolled in, Nat claims, “There are waves in most heats, so [the competition] has been going pretty well. I guess they’ll just re-run our heat.”

Lackluster surf aside, a lot of groms remain enthusiastic about the event.

“Of course I’m excited. It’s the biggest contest of the year. Plus, it’s at Lowers. You really get a chance to show your skills at a wave like this. I wouldn’t be nearly as psyched if it weren’t at Lowers,” said Hawaiian phenom Alex Smith.

The sixteen-year-old has fared well thus far, making the Open Explorer Final and still going strong in the Men’s division. Smith admits, however, that his success started off with a few blunders.

“In my first heat I got a triangle on a wave then I broke my side fin off. Luckily, I still managed to make it out.”

Alex’s little brother, Koa, has met similar success. “I already made two finals, and the Semis in the Open Boys’ Division. It’s kinda small out there, but every once in a while there’s a pulse.”

Despite the small surf, the groms’ collective energy is certainly pulsing along Trestles’ rocky shores. Between the poker cards flying, the hoots and hollers of concerned surf parents, and the snapping of camera lenses, NSSA’s is certainly in full effect. Southern California can enjoy the gremmies running wild for another day, and hopefully the only time we see a surfer paddle to the beach is after a heat full of good waves.