Changing Lanes

Competitors announced for the Coldwater Classic

| posted on October 01, 2013
Photo: Glaser

The Lane is no stranger to contest surfing, though it will look different come November than it has in the past. Photo: Glaser

As the longest running surf contest in North America, Santa Cruz’s Coldwater Classic has been drawing some of the biggest names in the sport for decades. While the contest has been a 6-star ’QS and World Tour event in the past, this year we’ll see an entirely different format. In an attempt to shine light on today’s blue-collar competitors—while simultaneously sprinkling in a dash of democracy to the event—the contest has barred sponsored surfers from the competition.

The new format welcomes 16 competitors: 10 unsponsored surfers will be invited and eight unsponsored competitors will be trimmed down to four via an online vote. Two wildcard surfers will be awarded slots as well. The event winner receives a sponsorship from O’Neill and $50,000 to chase the ‘QS.

With the comp scheduled for early November, contest officials recently released the names of the 10 invited surfers and the eight surfers that will be voted upon by the public. Each of the eight surfers submitted a 30- to 60-second video clip in hopes of making the cut. Among the final eight stands Hawaii’s Kalani Robb. A prominent member of the Momentum Generation, Kalani, now 36 years old, competed on the World Tour for a decade until he stepped off the circuit in 2005. But recently, while organizing our Momentum Reunion trip for the November issue, Kalani was adamant that he still felt that he had more to give to professional surfing. And after garnering the cover of that very issue, he was right.

“I like the idea that this event opens up the spotlight to more of the unknown, underground guys and allows them to make a name for themselves,” said Kalani. “I’m excited to see how the whole online video segment voting plays out. If I happen to make it into the event, I’d be super stoked. And yeah, if I were to actually win the whole thing, I’d definitely use that sponsorship to do a few ’QS events and make some cool clips. But then again, if I didn’t win, I’d be really stoked to see an underground guy come out on top, too.”

Also on the roster is Santa Cruz’s Noi Kaulukukui. Although he’s of Hawaiian descent, Noi is a Santa Cruz local through and through and has forged a very formidable reputation for himself out at The Lane. Like Kalani, Noi still feels that he has more to give to professional surfing. “I’ve recently taken a job with Smith and sort of thought that my days as a professional surfer were behind me,” says Noi. “But if I could win this event and get a sponsorship and chase the ’QS again, that could really change my life a lot. It could give me a second chance at my dream.”

For Killian Garland, who’s been sponsorless for more than a year now, the opportunity to compete at the Coldwater for an O’Neill sponsorship couldn’t have come at a better time. “I’m really pumped to have a shot at surfing in the event. I’m going to try and do a social media push to help drum up some votes. I’d love to get back out there and start chasing the ‘QS again,” he said. “Plus, I’d love an opportunity to compete at The Lane again. I have a lot of respect for Santa Cruz and the locals down there.”

The following eight surfers will be whittled down to four by the public in an online vote. Voting begins on Sept. 30 and will run until Oct. 6. Vote here.

Dylan Goodale
Killian Garland
Kalani Robb
Noi Kaulukukui
Quinn McCrystal
Billy Hopkins
Chris Foster
Andrew Jacobson

These 10 surfers have been invited into the event. Two wildcards will be announced at a later date.

Stu Kennedy
Granger Larsen
Wade Carmichael
Torrey Meister
Hank Gaskell
Dion Atkinson
Shaun Joubert
Ricardo Christie
Chris Waring
Cory Arrambide

  • Isabella

    Where is RUFFO, and our other local favorites??? This is so messed up this year, no big names and no popular locals!!!??? Well, I usually take time off to go, but not this year, BS!

    • Whitey B. Goode

      The idea is to give the sponsorship to a young pro looking to take on the tour. Not a 40+ year old local hero in the twilight of his career.

  • Tyler

    If you were doing an online voting contest, wouldn’t it have been smart to include Cam Richards in the list? Since he IS the one that generated so much buzz in the last online contest.

    • Alex Amato

      Cam’s sponsored

    • Whitey B. Goode

      Cam Richards is fully sponsored by Billabong. This event is for UN-SPONSORED SURFERS.

  • bob

    what about Matt Pagan kid is one to watch

    • Whitey B. Goode

      Matt Pagan is fully sponsored by Body Glove. This event is for UN-SPONSORED SURFERS!

  • Tarek Abd El Rahman

    great really

  • Steve Briggs

    Are you kidding us with some of these guys?! Isn’t Garland sponsored by Volcom? Kalani Robb has had his 15 minutes as well as $$$ made in his prime. Waring and Arrambide? Where’s Alex Smith? Sure you can’t make everyone happy but Kalani Robb? Why not the whole Momentum and New School crew if he is in. Weak sauce.

    • Whitey B. Goode

      Kilian does not have a main sponsor and has been off Volcom’s team for 2 years. What you are not taking into account is that Alex Smith, Gabe Kling, and others were asked but could not make it to the event.

  • John

    Really how the eff can they say there bringing in unsposored riders. Every rider on that list rides with more then one company sticker on there board. Doesn’t that mean their sponsored. I just think its unfair because there are guys just are good as these so called “unsponsored riders” who truly have no support from any comanies

    • Whitey B. Goode

      None of these surfers have a main sponsor John. Just because surfers have an accessory sticker on their board doesn’t mean they get any money. All these guy’s stickers on their boards get them some free sunglasses or traction pads, but ZERO DOLLARS! All these guys are hanging on to their careers for dear life and can’t afford to compete at the higher level where they belong.

      • EWL

        I totally get it, but wouldn’t it be beneficial for them and the attending crowd to also see the pros go at it too? It would give these guys even more exposure don’t you think.

        • AB

          Have you seen Granger, Stu, or Ricardo surf??? they all have missed getting on the tour by just a couple spots and deserve to have a great company like Oneill backing them. All you haters are just stupid, big ups to Oneill for putting this event on.

          • jason b

            Chris Waring has gotten a 2nd and a 4th at this event when it was a wqs. He absolutely rips (just ask the other pros). Granger has also been in a final at the lane. P.S. these guys are all pros. Most have gotten amazing results and are well known in the surfing community. Just cause your name isn’t Slater or Parko doesn’t mean you aren’t world class. A surfer would know this. Heard of Google. Do your research before you bad mouth these competitors who by the way have all been paying there dues for years. Great call Oneill. Bout time.

  • TY

    I thought this event was for unsponsored surfers? Many of those 10 invitees are sponsored by multiple companies. Am I missing something?

    • gannysesh

      You are, my friend. When they say “unsponsored” they mean “no MAJOR sponsors.” But I’m not totally sure what constitutes a major sponsor. Maybe it just means they don’t have a well-paying contract…? Dunno. I wish they explained it better.

      • dudes

        then why not CJ & Raoni? already on the CT with no major sponsor

  • EWL

    Dylan is sponsored by Spy! Also why would anyone want to attend an event of up and comers? I mean seriously. Exposure for surfing is not having guys no has heard of. I wont be spending my time watching this event online either. I fully back watching these guys free surf in videos or go up against Slaters, Reynolds, Smiths and so on. But to watch them go at each other I just don’t see. Especially in this great spot. O’neill screwed up!

    • Xnai

      The best thing for surfers chasing the dream is that they get to surf perfect waves. I think every invitee is more than happy to make a little trip to SC. Add the chance to tour other great spots and it’s on. O’neill takes on a generous role for the future of surfing.

  • .,

    A lot of idiots are posting on this article. Some clearly dont get the concept of sponsorship, or the concept of the QS. This isn’t just some random hand out to a decent surfer. Its so it allows them to chase the QS. That being said, hopefully Ricardo Christie gets it. NZ is so far away from everywhere, his travel costs must be double that of everyone else at least

  • john ortis

    dylan goodale rides for reed

  • Leo

    Where is Raoni Monteiro???? C’mon O’neill you drop him off before! Give the man a chance to! He is a REAL Warrior and prove it in Tahiti and paid the price to be a real surfer!

  • Jon

    NEver met the dude but I hope Ricardo Christie takes this one. Would be stoked to see that guy make it !!!

  • ZEUS

    it’s a shame all of these guys won’t make it in as wild cards, they all rip.