With a bevy of head-high sets slipping through the Lowers lineup, surfers competing in the second day of the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro made quick work of the cordial conditions, keeping the judges on a steady drip of progressive surfing. Watching the event unfold from the scaffolding, one thing is abundantly clear: professional surfing’s age-old adage of “three to the beach” is about as dated as the Macarena and baggy jeans. To make a 21st-century heat, the judges are looking for an innate mastery of top-to-bottom rail surfing coupled with an above-the-lip and fins-free arsenal on lockdown. Perhaps no one embodied that new millennial approach to modern surfing today better than San Clemente’s own Nate Yeomans.
Surfing in one of the last heats of the day, the goofyfoot appeared confident as he dismantled the lefts on his forehand. But it was his backhand hacks along the cobblestone reef rights that set him apart in his heat today.
As Lowers often does, a set appeared along the horizon that swung south and produced a slew of growing right-handers ripe for the picking. In an all out sprint to the peak, Yeomans took off on one of the cleanest and open-ended waves of the day and went to town, throwing up a barrage of tweaked snaps, speed floaters, and carves all the way through to the inside section. When Yeomans kicked out mere yards from the scaffolding, the surfers in the competitor’s tent stood to their feet and whistled in approval. The judges were equally impressed and responded in kind by dropping a 9.47, leaving Yeomans with the highest heat total of the day, a combined 18.24, and a new-found respect from those who watched his heat first-hand.
“I was actually positioning myself for the left because I saw everyone scrambling for the right and I was able to get underneath them,” Yeomans said of his 9-point wave. “I knew it was going to be a nice right, and I was able to get a couple of good turns and it had a nice wall so I was able to ride it all the way through. I knew it was going to be a good score, so when I heard the 9-point score, I was like, yeah, I like that!”
Other standout performances included Dane Reynolds and Taylor Knox, two proud California-grown surfers that have held long-lasting relationship with Lowers. Although the two surfers represent different generations, both looked equally at home and in the driver’s seat today in their respective heats. Thus far, it seems the surfers calling California home have proven most vicious. Stay tuned to Surfemag.com to see if the Golden State surfers can continue their reign of dominance as we bring you the action daily from the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro.
6.0 Lowers Pro Round of 96 Results: (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 5: Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.60, Simao Romao (BRA) 12.26, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 11.13, Jesse Merle-Jones (HAW) 10.17
Heat 6: Eric Geiselman (USA) 14.23, Dylan Graves (PRI) 13.93, Marco Polo (BRA) 11.93, Leigh Sedley (AUS) 8.67
Heat 7: Mitchel Coleborn (AUS) 14.84, Evan Valiere (HAW) 13.83, Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.46, Kirk Flintoff (AUS) 9.47
Heat 8: Tim Boal (FRA) 12.93, Mike Losness (USA) 8.47, Casey Brown (HAW) 8.43, T.J. Barron (HAW) 8.37
Heat 9: Heitor Alves (BRA) 15.73, Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 15.43, Shaun Ward (USA) 13.80, Federico Pilurzu (CRI) 13.80
Heat 10: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 15.17, Neco Padaratz (BRA) 13.13, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 10.97, Kieran Horn (USA) 7.23
Heat 11: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 12.43, Jay Thompson (AUS) 11.03, Warwick Wright (ZAF) 8.17, Teppei Tajima (JPN) 8.15
Heat 12: Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 12.73, Flynn Novak (HAW) 9.70, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 9.33, Matt King (USA) 7.02
Heat 13: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 17.83, Gavin Gillette (HAW) 14.77, Paul Fisher (AUS) 14.53, Brad Ettinger (USA) 12.04
Heat 14: Granger Larsen (HAW) 12.20, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 11.92, Pablo Paulino (BRA) 11.14, Evan Geiselman (USA) 8.95
Heat 15: Ben Bourgeois (USA) 17.26, Charlie Brown (BRA) 13.43, Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 12.53, Marlon Lipke (DEU) 10.77
Heat 16: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 14.17, Torrey Meister (HAW) 12.33, Cory Lopez (USA) 11.83, Dustin Barca (HAW) 7.73
Heat 17: Taylor Knox (USA) 14.77, Marcio Farney (BRA) 14.50, Kai Barger (HAW) 12.90, Luke Cheadle (AUS) 9.17
Heat 18: Austin Ware (USA) 16.83, Brett Simpson (USA) 12.70, Bruno Rodrigues (USA) 12.23, Jason Miller (USA) 10.53
Heat 19: Rob Machado (USA) 14.53, Daniel Ross (AUS) 11.30, Dane Gudauskas (USA) 8.83, Ola Eleogram (HAW) 3.66
Heat 20: Dane Reynolds (USA) 17.07, Chris Waring (USA) 16.97, Anthony Petruso (USA) 10.42, Parrish Byrne (AUS) 9.77
Heat 21: Nat Young (USA) 17. 76, Nic Muscroft (AUS) 16.40, Ricky Whitlock (USA) 11.16, Darrell Goodrum (USA) 10.20
Heat 22: Alain Riou (PYF) 13.67, Luke Dorrington (AUS) 13.23, Nathaniel Curran (USA) 12.17, Hank Gaskell (HAW) 11.10
Heat 23: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 18.24, Travis Logie (ZAF) 14.00, Jesse Heilman (USA) 12.40, Sean Moody (HAW) 9.00
Heat 24: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 14.67, Marcelo Trekinho (BRA) 11.54, Tonino Benson (HAW) 8.36, Shea Lopez (USA) 12.20