Previewing the 6.0 Lowers Pro

| posted on April 28, 2010


By Shea Lopez

Change. That’s been the war cry for the ASP in 2010. Lost in all the World Tour confusion of mid-season cuts, new formats, and judging overhauls was the introduction of the Prime series. For surfers either looking to qualify or just stay on the World Tour, the Prime series events are a must to attend. A new points system has placed such a high value to the Primes that it is no longer necessary to chase every 6 star halfway around the world all year. The implementation of the new Prime series creates a World Tour caliber event with many of the World Tour surfers— and every surfer with aspirations of making it to the World Tour—on hand and in a singlet. For the upcoming 6.0 Lowers Prime event, a staggering 36 of the 45 World Tour surfers will be competing. When you add the world’s best young surfers to that group at a world-class wave, this comp could very well be the best event of 2010.

If the judges want to see and score big moves, there is no better wave than Lowers. With the perfect combination of power to generate speed, crumbly lip to project off of, and a marshmallow landing strip, progressive surfing and the new judging criteria will be put to it’s biggest test yet.

Going back longer than I care to remember, surfers have yearned for the judging to catch up to the level of surfing performed. Without proper reward for risk, many explosive surfers scaled things back to the judging criteria. For the veterans competing, this brings both opportunity and a test to their careers. I’ll use my brother, Cory, as an example: He’ll finally have the opportunity to surf a heat at Lowers in the same way he freesurfed the place daily as a grom. The test will be if he can break his old habits by surfing up to the new criteria and stay ahead of a strong rookie class looking to make up for a slow start this year.

For a number of California-bred rookies, they’ll finally be able to surf a heat in familiar waters. After a long stay in Oz and a quick blast to Brazil, you can rest assured that the Cali contingency appreciate being able to drive their own car, sleep in their own bed, and field a million questions about the World Tour from friends and family.

Among the new crop of rookies, Nate Yeomans has started the year as slow as possible with three 33rds. If there’s ever a setting for Nate to break out of his rut, it’s gonna come from his homebreak at Lowers. San Clemente is proud of their surfers, so expect a very focused and locally supported effort from Nate and local fans.

For Huntington’s Brett Simpson to find some traction, he’ll need to get back to basics. Grinding out multiple heats at Lowers should help him settle down and just surf. A simple routine of catching good waves and completing his rides will see him win almost every heat. When you have that much talent and endless possibilities to the waves you ride, the basics can be forgotten in the process. For Simpson, Lowers couldn’t come at a better time.

For Pat and Tanner Gudauskas, the pair seems to be quite comfortable at home surfing on the World Tour as rookies. At Lowers they’ll be practically in their backyard competing. You know they want to take home that big 1st-place check so they can add a pool to the family backyard.

With a phenomenal webcast planned for the Nike 6.0 Lowers event, you can plan on viewing surf-movie-caliber rides every heat. Complete with slow-mo replays and expert analysis, the Prime series is stepping up as a Dream Tour of it’s own. The only thing left is a dreamy south swell to turn Lowers into Heaven on Earth.

The 6.0 Lowers Pro begins on May 4 – 8 / photo credit: Grant Ellis

  • whamo

    I used to surf Lower’s alone in the late 60’s and early 70’s. It’s kind of unreal to see this circus come into town these days. Something’s gained, but something’s lost. I’ll try to go down and watch this contest if I can. If not, I’ll watch it on the computer. I hope they get an eight-foot swell so they can enjoy some “real” Lowers.

  • Jimmy Hoffman

    Good article Shea! I never knew that you had such fine writing skills!!!

  • Bratton

    Nice to see your perspective on all this stuff lately, Shea. Although we’d love to see you still competing, it’s really nice to get your well seasoned yet still fresh take on all things surf. Solid addition to the journalistic mix. Good stuff.

  • Dan Johnson

    Me and my Friends Showed up here for a high school Reunion surf contest I was 20 the waves were 25 foot faces on the outer reef I was the only one out on the outer reef no one had any balls but me it was great i put all my friends to shame plus a few pros plus the topper was the photo for surfer heard about how i was ripping it they filmed all of me and that is a true story and it has never broke out there ever and its been 32 years i can still surf great i love surfing it looked just like huge pipe line and that hollow i was getting so far back in the tube and it was spitting like pipe line that’s what they get for making me go out no matter what and how big and calling me all the names that you can think of thank you friends are would of never had the balls to do it so when your friends call you out shut them down like me see you out there hey dont drop in on my wave am old and will shoot my board right up your ass punk felling lucky just wait i will be living right down the street here this summer and i am joining the pro surfing so be aware a old dude is taking your belt punks ha ha ha !!!!

  • whamo

    It’s going to be neat to see what the current professional surfers do at Lower’s, providing, of course, it goes off. As for Dan Johnson, I’ve never seen Lower’s over 12 feet, and I lived at Riviera beach for 35 years. Furdog got the biggest wave I’ve ever seen there, almost a decade ago, back when the contest guys were in town. Lopez’ writing on surfing shows a lot of insight, and SURFER would be wise to keep publishing his work.

  • Matty

    haha classic jimmy! its true tho

  • sporty ken

    I love surf mag its got everything you need to know about the now the past and the future,as for Dan The Man Johnson he is a kook……

  • Mike

    Reads like a commercial Sheapea, glossed over and easy to digest. You’re credibility should have you writing commercials for as long as you want… and this is a good one. We’ll see in September, but March and April weren’t quite the “dream” you’ve promised for Trestles.

    I guess the whole sport is sticking it’s neck out on a fall schedule after deciding the southern hemisphere fall/early winter warranted a pass.

  • Tom

    I surfed Lowers 35 foot and Jimmy was so scared, he hid in the Uppers shack pretending to be too drunk.

  • Shawn Santos

    Great article, but something is missing. When is the contest?

  • swell

    comp is may 4th-8th. looks as if the southern hemisphere has a nice swell coming in for the comp.

  • http://n/a Fish

    ‘Surfed good Lowers with Rell Sunn and a small handfull of others. Never felt “Aloha” like that and I haven’t since.

  • Retro McChloeLix

    What’d he Shea?

  • localgirl

    Go Kai barger.