Headfirst In To The Quiksilver Pro New York
The calm before the storm wasn’t so calm. We landed at JFK airport at 9:00 p.m. and promptly found ourselves on the rooftop of the Allegria Hotel hobnobbing with a small crew of surfers, contest officials, and surf fans. The contest is situated directly in from the Allegria – the hotel all the surfers, media, and staff members are staying at. Needless to say, the vibe is good and people are here to have a good time. Even with the concerts, skate/bmx demos, and tent city being downsized, the contest set up is still legit and the fans are lined up at the water’s edge cheering and clapping for every wave. The crowd is huge and it’s only the trials! The waves haven’t materialized just yet, but the swell maps are flaring and all signs are pointing towards sick waves starting on Tuesday or Wednesday. So far, the pros are loving the scene here in New York, no reports yet of major hijinks, but as the crew either loses or finds themselves in a spot of boredom, you can bet there will be some antics. –Chris Cote
New Yorkers are pumped on surfing. Even if it’s one foot. They don’t care. This is the first day of the biggest competition Long Beach has ever seen. Screw Interpol and Tony Hawk. Kelly Slater is here.
Except Kelly wasn’t surfing today. Today was for the trials – where Asher Nolan sliced his way to victory in small wind swell lefts. After not catching a wave for the first 15 minutes and watching Garret Parkes, Jeremy Johnston, and Keanu Asing all snatch decent scores, he smashed a waist high left for an 8 and backed it up with a high seven, leaving Keanu in second and looking for a 9 point ride he never found.
With the win Asher is seeded into the main event – only the second WT event he’s ever surfed in. The last was back in 1998, when he was granted a wildcard into the Huntington Beach OP Pro. He’s up against Mick Fanning and Heitor Alves when the event kicks off.
TransWorld SURF: I’m So fired up for you!
Asher Nolan: Yes! This is unbelievable.
Yeah and you wouldn’t let Jimmy and I chair you up the beach, what the hell!
It’s only the trials! [Laughs] Nah I was really excited but I had like 18 interviews to do right there. I just felt like it would have been weird. Just wait for the main event.
Now you better win the damn contest and give us another chance. We both waded into waist deep water for you. People probably thought we were weirdo’s you didn’t even know or something.
[Laughs] Yeah I’ll do my best to give you guys another shot.
A lot of good surfers were in the trials and with the win you are in the main event of the richest surf contest in history – don’t downplay this too much!
Yeah I’m really excited, don’t get me wrong. I’m guaranteed eleven grand and a room at the Allegria (the event hotel) and it looks like really good waves are coming.
Wednesday through Friday could be amazing if Hurricane Katia stays on track.
For sure, this is a dream scenario. I love Long Beach. I swear I always have good luck up here. [Laughs] I’m not sure anybody on tour really knows how good the waves might be.
Well good luck and don’t settle for last place and 11 grand. You have nothing to lose, go smash this thing. Oh, and you better be coming to the city tonight, remember you promised…
Yeah, I’m not backing out, you kidding me? Looks like a lay day tomorrow and it’s your birthday tonight. Dangerous combination. [Laughs]