We’ve now completed the first two rounds of the Hurley Pro Trestles, and so far the waves have been pretty good—a little inconsistent, but when they come through they’ve given surfers more than enough to work with. And with a similar but slightly better forecast for the rest of the event, we’ve seen enough of the action to have a pretty good idea of how things might go from here.
Let’s note that Trestles might be one of the toughest contests to predict of the year. Various commentators and media have all picked different favorites—Kelly (of course), John John (always a threat), Gabriel Medina (who tore it up at the Nike Pro at Trestles earlier in the year), maybe a rejuvenated Jordy, or maybe Mick or Parko or—or, really, any of the top 16 guys could win this one.
The big reason this contest is so open is that everyone has filled in the gaps in their game. The younger, more air-focused guys have honed their rail games—Julian, John John, and Jordy can all put it on rail with the best of them. And the older, more traditional surfers can now throw down airs to match the groms: for the best air of the event so far, it’s a toss up between Taj Burrow (age 34) and his full-rotation reverse, and Heitor Alvez (age 30) and his totally unexpected rodeo.
When you have sixteen or so guys who can all match each other trick for trick and turn for turn, and when you have a canvas as easy as Trestles for them to work with, the results often come down to luck and tiny mistakes—both of which are tough to predict.
But one thing we’ve learned so far is that, at decent Trestles, local knowledge isn’t as important as it is at other breaks. Kolohe Andino and our own team rider Patrick Gudauskas probably surf Trestles more than any of the other guys on tour, and both of them went down in round two. Kolohe surfed well but fell victim to Heitor’s rodeo. Likewise, Patrick seemed on-point but lost to an on-fire Jeremy Flores. Both of these guys can surf Trestles with the best of them—and can snag waves when Trestles is at its most crowded—but that didn’t turn out to be enough of an advantage to get out of the first two rounds.
But the good news here is that the surfing action has been awesome, and with the official Surfline forecast predicting the arrival of a nice swell over the next couple of days, it’s only going to get better. If a giant rodeo flip only scores a 9.0, the rest of the Hurley Pro Trestles might feature some of the best competitive surfing we’ve ever seen.