Back in January, surfers got a glimpse of China’s vast wave potential when the country’s first ever ASP Men’s event was held on Hainan Island. The Hainan Classic was an ASP 4-star, which coincided with an ISA World Surfing Cup event, held at the lefthand pointbreak of Riyue Bay, which lies on one of China’s many offshore Islands.
While the event was won by Glenn Hall, the biggest shock came from the quality of surf at the picturesque lefthander. A typhoon swell sent a week’s worth of head high corduroy for the competition. While the waves surfed during the contest were great, they weren’t exactly hollow. Throughout the event, commentators were arriving in the booth out-of-breath and hinting at something further up the massive point from where organizers had chosen to put the event scaffolding. France’s Romain Cloitre remarked on day two of competition, “During my heat I was watching the point and I saw all the guys getting barrels so after my heat I ran back up the point and just got a couple.” This is what they were talking about.