Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California (January 20, 2010) – Up-and-comer Alex Smith showed that he's not going to be content with just competing in WQS events, but he's in it to win in his rookie season as he took second place at the Sponsor Me Sunset Open presented by Da Hui. Many of Hawaii's strongest surfers were on hand to start the World Qualifying Series (WQS) off with a 1-star event in tough 6-to-10 foot surf (20 foot faces). Smith's smooth style and confidence in the bigger waves shined through, especially in the finals.
"We were so lucky to get a swell for this contest, it took a season opening one star event and made it all time," says Alex Smith. "Being out there with my coaches and friends while having the line up pretty clear was fun. Now I'm really looking forward to the Pipeline Pro next week and the coming season."
The 19-year-old held the highest wave score of the final with an 8.5 out of 10. Event winner Myles Padaca took the win with two wave scores of a 7.0 and a 4.5. Just recently Smith completed a training camp with Padaca and Pancho Sullivan's Progressive Surfing program. Having his coaches in the water during the contest offered a smooth transition into the contest format for the start of the year.
Eyes are on the 2009 second place NSSA National Explorer Men's Championship and third place Open Men's Champion as he officially takes to the world surf stage this spring. Surfer Magazine's 'Hot 100 list' predicts good things to come of Smith, "Whether it's in a heat—Alex made two consecutive finals last year at Nationals—or freesurfing, Alex has proven himself a head-turner with all of the earmarks of a budding world-class surfer."
Smith will be sticking around Oahu's North Shore as he prepares for the 5-star Volcom Pipeline Pro, running January 23 through February 5 at Pipeline.
In addition to surfing, Alex is a budding photographer, filmer and editor. Check out some of his recent work along with a new mini-movie, Weekend Warriors on his blog, http://mieshkie.tumblr.com.
Alex Smith is supported by Rip Curl, Globe Footwear, Smith Eyewear, Creatures of Leisure accessories, SexWax, Pull-In, Killer Dana Surf Shop and Bill Johnson Surfboards.