Day Four Of The NSSA Nationals At Lowers

Day Four Of The NSSA Nationals At Lower Trestles

Wave choice, wave choice, wave choice-failure to outsmart your opponents in the water with your wave selection will hurt you overall. Ask Brett Simpson. As a definite favorite in the Open Men’s division, you’d think he’d be a shoe-in to make the final-think again. Have no doubt he’s one of the most exciting surfers to watch. Heck, he even got a ten-point ride yesterday, which is very rare. But today, he found himself in the second round with a few minutes left and nothing coming. Nothing came, and a perennial favorite lost out early.

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At Lowers, two minutes can seem like an eternity if your heat’s winding down and nothing’s on the horizon-theoretically the worst two minutes you’ll ever experience-yet surfers keep experiencing it every year. Getting two high scoring set waves is a miracle, especially during any one of the thousand lulls Trestles might throw at you.

Oh yeah, and the swell’s decreasing. At one to two feet, with maybe a three footer now and then, the lulls were plenty. Conditions were still clean though, and the sun went in and out. Most of the day was spent whittling down the Open Juniors and Men. As each round approaches and the announcers name the names, the heats keep stacking up and getting better and better-there’re just too many damn-good surfers out there.

If the end of a heat doesn’t kill you, then waiting for the next one will. Say for instance you surf in the morning and make your heat-sometimes surfers wait anywhere from a couple hours to the rest of the day. Chances are they won’t want to do the hike all the way back to the car, so basically they’re stuck. So what exactly do they do to prepare for the next round and the next heat? Here’s what some of the dudes said:

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Dane Reynolds: “Eat.
Jeremy Johnston: “Watch other heats—watch.
Blake Jones: “Bother (photographer) Chad Oakley, watch the waves, and get my jersey.
Ryan Briggs: “Watch it.
Tanner Gudauskas: “I get eggy because I know my next heat’s coming.
Gavin Gillette: “A little warmup session, a little stretching, and a few sips of water.
Sean Taylor: “I like to eat mass amounts of food and poop it out before my heat.
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Ahhh, thoughtful and bright, aren’t they? Anyway, tomorrow’s the finals, look for the results Monday in the fifth and final report.—AC
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