Day Two Of The NSSA Nationals At Lowers
Say for instance, you’ve spent your whole competitive year trying to qualify for the 2003 NSSA Nationals at Lower Trestles—one of the funnest waves you’ll ever have a heat in. You travel all the way from New Jersey, Florida, North Carolina, Puerto Rico or Hawai’i and practice all week getting ready for it. The day of your heat arrives, and it’s three to five feet like it was today—perfect.
The heat starts, and you and two other competitors are vying for the first wave. Thinking you’ve bluffed the others off the wave, you go for it, only to cross up and get a double interference with them. It sucks, but guess what? It happens all the time.The way Trestles breaks, you have the choice of going left or right. Mix in five other surfers, and it becomes a game of wits. It’s the art of an interference. An interference called means a competitor will be penalized one of their top two waves for dropping in on another who’s closest to the curl. At Lowers, it’s a total guess due to the way surfers cross each other all the time.
Sometimes it becomes a pushing match trying to get around each other. Other times it’s a chess match. Yeah, the right may look better, but if the other guy has inside position, will he or she believe my bluff and pull back? If they do it’s like giving away the wave and there may not be one after. “I try to wait to the last second to see if I can go or not,” said Dustin Cuizon. “The key is being cautious.”
Although he made it through his heats today, Dustin’s been a victim of interference when he least expected it. “I almost punched the guy out in my heat—I was furious,” said Dustin. As winner of the Open Men’s title last year, the pressure of following it up doesn’t seem to bother him, “I’ve been kinda’ training—running, riding bikes, and surfing as much as possible at home at Ewa Beach, surfing the worst possible conditions.” The way he’s surfing, it’s definitely gonna be business as usual.
As for the action today, the Explorer heats are winding down to the finalists, and standouts included Dustin, Patrick Gudauskas, Dane Reynolds, Kekoa Bacalso, and Gavin Gilette, and Brian Toth—the finalists for the Explorer juniors. Lowers held the heavy wind off for a while, but eventually gave in to overcast skies as well as bumpy, inconsistent waves. Until tomorrow.—AC