Gabe Kling takes down big names en route to victory
For all the leaps that were made in modern contest surfing throughout the 6.0 Lowers Pro, the final was won with knifing rail work and solid vertical hits. For all the hundreds of air reverses that were landed at Lowers these past five days it goes to show that flat out good surfing is still cherished and able to win a major contest.
Not to say that Florida’s Gabe Kling doesn’t have the bag of tricks necessary to be on Tour, because he does. But his frontside hacks and his backside straight ups were what won him the 6.0 Lowers Pro. On Saturday those left in his wake were Cory Lopez, Jordy Smith, Andy Irons, and Chris Davidson. There is not an easy heat in there.
Jordy was the only surfer the entire event to put up a 10 and was consistently the top scoring surfer each day. Andy Irons surfed the best he’s surfed in a contest in years. The 3-times World Champ’s swagger and enjoyment during a heat has returned. And the argument could be made that had he not broken his board on his very first wave in the semis against Kling that the day would’ve turned out different. Andy exited the water all smiles, happy with his first semis appearance in what seems like ages. If AI can continue to do what he did at Lowers this week expect him to begin taking names on Tour.
Then of course there was Chris Davidson, who Kling left needing a 9.33 in the final. Davo’s assertive, sleek approach was quite possibly the most dialed in of all 6.0 Lowers Pro competitors. His carves were appeasing to anyone who surfs and his blow-tails and laybacks displayed perfect execution with flawless ability. The Australian is the most fired up person possibly ever. Don’t be surprised if he wins an event on Tour this year.
Irony reared it’s head on the sand and cobblestones of San Onofre State Beach Saturday afternoon. For all the airs landed, the guy who was throwing the most water around on the final day garnered the win. Easily Gabe’s biggest victory of his career, it shows that a PRIME event is not won on the first, second, or even third days. Kling surfed his best on Saturday and did what he needed to do to advance during the weekdays. In an event that holds 128 surfers he said himself, “I didn’t even win a heat until it went to man-on-man. I kind of peaked at the right time.” Sometimes doing the right things at the right times can end up trumping any air one can throw.—Ryan Brower
6.0 Lowers Pro Final Results:
1- Gabe Kling (USA) 16.50
2- Chris Davidson (AUS) 11.77
6.0 Lowers Pro Semifinals Results:
Heat 1: Chris Davidson (AUS) 14.93 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.53
Heat 2: Gabe Kling (USA) 12.86 def. Andy Irons (HAW) 12.64
6.0 Lowers Pro Quarterfinals Results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 16.27 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 8.44
Heat 2: Chris Davidson (USA) 14.93 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.40
Heat 3: Andy Irons (HAW) 18.57 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.93
Heat 4: Gabe Kling (USA) 16.50 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.77
6.0 Lowers Pro Round of 16 Results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.77 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.33
Heat 2: Heitor Alves (BRA) 14.43 def. Nic Muscroft (AUS) 12.00
Heat 3: Chris Davidson (AUS) 13.06 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 7.50
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.90 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.17
Heat 5: Andy Irons (HAW) 13.33 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 12.60
Heat 6: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.94 def. John John Florence (HAW) 8.40
Heat 7: Gabe Kling (USA) 12.90 def. Cory Lopez (USA) 10.60
Heat 8: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.67 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.10
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