The trend the last few days seems to be fifteen-year-olds butting heads with the older kids and giving them a run for their money. First Kolohe Andino at NSSA Nationals this weekend winning the Open Mens division – a title that was won last year by at the time seventeen-year-old Nat Young.
Then to kick Monday off, Keanu Asing takes it to the North American Pro Juniors by showing them up at the Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure in Huntington Beach. Mind you, last year the event was won by Mr. Julian Wilson, so this is no small feat for the Hawaiian. What made it even bigger was the fact that the event is a grade-4, one of the highest rated Pro Junior contests in the country.
After no appearances in any finals at NSSA Nationals, Keanu came back strong with this giant victory, showing that he can mix things up with the older boys and hold his own. With that ISA gold medal he earned earlier this year, Keanu is having a solid 2009, now sitting in the top 10 of the ASP North America Pro Junior ratings as the highest rated Hawaiian.
OFFICIAL ASP PRESS RELEASE:
HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Monday, June 29, 2009) – Keanu Asing (Ewa Beach, HI), 16, won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grade-4 Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure presented by Jack's Surfboards at South Huntington Beach Pier this afternoon over fellow finalists Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 19, Evan Thompson (Jacksonville Beach, FL), 17, and Chase Wilson (Newport Beach, CA), 18.
The Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure is the only ASP Grade-4 event on the 2009 calendar, making the premier contest an integral stop in all surfers' campaigns in their quest for qualification for the ASP World Junior Championships. All regional surfers are out to compile their top four results this year in hopes to finish within the top three on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series to earn their shot at an ASP World Junior Title.
Asing battled through the tough conditions on offer at South Huntington Beach Pier this afternoon, blasting strong outside turns on the set-waves and managed to work his way through the infamous reform, finishing each wave with strong maneuvers.
"There weren't too many waves, but I just tried to wait my turn and get the best waves I could," Asing said. "Luckily it worked out."
Asing, who was a finalist at the ASP Grade-3 Arnette Pro Junior last month, earned his first ASP Pro Junior victory of the year, cementing him as the top Hawaiian in the regional ratings.
"I'm really happy with my results this year," Asing said. "I'm getting on a roll this year and I just want to keep it going."
Asing's victory was almost cut short. The talented regular-footer earned his Final berth with a last-minute effort to advance out of his Semifinals heat, which proved to be crucial in his Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure victory.
"I'm so excited," Asing said. "I never thought I'd make the Final, but I just kept chipping away and did what I had to make the Final. I was a little bit frustrated, there were no waves, and I knew there had to be one wave. Everyone had low scores and I knew I could get what I needed to advance. I just did what I had to do to make that heat."
Perillo overtook the lead early in the Final with two massive fins-free forehand turns on a Pier bowl right which earned him a seven-point-score, but was unable to find a backup wave to overtake Asing for the win and finished runner up at the premier event.
"You had to make sure to get the set-waves and be in the right spot," Perillo said. "If you're too far to the left of the bowl, behind the bubble, you can't get the waves," Perillo said. "I was in position for the set waves, but I just didn't get in to them, it's my fault."
The impressive result by the stylish regular-footer marks his third Final appearance of the 2009 ASP North America Pro Junior Series season. After missing the Arnette Pro Junior due to unfortunate circumstances, Perillo has now been a finalist in every event he's entered this year.
"This result will help me because I finished above everyone that was ahead of me on the ratings," Perillo said. "It's good to have made the Final in each event so far. I'm hoping I can do well again at the U.S. Open."
Thompson was a top performer throughout the event's entirety, but was unable to find a rhythm in the Final, finishing third overall and the Floridian talent was thrilled to capitalize on the heightened points available at the Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure.
"I'm super stoked to have made the Final in a Grade-4," Thompson said. "It's hands down the biggest event of the whole year and to make this Final, you're guaranteed to walk away with so many points. To make the Final in this event, it's really hard, there are so many good guys and I never thought I would have made it."
The explosive east-coaster utilized his familiarity of the small mushy conditions on offer in Huntington reminiscent of his home in Florida to earn the crucial result while topping standout performers such as defending ASP North America Pro Junior Series Champion Cory Arrambide (Ventura, CA), 20, on the way to his crucial result.
"These conditions remind me of home," Thompson said. "It's small and mushy and it's really a dogfight for waves out there. There are not many waves and everyone is scratching for them when they come. I guess I'm pretty used to it, the small waves and the bumpiness, but it's hard for everyone. No matter how good you are it's really hard."
Wilson also turned heads on the way to his fourth place finish. The Newport Beach local earned his first ASP Pro Junior Final at the Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure, significantly helping his cause on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series after a Semifinals finish at the ASP Grade-3 Arnette Pro Junior last month.
"This is my first Pro Junior Final ever and it's a Grade-4, so I'm so stoked," Wilson said. "I made the Semifinals in Newport and now I'm in the Final so this is really going to help my rating. Hopefully I'm up there now."
For all of the Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure pres. by Jack's Surfboards highlights look below.
Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure Final Results:
1- Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.00
2- Dillon Perillo (USA) 11.00
3- Evan Thompson (USA) 10.20
4- Chase Wilson (USA) 9.50
Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure Semifinals Results: (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Chase Wilson (USA) 11.25, Keanu Asing (HAW) 10.25, Phillip Goold (USA) 8.65, Chase Wilson (USA) 8.15
Heat 2: Evan Thompson (USA) 9.75, Dillon Perillo (USA) 9.30, Luke Davis (USA) 8.25, Cory Arrambide (USA) 7.25
Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure Quarterfinals Results: (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Nat Young (USA) 12.35, Chase Wilson (USA) 10.75, Michael Dunphy (USA) 10.65, Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.25
Heat 2: Phillip Goold (USA) 10.30, Keanu Asing (HAW) 8.80, Kai Barger (HAW) 7.90, Hunter Heverly (USA) 4.60
Heat 3: Luke Davis (USA) 13.40, Dillon Perillo (USA) 12.75, Cody Thompson (USA) 12.25, Kiron Jabour (HAW) 8.30
Heat 4: Cory Arrambide (USA) 14.50, Evan Thompson (USA) 10.45, Evan Geiselman (USA) 10.45, Tyler Newton (HAW) 7.85
Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure Round of 32 Results: (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Chase Wilson (USA) 13.50, Michael Dunphy (USA) 10.40, Andrew Doheny (USA) 8.85, Dylan Goodale (AUS) 8.75
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.50, Nat Young (USA) 12.00, Fisher Heverly (USA) 11.10, Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 10.65
Heat 3: Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.25, Hunter Heverly (USA) 6.65, Brent Reilly (USA) 6.48, Levi Gonzales (HAW) 5.60
Heat 4: Kai Barger (HAW) 12.75, Phillip Goold (USA) 10.40, Ian Gentil (HAW) 10.10, Riley Metcalf (USA) 7.50
Heat 5: Kiron Jabour (HAW) 14.50, Luke Davis (USA) 13.25, Gabe Garcia (USA) 9.00, Spencer Regan (USA) 7.75
Heat 6: Cody Thompson (USA) 14.75, Dillon Perillo (USA) 12.50, Nick Rupp (USA) 11.50, Albee Layer (HAW) 7.50
Heat 7: Cory Arrambide (USA) 13.85, Evan Thompson (USA) 11.70, Matt Pagan (USA) 9.95, Oliver Kurtz (USA) 9.35
Heat 8: Tyler Newton (HAW) 11.65, Evan Geiselman (USA) 9.35, Dege O'Connell (USA) 7.95, Rob Kelly (USA) 7.75