Nike Lowers Pro kicks off in fun-sized peaks at Trestles

While the rest of the Southern California coastline resembled a lake today, the swell magnet at Lower Trestles was operating at full power, with glassy shoulder-high lines bending onto the point on day one. The field of 96 surfers is absolutely stacked for this 6-Star PRIME event, with huge points and prize money on the line, and not to mention the chance to surf Lowers with 3 other guys out.

The Brazilian invasion reached the shores of San Clemente today, with one third of the surfers in the event hailing from Brazil. All but 5 of them made their heats today.

The days action consisted of a great mix of big rail turns, and futuristic aerials. Kolohe Andino, an event wildcard, was one of the day’s standouts, putting on clinic for the old guys. Andino’s success rate for airs has to be somewhere around 90%.

Dane Reynolds made his triumphant return to competitive surfing after knee surgery sidelined him for the last 3 months. He placed second behind Hawaii’s Kekoa Bacalso, but surfed very well despite the bum leg. In his post heat interview he said it was still hurting and swollen from time to time.

Heats 1-16 of round one were completed today, with a few notable names dropping out already.

Josh Kerr attempted to stomp his board in half while riding a wave in after losing his heat. Never seen him do that air before. Kerr had a shocker, never getting into rythm against fellow countryman Tom Whitaker and 2 Brazilians. Kerr and Chris Davidson were the only world tour surfers to lose today.

Santa Cruz’s Nat Young was another first round victim who was expected to do well. He placed 4th in his heat, with 2 Brazilian surfers advancing.

Round one should be completed tomorrow, with similar conditions expected.

Check out more on the event website.