The Sunset Beach Shootout

The Sunset Beach Shootout

What’s the perfect contest format? If we knew, we wouldn’t have guys coming out of their heats yelling at judges. Sunset Beach Shootout Director Eddie Rothman figured there’s one way to find a good system¿let the competitors decide for themselves.

The Shootout was originally slated at Honolua Bay on Maui, where the surf was good for long barrels but failed to get to the bigger size they wanted. The two rounds they did have turned into an expression session where, according to Rothman, “Everybody went nuts,” and Tai Van Dyke took home 1,000 dollars.

The contest was then moved to Sunset Beach, where Rothman pulled together the ten teams and let them decide on their own format. “It’s a double-elimination format, that way nobody gets ripped off in a heat,” says Rothman. “You know, you watch a heat all the time and you see a guy who didn’t look like he lost, but he’s out of the contest forever. With our contest you don’t lose anything, you just keep surfing.”

Says Rothman, “There were some killer waves ridden at Sunset, where they’d go out and Brucie Irons would catch one unreal wave or something. They’re going for it, they’re pulling in, they’re doing all kinds of stuff they don’t have to worry about.”

Competitors in the Shootout loved the format, because with four rounds of surfing, they only used four of their waves. “They like being able to go out, get nuts, and fall off a wave or not fall off a wave¿just get the nuttiest wave they can get,” says Rothman. “You can let the juice flow.”

“It works out good,” he continues, “because at the end everybody’s smiling if they won or not. They made the decision, not some dweeb who doesn’t even surf.”

The following are the results:

Honolua Bay Expression Session
1.Tai Van Dyke $1,000
2.Kaimana Henry
3.Pancho Sullivan
4.Braden Diaz
5.Makua Rothman
6.Kahea Hart

Sunset Beach Shootout
1. Sunny Garcia $50,000
2. Kahea Hart $25,000
3. Pancho Sullivan $20,000
4. Michael Ho $10,000
5. Braden Diaz $5,000
6. Bruce Irons $2,500

Team Results:
1. Team F.A.B. (Chava Greenlee, Michael Ho, Shane Beschen, Jason Magallenes) $5,000
2. Team Hurley (Braden Diaz, Noah Johnson, Kahea Hart, Josh Loya) $2,500