Vans El Ponto Loco pres by Sun Diego Ready For Kickoff

Vans El Ponto Loco
Presented by Sun Diego

Men’s 2 Star WQS Event #31
Ponto Beach, Carlsbad California
3 – 6, 2008

September 2, 2008: – – Huntington Beach — The Inaugural Vans El Ponto Loco pres. by Sun Diego will be held at Ponto beach in Carlsbad, California from September 3-6, 2008. The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 2-Star event will be accompanied by the ASP Grade-2 Billabong Pro Junior pres. by Sun Diego.

The Vans El Ponto Loco event is the sixth of nine ASP World Qualifying Series events held in North America, offering local surfers such as Darrell Goodrum (Leucadia, CA), 23, and Kyle Knox (Imperial Beach, CA), 26, a chance to better their seeds towards qualification of the coveted ASP World Tour. With many of the top ASP WQS contenders currently competing in Europe, this event gives many up-and-coming surfers a chance to earn some valuable ratings points towards each of their respective campaigns.

Knox is one local who is looking forward to surfing in an ASP WQS event close to home. With all of the traveling involved on the grind, the regular-footer appreciates being able to compete at home. "I can't remember the last time I got to surf a WQS close to home," Knox said. "I usually have to drive or fly really far to compete in contests, so it's amazing to have a contest close to home."

Knox surfs Ponto on a regular basis and is fired up about the event's location. The San Diego native's familiarity at Ponto could make him a threat to the competition and feels that the Vans El Ponto Loco contest was an excellent addition to the North American leg of the ASP WQS.

"Ponto is a cool wave because it comes and goes with the sand," Knox said. "This is a good time of the year for the contest because of the south swells have built up the bottom all season and now with the north swells coming in it makes the lefts better and gives you a right, too. I'm super stoked because Ponto is one of the most consistent waves around. It has really good structure and you can get barreled and it's rippable."

Goodrum, a San Diego based standout, is also looking forward to surfing in the newly added contest. The explosive goofy-footer is hoping to use his local knowledge in order to earn a good result in the event. "It's pretty cool since it's a two minute drive instead of two day travel," Goodrum said. "It's one of the spots that I keep a good eye on when I am home and I’m hoping to have some local luck and get through some heats."

Brad Ettinger (Huntington Beach, CA), 24, who has just returned from competition in Europe, will look to add some ratings points towards his cause on the ASP WQS. The Huntington Beach local is currently sitting just outside of the top 100 on the ASP WQS and will try to better his seed at the local event.

"I love surfing contests at home," Ettinger said. "I have to fly for comps the majority of the time, so its nice to only have to only drive to get to an event.  I wish we had more. Being on the road makes me appreciate home."

Ettinger has had a busy year on the ASP WQS and is hoping to use the Vans El Ponto Loco event to help his cause towards qualification for this year's Vans Triple Crown in Hawaii. Ettinger will continue to chip away at his ASP WQS seed at the upcoming Oakley Newport Pro following this weeks contest.

"I’m surfing the Newport contest after the vans event and am headed to the Canaries after that. My goal for the year is to qualify for the Triple Crown in Hawaii, and finish the year in the top 100."

ASP World Tour campaigner Ben Bourgeios, who is currently living in Carlsbad, will be surfing in the event alongside wildcards Andrew Doheny (Newport Beach, CA), 15, and John John Florence (North Shore, HI), 14.

The Billabong Pro Junior is running in accordance to the Vans El Ponto Loco. The contest is the eighth stop out of 10 on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series and the young talents are looking to secure their spot in the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships which run in Narrabeen, Australia each January. The top five finishers on the ASP North America Pro Junior series will have the chance to showcase their talents against the rest of globe's top junior competitors.

Cory Arrambide (Ventura, CA), 18, who is the current ratings leader on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series, is fresh off of a win at the Oakley Pro Junior and is looking forward to the Billabong Pro Junior. The event is a new addition to the ASP North America Pro Junior Series as well and the standout surfer will be out to post another solid result to help his cause towards qualification for the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships.

"I had some amateur contests there and I'm super stoked that we have a Pro Junior contest at Ponto," Arrambide said. "It's a fun rippable beachbreak and I'm looking forward to the event." Arrambide extended his ratings lead over the field at the last event and is in excellent position to qualify for this year's Billabong ASP World Junior Championships.

"I'm super stoked with how this year has gone," Arrambide said. "Surfing in the World Juniors is a great way to prepare for the WQS and it would be great to have a good result there." Other top ASP North America Pro Junior seeds Travis Beckmann (Vero Beach, FL), Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), Blake Jones (Melbourne Beach, FL) and Andrew Doheny Newport Beach, CA) will be in the event as well.

The Vans El Ponto Loco and Billabong Pro Junior will begin Wednesday, September 3, 2008 at 8 a.m. local time and will be webcast live.