Adding grandeur to the biggest surfing event in the world is pretty tough to accomplish. But running the Boost Mobile Pro Wildcard Shootout at the U.S. Open adds some flavor to the already exciting event, while at the same time merging two great California surfing competitions. The Boost Mobile Pro Shootout is a specialty event that determines one wildcard for the Boost Mobile Pro held from September 7th – 13th at Lower Trestles.
The wildcard Shootout delivered big-time this year with excitement. The final saw Cory Lopez, Yadin Nichol, Tamaroa McComb, and Brett Simpson all vying for the lone wildcard spot at the Lowers event. It ended up being a battle of air reverses, with Tamaroa, Yadin, and Brett all busting them out.
Cory Lopez and the young Tahitian Tamaroa dominated the beginning of the heat by catching everything in sight. On Tamaroa's top wave he found some shade from the SoCal sun with a little cover up, and worked it all the way to the inside where he threw a crisp 360 air reverse.
But local HB standout Brett 'Simpo' Simpson busted out two of his own air reverses, both on his lead taking wave.
In the end though it was Australian Yadin Nichol who threw the biggest air reverse of the heat to bump him all the way up to second. And with ten seconds left on the clock, he caught the final wave he needed and got the score he needed to take the heat and the wildcard entry into this year's Boost Mobile Pro.
With last year's Boost Mobile Pro wildcards of Jordy Smith and Dane Reynolds shaking things up by taking down Mick Fanning and Andy Irons, there's no doubt that Yadin will be looking to do the same, especially since Kelly Slater and a wildcard, Bruno Santos, are the only two surfers to win an ASP World Tour event this year. – By Ryan “Dirty Jerz” Brower