GOLD COAST, 27 November 2008: Californians Ryan Carlson and Bobby Martinez have spearheaded an American assault on world surfing's richest single-manoeuvre prize purse.
Aerial master Carlson (above) and the resurgent World Championship Tour surfer Martinez have led the US raid on the US$50,000 Kustom Air Strike event, which overnight drew 10 new high quality entries from around the world.
Carlson launched into a must-be-seen-to-be-believed Kerrupt flip, while Martinez lays down a wildly smooth forehand aerial reverse.
But the Americans weren't the only ones who came out firing, with West Australian flyer Jay Davies – a standout performer in a new Rusty DVD called Changes – landing what must be one of the craziest alley oops ever captured on film.
"Four weeks into the event Mitch Coleborn's entry landed in our inbox. His flip was the best we had ever seen and the global surfing community was stunned. We heard from all corners of the planet that Mitch had sealed the deal with that flip, and that with six months still to run in the contest no one could top him. Many thought it was unbeatable," said Kustom's General Manager Harry Truscott.
"Another month into the event and the entries keep pouring in. We've got some real contenders, and a screen full of punts that are absolutely mind blowing. But, I don't think we've seen the winning entry yet.
"The Kustom Airstrike set out to redefine surfing. Whoever ends up taking home the US$50,000 winners prize will have produced something previously believed impossible. That's what we are really looking for."
The new entries, along with scores of others that have poured Kustom Air Strike headquarters, have been posted on the event website www.kustomairstrike.com
Kustom Air Strike is open to all surfers, both amateurs and professional anywhere in the world, and is a quest to produce the most innovative and inspired aerial manoeuvre in surfing's history.
Surf footwear brand Kustom is laying down US$50,000 cash to the winning surfer, while the videographer who records the manoeuvre scores a US$5000 cash prize.
The Kustom Air Strike winning entry will be the most radical and innovative 'completed' manoeuvre. Judges will vote on height, innovation and completion of the aerial and, while tow surfing is permitted, riders are not allowed to use straps.
The Kustom Air Strike mission first launched in Australia in 2006 and ran for two years as a domestic event only under the banner of Kustom Space Kadets. This year it has been opened to entrants from around the world.
Previous winners are Dion Agius, who won in 2006 with a backside flip in Bali, and Julian Wilson, who won with his renowned sushi roll in 2007.