Ryan Carlson Wins Monster Maneuver With 540 Rodeo Flip For Freewave Challenge

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — (October 21, 2008) — Out of all the waves ridden by all the surfers along all the coastlines of the Mainland USA this summer, only one could produce the single best move in the Billabong Freewave Challenge. Yesterday the winner of the Monster Maneuver Award was revealed to be Ryan Carlson of Huntington Beach, California for his extraordinary 540 Rodeo Flip. Carlson earned $5,000 for pulling off the astonishing aerial trick (which consists of a backside flip combined with one-and-a-half body rotations) at Huntington on July 22, 2008. The ride was captured on video by Paul Cerone/DSG and uploaded to the Freewave Challenge site where it became the most-viewed clip of the year. Cerone receives $1,200 for
documenting the move. Click HERE see all the Monster Maneuver finalists for yourself.

The Monster Maneuver is just one of five divisions in the Billabong Freewave Challenge which acknowledge the finest freesurfing caught on video in the USA this summer outside of regular surf contests. Other category winners include California’s Andrew Doheny in the Small Fries (16 and Under), North Carolina’s Jesse Hines in the Best Barrel and Hawaii’s Carissa Moore in the Heartbreaker Female Performance division. In total, the event offered $40,000 in prize money for the surfers and videographers. Full rules and event format details can be accessed at the event website at FreewaveChallenge.com.

Finishing a close second in the Monster Maneuver category is Aaron “Gorkin” Cormican of New Smyrna Beach, Florida for his huge 360 air reverse along the Florida Gulf Coast during Hurricane Ike. Gorkin pockets $3,000 for the boosting aerial, and videographer Jerry Ricciotti takes $750 for the shot.

Third place goes to Cody Thompson of Jacksonville Beach, Florida for a ride at Lower Trestles where everything seemed to come together in a row including an Alley-oop over a big section, two tight snaps and a Passion Pop conclusion. Thompson claims $2,000 for the maneuver-laden ride while his brother, Evan Thompson collects $500 for pointing the video camera at the action at the right time.

Hawaiian Mason Ho made the most of a windy afternoon at Huntington Beach in July, completing a smooth Backside 360 Air and earning $1,500 in the process. Paul Cerone/DSG caught Ho in the act and earns another $400. Rounding out the Top Five is Zach Rhinehart of Oceanside, California for his backside McTwist. Rhinehart receives $1,000 for his spinning aerial at his home break, and Jeff Simonson of Boost Video claims $300 for nailing the shot.

According to the published Freewave rules, the Monster Maneuver Award would be won by “The surfer executing the most spectacular and progressive maneuver or series of maneuvers on a single wave.” The rankings of the finalists were determined by a large voting panel made up of the surfers and videographers registered in the event along with select surfing media members from around the world. Over 150 video clips of spectacular surfing were uploaded to the Freewave website with nominees qualifying from a diverse number of surf breaks from all over the East, West and Gulf Coasts of the USA. All the original clips can still be viewed by clicking on the FREEWAVE VIDEO HUB , as can clips from the first Freewave event last winter in Hawaii’s North Shore of Oahu.

The time and location of the next Freewave Challenge will be announced later this week.


1. Ryan Carlson (Huntington Beach, CA), 540 Rodeo at Huntington Beach on
July 22, 2008. ($5,000) Video by Paul Cerone/DSG ($1,200)
2. Aaron Cormican (New Smyrna Beach, FL), Air Reverse at Florida Gulf Coast
on September 11, 2008. ($3,000) Video by Jerry Ricciotti/Digital
Wunderland ($750)
3. Cody Thompson (Jacksonville Beach, FL) Alley Oop Plus at Lower Trestles
in July, 2008. ($2,000) Video by Evan Thompson ($500)
4. Mason Ho (Sunset Beach, HI), Backside 360 Air at Huntington Beach on
July 22, 2008. ($1,500) Video by Paul Cerone/DSG ($400)
5. Zach Rhinehart (Oceanside, CA), McTwist at Oceanside on August 14, 2008.
($1,000) Video by Jeff Simonson/Boost Video ($300)