|Watching From Shore|
The HIC Pro was held at Sunset Beach and is a major event for Hawaii’s aspiring pro surfers. First of all, it's the final ASP regional contest of the year and it not only crowns the 2010 Association of Professional Surfing (ASP) Hawaiian regional champion, but also qualifies six locals to compete in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing - an international event. In other words, it is a competition to put Hawaiian locals in an international surfing competition. For example, the winner of this year's HIC Pro, 20-year-old and Maui local Billy Kemper, doesn't even have a sponsor...yet. Also, one thing I'm learning from living here is that there is A LOT of pride in local boys here who bring recognition to the island. Everyone loves the Philadelphia Phillies, for example, because Shane Victorino (center fielder) is Hawaiian. You'll see his jersey everywhere and everyone wears Phillies hats.
The Vans Triple Crown brings over 200 of the world’s top ranked surfers to the North Shore where there is more than $900,000 in prize money, world titles, and international media and surfing sponsors. The "holding period" for the Triple Crown is November 12 through December 20. The HIC Pro and Vans Triple Crown round out the 2010 ASP World Tour.
So what is this "ASP World Tour" you may be wondering...? Well, I wondered the same thing. Basically, there are 45 "seeded" surfers under the Association of Surfing Professionals. These surfers are invited by ASP to compete in a given year and they accrue points as they compete in ASP-sponsored events (there are 10 events and surfers get to use their 8 best scores from those events). They are continually ranked according to their results in these competitions. The surfer with the most points is crowned the "World Tour Champion." Along the way there are various regional and privately sponsored competitions and events that allow more surfers to get involved, get recognized, and get sponsored. However, these participants don't have the opportunity to win the World Tour Championship. But the more competitions you win, the more likely you are to get sponsored and eventually invited to compete for the World Tour Championship.
Judging Criteria: Think gymnastics meets figure skating meets x-games. Also, it should be noted that there are "short board" and "long board" competitions that involve different criteria. I am only focusing on the short board stuff, because...well, I am already confused enough. Anyway, Judges analyze the following major elements when scoring waves:
- Commitment and Degree of Difficulty
- Innovative and Progressive Maneuvers
- Combination of Major Maneuvers
- Variety of Maneuvers
- Speed, Power and Flow
Now, what does all this mean to me? Well, not a whole heckuva a lot. I still don't really get it. But what I do get is that the waves are big, the sun is shining, and I sure as hell couldn't do what these guys are doing, so it's pretty awesome to watch. Plus, you get to see guys wipe out, which is pretty fun too. I mean, where else can you see things like this:
|Surfer from the HIC Pro on November 6|