Author Archives: Tash.0

About Tash.0

Tash.0 is a New England native currently residing on the North Shore of Oahu. She is also the reigning Texas State Surfing Champion (average size fish, very tiny pond), so that's gotta count for something!

“A Day in Port-A” … Your Next Surf Trip: Texas?

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I’ve talked a bit about the Texas surf culture in the past (need a reminder? Click HERE). It’s an eclectic mix of weirdness and stoke. Having lived in the state for two years, you can believe me when I say that good surf is extremely rare, decent surf is infrequent, and poor surf prevails. When we do get lucky, though, magic happens.

Attesting to that fact are Corpus Christi locals Nate Floyd, Morgan Falkner, and Tegan Gainin. Their recent edit, A Day in Port A, will make you want to get up grab your log and go play. I dare you to tell me this doesn’t look like an absolute blast.

Keep an eye out for their full length film coming out late 2016!

Gabriel Medina – Grow up

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So this is not the type of news I like to share… nonetheless, it is news that needs to be shared.

Gabriel Medina can surf. There's no one out there questioning that. But his out-of-water performances have made some fans skeptical about his character.

Gabriel Medina can surf. There’s no one out there questioning that. But his out-of-water performances have made some fans skeptical about his character. Photo by Tasha Rivard (Tash.0) @ 2014 Billabong Pipe Masters.

I would like to introduce young reigning world champ Gabriel Medina to the term “professionalism.” It is defined by the Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary as: “the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well.” In professional surfing, that type of conduct extends far beyond one’s ability in the water. A rider’s out-of-water conduct reflects not only on himself, it also reflects onto his sponsors and on the sport as a whole. Medina simply doesn’t seem to understand the difference between a post heat interview (a professional context) vs. chatting with his buddies (not a professional context).

After claiming the 2014 World Title, Gabriel Medina exited the water mid-heat to celebrate. What's your opinion of this action?

After claiming the 2014 World Title, Gabriel Medina exited the water mid-heat to celebrate. What’s your opinion of this action?

Gabe, YOU CANNOT DROP F-BOMBS IN A PROFESSIONAL CONTEXT. It doesn’t matter who said what first. What you were doing in your post-heat interview at the Quicksilver Pro was whining like a sore loser. Your display yesterday cast a shadow of disrespect on more people than simply Mr. Hall. It also made you look like a stupid, selfish, arrogant jerk. Is that the impression you think a reigning world champ should give off? You are lucky that Peter Mel was PROFESSIONAL enough to take the mic away from you when he did and quick to kick some dirt over your juvenile remarks.

There’s another word you need to learn too. “Dignity.” I’ll let you look that one up for yourself.

http://youtu.be/qOmQNBws2mg

Why you should pay very close attention to Silvana Lima

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Who? If you’re a young reader, chances are she hasn’t been on the tour since you’ve been paying attention to it. If you’re like the rest of us, chance are you don’t care about women’s surfing anyway. It’s cool, I agree… the guys are generally more exciting to watch. But Silvana Lima is the exception to that rule. Here’s why:

http://youtu.be/7c1ErQMX1B4

2.) Every wave is over head.

She’s a whopping 4’9” tall, maybe 100 pounds soaking wet. You know how those 12-year-old groms can rip apart knee high slop on a potato-chip shortboard without sinking? So can she. AND SHE’S 30! Days one and two of the Roxy Pro at Snapper this past week only confirmed that.

http://youtu.be/sM2HtZv9fMg

3.) She’s the reigning world champ’s polar opposite.

Take everything you know about Stephanie Gilmore and flip it upside-down, then put the two side-by-side in the same heat. It’s actually somewhat comical. Everything about the two from hair color to height to surfing style to native language clashes dramatically. After her world title last year, Steph admitted to me in an interview that her air game needs work. Silvana’s is already solidified. So far in the Roxy Pro, Silvana and Steph have had two heats together and have gone blow-for-blow. We’ll get see them duke it out once more in the quarter final too, and many more times this year I’m sure. Where Steph (5’10”/146) has to awkwardly pump out momentum in dwindling conditions, Silvana can throw her fins out the back and power through snaps on soft faces. The only thing the two have in common is an infectious smile.

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4.) She’s tactfully anti-establishment.

She’s not sponsored… Anymore. She used to be, back in the day. Billabong picked her up young as a rising star, but they dropped her cold turkey after she blew out her knees without thinking twice. (They’re going to be kicking themselves when she wins the world title this year – yes, I’m calling it.) She hasn’t had any interest in modeling from the get-go; she just wants to be the best surfer in the world. After being dropped she crowdfunded her way through her knee rehab and back into competition relying on people who supported her as a person rather than corporations who use their female riders for their bodies. I am so happy that she hasn’t signed back on with a major corporate sponsor; her blank board is essentially a big FU to Billabong every time she launches it. Anyway, instead of walking away from the sport, she’s been scrapping her way back into it one unfunded step at a time only adding fuel to a fire that Billabong didn’t believe in. She’s also just plain DIFFERENT. Instead of bouncing into the water in a bikini posting Instagram clips showing more booty than barrels, Silvana usually runs into the water in shorts and a T-shirt, has a tattoos (really awesome ones actually) all over, and warms up with capoeira (martial art). Her Instagram (silvanalimasurf) consists only of some really rad surf shots/clips, her french bulldogs, training moments, and some funny selfies with her friends. It’s so clear that she’s doing what makes her happy, and kicking serious a** at it.

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5.) She started from nothing.

Silvana is actually one of those stories. She grew up in Paracuru, Brazil She learned to surf on a piece of wood. When she did have money to spare with her early success on the tour, she gave it back to where she came from – She took care of her family first, obviously, but after her runner-up year she donated her winnings back to her city’s surf team.

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I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a superfan… but you should be one too. She’s a complete game-changer. Even though she’s been cast out of the spot light for the past few years, she’s now back in full force and better than ever. Watch for this tiny Brazilian spitfire to be the much needed spark that women’s professional surfing needs to push the limits today and for years to come.

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John John Florence Claims Volcom Pipe Pro Title

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John John Florence is no stranger to Pipeline/Backdoor. I mean, it’s essentially the kid’s backyard. The 22-year-old north shore local used his intimate knowledge of the reef to take home his fourth Volcom Pipe Pro title in a stacked final heat this past weekend.

Tricky conditions presented for the final day. With the wind and swell direction, backdoor was holding her mouth open for some deep barrels throughout the day like Kelly Slater’s perfect 10 in the Quarterfinal round.

 

http://youtu.be/K7D5XA_TJmc

John John earned his winning scores early in the heat with a 9.0 and an 8.43. In second was his north shore neighbor Mason Ho with a combined total of 15.9. Kelly Slater took third place with a 9.0 and Sebastian Zietz topped off the podium with an 8.47.

With an early win at home under his belt, John John’s looking poised and ready to chase down the world title in 2015 starting with the Aussie leg at the end of February!

 

 

 

Medina wins World Title; Wilson takes Pipe Masters

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*** ALL PHOTOS BY THE AUTHOR (Tasha Rivard, instagram: @tasharivard) ***

Sharing is caring. Both Gabriel Medina and Julian Wilson had the best days of their lives yesterday.

Sharing is caring. Both Gabriel Medina and Julian Wilson had the best days of their lives last Friday.

Well, that was exciting.

Friday, December 20th marked the final day of the Billabong Pipe Masters and the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing in clean, classic 8-foot Pipeline conditions.

The Rundown:
– Gabriel Medina brought the first ASP World Title to Brazil.
– Both Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning were knocked out of title contention by Alejandro Muniz.
– Medina eliminated wildcard Dusty Payne in round 3, opening the door to the Triple Crown Title.
– Julian Wilson came out of the shadows, defeating Medina in the closest Pipemasters’ final to date, claiming both the contest victory as well as the Triple Crown.

That’s the gist. But in reality it was WAY crazier than that! So keep reading.

Conditions were favorable for the final day of the 2014 Billabong Pipemaster's

Conditions were favorable for the final day of the 2014 Billabong Pipe Masters

After calling the remainder of the afternoon off on the previous day of competition (the best afternoon of the year I might add, but it was actually the right call at the time… but that’s an entirely different article) and with the Da Hui breathing down the ASP’s neck, commissioner Kieren Perrow had to get creative. Somehow, all of round 3 through the final heat would need to run between 8am and 4pm Friday to stay within the competition window and keep things legal. The result: shortened, overlapping heats – meaning more bodies in the water and ultimate priority were still factors in the equation.

This situation worked in favor of Gabriel Medina and Team Brazil (as they shall now be dubbed). Countryman Felipe Toledo fully admitted to intentionally blocking Dusty Payne’s waves in round 3, giving Medina an an edge (which he may or may not have needed) to knock the tenacious wildcard out of the competition while their heats overlapped. Alejandro Muniz turned the tide further in favor of Medina by snagging a buzzer-beating backdoor barrel to knock Kelly out in round 3. Muniz then sealed the deal in round 5 by taking down Mick Fanning, the last contender standing.

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The majority of the crowd spoke Portugese and sported gold and green.

When Mick went down, the beach erupted. To make it more interesting, Medina was in the water about to begin his quarter-final heat against Felipe Toledo. The excitement overtook the young Brazilian who immediately broke into celebration as well. After lunging up, pounding his chest, and hugging everyone in the water including Mick, Medina paddled to the beach to be carried up by what seemed like the entire nation of Brazil. Fifteen minutes into the heat, the celebration was still going on. Finally, Medina decided to surf the rest of it. Did Felipe let him take waves? Maybe. Either way, Medina came out of the heat victorious and advanced into the semis.

Medina came to the beach to celebrate his World Champion Title mid-quarterfinal heat.

Medina came to the beach to celebrate his World Champion Title mid-quarter-final heat.

Gabriel Medina. Semi-final heat

Gabriel Medina. Quarter-final heat

Medina, semi-final heat

Medina. Putting on a show in the remainder of his quarter-final heat.

Meanwhile, Julian Wilson was quietly slashing his way through the ranks. When Julian entered the water for his quarter final, he didn’t come out until the end of the contest. (Because of the condensed heat structure, he had to remain in the water and change out jerseys in the lineup.) The 26-year-old Aussie had to surf 5 heats on the day before facing Medina in what would be one of the most exciting Finals in professional surfing.

Julian Wilson, Semi-final heat

Julian Wilson, Semi-final heat

Within the first minute, the two immediately exchanged blows in the final. The surfers both opted to favor their front-sides and split the peak for first wave that rolled through. Julian’s backdoor ride earned him a 9.93. Just seconds later, Medina turned around again and answered quickly with a perfect 10. on an even beefier backdoor barrel! Moments later, it was Medina again pulling an 8.0 out of the Pipeline with a fins-free finishing hack to top it off.

Julian Wilson stuck to his front side, picking off Backdoor gems

Julian Wilson stuck to his front side, picking off Backdoor gems

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The begining of Medina’s 8.0

...and the end of it. The kid definitely knows how to finish with flare.

…and the end of it. The kid definitely knows how to finish with flare.

But the heat wasn’t over until the last exchange before the buzzer. On the beach, we could see the set standing tall on the outer reefs as it marched toward the lineup.

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Julian Wilson found the wave he was looking for…

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…but Gabriel Medina answered.

“I asked him [Medina] if he wanted the first or the second [wave]. He said the second so I went,” Julian said after all was said and done. “I knew I got the score but I thought he might have come back on it.” When Medina’s last-ditch score came up short, “I just face-planted into the sand,” Julian said.

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Julian Wilson was all smiles in his post face-plant victory interview.

Julian took down the newly crowned world champ with a whopping combined total of 19.63 for the heat against Medina’s 19.20. Julian walked away with the Billabong Pipemaster’s victory as well as the Vans Triple Crown title.

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The very beginning of a very long party

Oh, all wasn’t lost for Dusty Payne, by the way. At the end of the day, he still had the highest combined heat total of the Triple Crown – a 19.64 (0.01 better than Julian’s) which he earned in the final of the Reef Hawaiian Pro, granting him the Hawaiian Airlines Best in Class award. Don’t you just love it when everybody wins?

*** ALL PHOTOS BY THE AUTHOR (Tasha Rivard, instagram: @tasharivard) ***

Surfing Sexism Overshadows Talent

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Image via: http://sweatforit.com/fit-girls/surfer-girl-alana-blanchard/

Alana Blanchard.
Photo URL: http://sweatforit.com/fit-girls/surfer-girl-alana-blanchard/

 

Have you ever heard of Alana Blanchard? What comes to mind when you think of her? Howbout Anastasia Ashley? Be honest guys. How many thought “dat a*s” before carves or hacks?

 

On the flip side, have you ever heard of Silvana Lima? If you have, chances are your impression of her is “the fiery little Brazilian who throws those crazy airs!”

Photo URL: http://www.zigzag.co.za/news/contest/bianca-interferes-rio-womens-pro-day-2/

Silvana Lima.
Photo URL: http://www.zigzag.co.za/news/contest/bianca-interferes-rio-womens-pro-day-2/

 

Here is the sobering reality of women’s professional surfing: bums sell better than barrels.

Yes, I know the athletes are 80% naked while performing, but surf magazines shouldn’t be comparable to a Playboy. First and foremost, surfing is a sport and an art – and it deserves to be respected as such. The women’s surf industry, in particular, has faded from its roots. It’s now watered with profits generated by selling its athletes’ sexuality.

Don’t get me wrong! Silvana is a mulher bonita! During her career and her post-injury comeback, however, she has never put herself out there in a way that allowed sex appeal to overshadow her skill. The girl just wants to be the best surfer in the world and bring the title to Brazil (and bust an air or two over your head in the process). She is currently sitting comfortably on top of the QS this year with 25 heat wins – and she’s doing all this without sponsorship (anymore).

 

Take a look at Dimity Stoyle (11th/10 heat wins) and Johanne Defay (8th/13 heat wins). Both of these ladies absolutely rip and have been performing well despite their lack of major sponsorship. These ladies scrap to travel from one event to the next in order to compete professionally in the sport they are passionate about.

Johanne Defay.

Johanne Defay.
Photo URL: http://ist2011.over-blog.com/article-interview-johanne-defay-3eme-au-world-junior-2009-86862370.html

Dimity Stoyle. Photo via: http://www.tracksmag.com/dimity-stoyle-five-feet-high-and-rising/

Dimity Stoyle.
Photo URL: http://www.tracksmag.com/dimity-stoyle-five-feet-high-and-rising/

 

Meanwhile, Blanchard (17th) has not won a SINGLE HEAT this ENTIRE YEAR. Judging by some of her post-heat interviews, she doesn’t really seem to care either. Rip Curl continues to back her with ringing endorsement and modeling gigs, throwing money her direction so she can travel the globe. Why SHOULD she care?

Yes, I know, Blanchard can actually surf alright. But it’s tough to look up to her or even take her seriously. You have to ask yourself, did she win the 2013 Surfer Poll because she charges (she was ranked 11th at the time)? Or did she win it because of sex-appeal publicity? Does she deserve to be held up to the likes or Rochelle Ballard (2000-2002), Lynne Boyer (1979), or Lisa Anderson (1992, 1994-1999)? Is this title about progressive surfing accomplishments? Or should we change the name (since that seems to be the thing to do in professional surfing these days) to something more suitable, like ASP Prom Queen/King?

2013 Winners: Alana and Kelly. Both have contributed about an equal amount to professional surfing... right? Photo courtesy of: http://www.surfermag.com/features/surfer-poll-results/

2013 Winners: Alana and Kelly. Both have contributed about an equal amount to professional surfing… right?
Photo URL: http://www.surfermag.com/features/surfer-poll-results/

 

At the end of the day, I understand that professional surfing needs the financial support of the major surf brands to survive. Surf brands need to generate profits to survive. In order to generate profits, they have to sell desirable products and market those products desirable ways. That’s just business 101. But is this the reality? Or is “the marketing” actually changing the mentality of “the market”? Is the women’s surf industry promoting the wrong standards and ideals for the up and coming generation of athletes? You decide.

Carissa Moore.

Carissa Moore.

“There IS surf in Texas, well kind of…”

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Photo: Rob Cortinas | Spot: Galveston, TX | Date: May, 2014

Photo: Rob Cortinas | Spot: Surfside, TX | Date: May, 2014

It doesn’t come every day. Nor every week. But now and then, when low pressure systems form in the Gulf of Mexico, stoke builds in the surf shops and bars of tropical wax fly off the shelves.

Yes – in Texas, we have waves.  Good waves…Kind of.

Photo: Scott Ellwood | Surfer: Mark Stolley | Spot: South Padre Island | Date: September, 2005 (Hurricane Rita)

Photo: Scott Ellwood | Surfer: Mark Stolley | Spot: South Padre Island, TX | Date: September, 2005 (Hurricane Rita)

From Galveston to South Padre, you can find us nestled amongst a region better known for its burgers, fishing, football and beer. While the surf community in Texas may be small compared to the length of its coastline, it is hands-down the most tight-knit I have ever seen.

According to Galveston local Scott Toth, “Texas surfing is 90-degree brown water, seaweed, wind chop, horrific flat spells, on-shore winds, wicked cross currents, Portuguese man-o-wars, sea lice, hurricanes and the most stoked surfers in the world.”

Photo: Rob Henson | Surfer: Gabriel Prusmack | Spot: Galveston, TX | Date: August, 2014

Photo: Rob Henson | Surfer: Gabriel Prusmack | Spot: Galveston, TX | Date: August, 2014

Mariah Almond (Houston, TX) describes the predicament as “a twisted love affair.” Every Texas surfer is stuck in it. The relationship isn’t pretty. It’s disheartening to continually see 10-day “ankle to knee high short period wind swell” forecasts. Nonetheless, there’s a reason we stay.

Photo: Rob Cortinas | Surfer: Pato | Spot: Galveston, TX | Date: unknown

Photo: Rob Cortinas | Surfer: Pato | Spot: Galveston, TX | Date: unknown

Damien McDonald, a native of Gold Coast, Australia, has been living in Texas for the better part of four years and is the owner of two surf shops in Galveston: Southern Spears and Texas Surf Co. “There are two things that really caught me by surprise when I moved here,” he explained. “One: the Texas surfing community is as strong as any surfing community in the world, period. Two: Texas produces a plethora of rippers!”

Photo: Scott Ellwood | Surfer: Morgan Falkner | Spot: South Padre Island, TX | Date: September, 2008 (Hurricane Ike)

Photo: Scott Ellwood | Surfer: Morgan Falkner | Spot: South Padre Island, TX | Date: Sept., 2008 (Hurricane Ike)

While the Gulf Coast doesn’t consistently offer much, we take what we can get and make the best of it. The amount of progressive, above the lip surfing in the state is simply astounding. Any shortboarder in Texas knows how to drive hard down a line (because we sink if we don’t) which has helped us learn to find launch ramps even on the smallest days. The boards we ride are generally short, fat, and ugly, but we’re surprisingly good at getting them in the air!

Photo: Rob Henson |Surfer: Tyler Bacquet | Spot: Galveston, TX |Date: July, 2013

Photo: Rob Henson | Surfer: Tyler Bacquet | Spot: Galveston, TX | Date: July, 2013

Now and then, we do get lucky. When conditions align, it even gets overhead. On any given swell, groms and grandpas alike share the peaks regardless of ability.  According to 17-year-old California transplant Tyler Bacquet, “In Texas you see it all. Texas surf culture doesn’t take anything for granted. Knee high, 25 knots onshore, 15 guys out and everyone is absolutely frothing. Booties with boardshorts, boardshorts over wetsuits… No shame. No hate. All love. All acceptance. All stoke.”

Photo: Scott Ellwood | Surfer: Shane Wiggins | Spot: Corpus Christi, TX | Date: December, 2006

Photo: Scott Ellwood | Surfer: Shane Wiggins | Spot: Corpus Christi, TX | Date: December, 2006

Perhaps it’s because we are surf-deprived the majority of the time, but Texans do get freakishly excited for each other in the water. I have seen entire lineups whoop and cheer when a logger pulls a cheater-five. In 44-year-old Bronson Hillard’s opinion, “There’s no better group of people to share the surf with than Texans. Texas surfers are like Aussies and Hawaiians blended together to form Redneck Aloha!” (Having lived in both Australia and Hawaii, I have absolutely no idea what he means by this… Nonetheless, the term was quickly embraced by Texas surfers on social media, so I guess we’ll go with it.)

Photo: Rob Henson | Surfers: (They'd kill me) | Spot: Galveston, TX | Date: August, 2014

Photo: Rob Henson | Surfers: (They’d kill me) | Spot: Galveston, TX | Date: August, 2014

Every surf community takes pride in its identity; it’s simply more enjoyable to paddle out when the lineup consists of familiar faces. Texas is unique in that the community is not limited to individual towns/breaks. It is quite common for surfers from Galveston, for example, to casually make the southerly jaunt to Corpus Christi (five-hours) or to South Padre Island (eight-hours) when a swell comes through, giving us the opportunity share the water (and a beer) with our distant neighbors. 18-year-old Joey Romano describes the community as, “One big family where background means nothing as long as you are out having a good time.” While this may sound simplistic, it’s entirely accurate. Even if you are not a native of the state, where you came from is irrelevant; if you have the motivation to paddle out to one of our breaks with a smile on your face and contribute a positive vibe, then you are one of us.

Photo: Scott Ellwood | Surfer: Nathan Floyd | Spot: Corpus Christi, TX | Date: March, 2013

Photo: Scott Ellwood | Surfer: Nathan Floyd | Spot: Corpus Christi, TX | Date: March, 2013

In Texas, not a single ride down a line is taken for granted. We froth on waist-high windswell and tuck inside chocolate brown barrels (it counts as long as your head is inside, right?). Our water is warmer. Our community is closer. Our stoke is strong. We know who we are, and we don’t really care whether or not the outside world believes us when we try to explain that “there IS surf in Texas…kind of.”

Cheers to all of “y’all”!

Photo: Scott Ellwood | Surfer: Tasha Rivard (author) | Spot: Corpus Christi, TX | Date: November, 2013

Photo: Scott Ellwood | Surfer: Tasha Rivard (author) | Spot: Corpus Christi, TX | Date: November, 2013

Photo: Rob Henson | Surfer: Tyler Bacquet | Spot: Matagorda, TX |Date: December, 2013

Photo: Rob Henson | Surfer: Tyler Bacquet | Spot: Matagorda, TX |Date: December, 2013

Photo: Rob Henson Surfer: Stephen Lazenby Spot: Galveston, TX Date: August, 2014

Photo: Rob Henson | Surfer: Stephen Lazenby |Spot: Galveston, TX | Date: August, 2014

Photo: Scott Ellwood | Surfer: Justin Jalufka | Spot: Corpus Christi, TX | Date: December, 2006

Photo: Scott Ellwood | Surfer: Justin Jalufka | Spot: Corpus Christi, TX | Date: December, 2006

Photo: Rob Henson | Surfer: Jarrad Williams | Spot: Galveston, TX | Date: May, 2014

Photo: Rob Henson | Surfer: Jarrad Williams | Spot: Galveston, TX | Date: May, 2014

Photo: Scott Ellwood | Surfer: Mark Stolley | Spot: Corpus Christi | Date: January, 2011

Photo: Scott Ellwood | Surfer: Mark Stolley | Spot: Corpus Christi | Date: January, 2011

Photo: Rob Henson | Surfer: Connor Eck | Spot: Galveston, TX | Date: September, 2013

Photo: Rob Henson | Surfer: Connor Eck | Spot: Galveston, TX | Date: September, 2013

*Huge thanks to Rob Henson, Scott Ellwood, and Rob Cortinas for contributing photos!*