Tag Archives: Florida

Ryan Helm showcases talent, creative sponsorship and hat style FAIL


For those of you who don’t know him, Ryan Helm is still one of the best surfers on the planet. The 35 year old returned to Florida a few years back, after going native down in mainland Mexico for half a decade. He stirred up some serious upsets at a series of Sebastian Inlet events and even did a little damage on the WQS. Now running his own surf school down in Florida, Helm is still holding down major sponsorships with the likes of Quiksilver and BP Invigorate. Yep… you heard that right. He rides for British Petroleum. Wondering if they’re throwing him any of that oil cash, or just free gasoline.

He may surf like Kelly Slater, but his personal style mimics Kevin Federline. I’m not sure sideways hats were ever “in”, but Helm fully claims the Jughead look. Check this link to see for yourself.

Big fan of your surfing Ryan, but the K-Fed hat angle……… not so much.

Check out Ryan’s personal website for photos, videos and details on one of Florida’s best underground surfers.

Don’t wiggle your toes! Another shark attack in Florida.


The interesting bit (no pun intended) about this shark attack is that this surfer was bitten on the foot, and may have lost a few toes. This makes you wonder: did this victim wiggle his toes? If he didn’t, would his phalanges down low be spared? Maybe he had a toe ring? Who knows? I heard that sharks like to “test” their prey before going for the kill – maybe that’s what it was. Or maybe it just wanted to play footsies.

Spinner sharks showing off


Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, the photos featured in the above video were plastered all over the internet and news in mid-2008.  Many surfers and non-surfers alike dismissed the creepy photos as being photoshopped, unwilling to believe that the shark in the image would really be twisting up and out of the water like that so close to the beach.  Florida surfers knew the truth, having seen plenty of spinner sharks doing their thing over the years. 

Recently, some surfers in Florida had yet another run in with a spinner shark on camera.  This time, the action was caught live on video, where we can see exactly why the spinner shark has earned its name.  Wondering who was more shocked by the jumping shark, the surfers in the water or the guy filming it.  To the video guy’s credit, he quickly switched back from filming the shark to catching his buddy doing a longboard cutty on a clean left.  In case you’re wondering, about the danger factor of the spinner sharks, these little beasties do indeed bite.  Enjoy! 

Thousands of sharks shut down Florida beaches


Holy, shit! See all those black spots? Those are sharks, and there are about a thousand of them making their annual migration south. Beaches in South Florida had to be shut down as hundreds of sharks made their way through the surf while the rest of the pack hunted off shore. They put on quite a show for the beach-goers and lifeguards. You can watch the insane news clip by clicking here.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. What the hell is going on with all the sharks lately?!?! Are we living in some kind of post-apocalyptic war time, and nuclear-bred sharks are going to take over the world? Does anybody remember that Simpsons episode where all the dolphins took over the land, and forced humans to live in the ocean? Does anybody remember how Homer won that war? We might need it…

O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro – Final recap


The 2009 O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro drew to a close on Sunday in what was the best conditions of the event.  Reigning ASP World Qualifying Series champ, Nathaniel Curran, maintains his number one position at the top of the 2009 WQS, after handily defeating his opponents in a stacked final.  Curran dominated the final heat from beginning to end, maintaining a lead that even held off an impressive last second push by local Florida pro, Aaron Cormican. 

Nathan’s road to the final kicked off on Saturday in the Round of 64, given his high WQS seed.  He dominated his Round 4 heat, comboing his fellow competitors, Clay Marzo (HAW), Gabe Garcia (USA) and Sean Marceron (USA).  Round 5 had him coming in a very close second place to heat winner and former World Tour surfer, Ben Bourgeois (USA), and showing the exit to Blake Howard (USA) and Justin McBride (USA).  In the Quarterfinals, Nathan easily won his heat, topping second placer, Alejandro Moreda (PRI), and shutting out Nate Yeomans (USA) and Jesse Heilman (USA).  Curran had a rockier run in his Semifinal heat, placing a distant second to heat winner, Cory Lopez, but scoring high enough to advance over Ben Bourgeois and Alejandro Moreda.  The final was all Nathan, up until the last seconds of the heat where runner up, Aaron Cormican came very close to closing the gap.  Local Florida boy, Blake Jones put on a stellar 3rd place finish, while Cory Lopez took a respectable 4th.  Blake Jones made further headlines on Sunday by taking home the wave of the day and the highest scoring wave of the competition, with a near perfect 9.67 out of 10, on a big frontside reverse air. 

The next major stop on tour is the a few weeks away, when the 5 star Hang Loose Pro kicks off on the island of Fernando de Noronha, Brazil on February 9th.  Until then, log on to the O’Neill SI Pro website for further details, photos, heat sheets and videos on demand. 


O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro – Live on Sunday


The 2009 O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro is live Sunday morning, kicking off with Round 5, and running right through the finals this afternoon.  After completing all of Round 4 on Saturday, the final day of competition finds itself in fun sized, rippable waist to head high waves, offering clean faces, crisp lips, occasional barrels and plenty of air sections.  Early heats of Round 5, the round of 32 surfers, have proven for crowd pleasing entertainment in the drastically improved conditions.

Saturday’s Round 4 heats featured the introduction of the highest placed seeds to the competition, where they faced off against the warriors who battled through the week’s earlier heats.  Saturday’s day of competition saw the elimination of another 32 surfers: Magnum Martinez, Cory Arrambide, Andrew Gahan, Jean Sebastien Estie, Chris Waring, Travis Mellen, Manuel Selmen, Chad Compton, Wesley de Souza, Jason Miller, Jody Davis, Travis Beckmann, Matt Meola, Dylan Goodale, Clay Marzo, Gabe Garcia, Phillip Goold, John John Florence, Anthony Petruso, Brett Barley, Ola Eleogram, Ron Keindl, Shaun Ward, Hira Teriinatoofa, Mike Losness, Matt Pagan, Shaun Burrell, Angelo Lozano, Nathan Carroll, Sebastian Moreno, Ted Navarro, and Nils Scweizer.

Tune in to the event website for photos, videos, heat sheets and all the live action. 


O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro – Friday recap


The 2009 O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro continued on Friday, with the knee high peaks of earlier in the competition giving way to shoulder to head high sideshorey slop on Friday.  The tricky conditions made for a lot of paddling and running back up the beach between waves, but ultimately provided a better canvas for high performance surfing than did the small peaks of the earlier days.  Friday’s conditions allowed for the completion of all 16 heats of Round 3.

Florida boys again won the day.  Standouts on Friday included Oliver Kurtz, Jason Miller, Asher Nolan, Ryan Helm, Andrew Gahan, Jody Davis, Aaron Cormican, Brett Barley, Noi Kaulukukui, Darrell Goodrum and Nils Schweizer, all of whom dominated their respective heats.  Local boy, Jesse Heilman scored the wave of the day, and the scoring highest wave of event to date, an 8.83 out of 10.  Asher Nolan took the heat of the day, absolutely destroying his competition, with a total score of 15.27 out of 20.

Bowing out early on Friday were Ryan Briggs, Scott Posner, Devon Tresher, Eric Worley, Nick Rozsa, Bobby Morris, Nick Rupp, Dylan Melamed, Sean Tubbs, Cody Thompson, Chris Abad, Ricky Whitlock, Kyle Ramey, Kyle Knox, Albee Layer, Adam Virs, Granger Larsen, Dege O’Connell, Brandon Ragenovich, Kellen Ellison, Rylan McCart, Kyle Garson, Bruno Rodrigues, Tommy O’Brien, Matt Wetmore, Dylan Southworth, Brandon Guilmette, Matt Keenan, Jimmy Herrick and Eddie Guilbeau.

When competition resumes on Saturday morning, we will see the full run of Round 4, as well as the Red Bull Tow At.  Tune in to the event website for photos, videos, updates and all the live action.


Round 3 Results:

Heat 1: Jacob Kirschenbaum (USA) 11.33, Alejandro Moreda (PRI) 9.00, Ryan Briggs (USA) 8, Scott Posner (USA) 5.00
Heat 2: Andrew Gahan (USA) 12.10, Magnum Martinez (VEN) 10.66, Devon Tresher (USA) 6.30, Eric Worley (USA) 5.33
Heat 3: Oliver Kurtz (USA) 13.83, Manuel Selman (CHL) 10.16, Nick Rozsa (USA) 8.90, Bobby Morris (USA) 3.57
Heat 4: Matt Mohagen (USA) 11.07, Danny Estes (USA) 11.00, Nick Rupp (USA) 6.84, Dylan Melamed (HAW) 6.04
Heat 5: Jason Miller (USA) 15.00, Travis Beckmann (USA) 14.67, Sean Tubbs (USA) 7.17, Cody Thompson (USA) 6.50
Heat 6: Jody Davis (USA) 12.17, Jesse Heilman (USA) 11.70, Chris Abad (USA) 10.67, Ricky Whitlock (USA) 6.13
Heat 7: Matt Meola (HAW) 10.50, Gabe Garcia (USA) 9.23, Kyle Ramey (HAW) 8.10, Kyle Knox (USA) 7.50
Heat 8: Sean Marceron (USA) 11.57, Dylan Goodale (HAW) 11.00, Albee Layer (HAW) 8.74, Adam Virs (USA) 5.67
Heat 9: Aaron Cormican (USA) 12.16, Brent Reilly (USA) 11.03, Dege O’Connell (HAW) 11.00, Granger Larsen (HAW) 9.36
Heat 10: Brett Barley (USA) 12.17, Phillip Goold (USA) 7.16, Brandon Ragenovich (USA) 6.93, Kellen Ellison (USA) 4.10
Heat 11: Asher Nolan (USA) 15.27, Hira Teriinatoofa (PYF) 10.23, Rylan McCart (USA) 5.94, Kyle Garson (USA) 6.67
Heat 12: Ryan Helm (USA) 13.77, Ron Keindl (USA) 9.90, Bruno Rodrigues (USA) 8.67, Tommy O’Brien (USA) 7.33
Heat 13: Noi Kaulukukui (USA) 12.5, Angelo Lozano (MEX) 7.84, Matt Wetmore (USA) 5.07
Heat 14: Alek Parker (USA) 9.57, Matt Pagan (USA) 8.83, Dylan Southworth (MEX) 7.74, Brandon Guilmette (USA) 5.53
Heat 15: Darrell Goodrum (USA) 12.17, Ted Navarro (USA) 7.74, Matt Keenan (USA) 6.90, Jimmy Herrick (USA) 5.37
Heat 16: Nils Schweizer (USA) 14.84, Sebastian Moreno (USA) 8.10, Eddie Guilbeau (USA) 5.97

O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro – Thursday recap


The O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro resumed competition early on Thursday morning, picking up where things left off on Wednesday evening.  Picking up with heat 5 of Round 2, Thursday’s day of competition saw a slight improvement early in the waves on offer, before taking a midday break to allow for a bit of a lull in the conditions. 

Local Floridians were standouts of the day, with Sean Tubbs, Jody Davis, Aaron Cormican and Ryan Helm taking their respective heat wins and leading the charge with some of the highest heat totals of the day.  Angelo Lozano of Mexico was the big story.  Trading in his Puerto Escondido death barrels for Sebastian Inlet micro-peaks, he managed to prove his versatility in the small surf.  He posted both the highest wave score and the highest heat total of the day, with an 8.17 out of 10, and a 15.17 out of 20. 

Half of the day’s competitors found themselves bowing out of the competition on Thursday.  Some of the more notable exits were that of local boy Jeremy Johnston and Aussie, Heath Walker. 

Competition is expected to resume Friday morning, where we should see a noticeable bump in wave height, with some head high surf possible by afternoon.  This should persist through Saturday, and cleaner conditions should prevail on Sunday.  When competition continues, we’ll see the start of Round 3.

Tune in to the event website for photos, videos, heat sheets and all the live action.


Round 2 (Round of 128) results: (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 5: Sean Tubbs (USA) 13.50, Ricky Whitlock (USA) 8.20, John Daniels (USA) 6.54, Sean Taylor (USA) 4.87
Heat 6: Jody Davis (USA) 14.17, Cody Thompson (USA) 11.00, Michael Dunphy (USA) 8.33, Ben Graeff (USA) 7.87
Heat 7: Gabe Garcia (USA) 11.26, Albee Layer (HAW) 9.97, Edmund Townsend (USA) 8.60, Jeremy Johnston (USA) 6.17
Heat 8: Dylan Goodale (HAW) 13.60, Matt Meola (HAW) 11.50, Jason Harris (USA) 6.90, Justin Jones (USA) 4.60
Heat 9: Aaron Cormican (USA) 13.67, Phillip Goold (USA) 8.37, Robert Kelly (USA) 7.30, Jensen Callaway (USA) 5.70
Heat 10: Brett Barley (USA) 8.67, Dege O’Connell (HAW) 8.33, Willie Safreed (USA) 5.77
Heat 11: Rylan McCart (USA) 12.50, Ron Keindl (USA) 10.00, Chase Wilson (USA) 9.30, Cheyne Willis (USA) 9.30
Heat 12: Ryan Helm (USA) 13.67, Hira Teriinatoofa (PYF) 11.27, Michael Bailey (USA) 6.87, Kyle Kennelly (USA) 5.10
Heat 13: Angelo Lozano (MEX) 15.17, Dylan Southworth (MEX) 10.93, Kelsey Strickland (USA) 7.03, Ryah Arthur (USA) 5.33
Heat 14: Matt Pagan (USA) 8.24, Matt Wetmore (USA) 8.17, Heath Walker (AUS) 7.30, Gabriel Villaran (PER) 6.27
Heat 15: Jimmy Herrick (USA) 11.50, Sebastian Moreno (USA) 8.93, Marshall Alberga (USA) 7.17, Gary Wheeler (USA) 6.30
Heat 16: Eddie Guilbeau (USA) 10.43, Matt Keenan (USA) 9.40, Dustin Willman (USA) 7.34, Tayler Brothers (USA) 5.13

Sebastian Inlet Pro tow-ats


While we’re in the middle of the 2009 O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro, I thought it would cool to look back at some of last year’s action.  Beyond the ridiculous high performance surfing display that the competitors put on in their regular heats, one of the major highlights in the action was the Red Bull Tow At.  As you can see in the video, it looks like the guys being whipped into waves are having even more fun than those of us who get to watch it.  The same could be said for the regular paddle in heats, with the way some of the guys let loose, but with all the pressure going on in a four-man heat, the fun really appears to be in the Tow At competition.  While there are indeed prizes on offer, it appears these guys are in it for the fun, having a blast (literally), boosting big airs and throwing down hard speed turns.  Enjoy last year’s Tow At show, and get ready for a repeat performance this year.

O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro – Wednesday recap


The 2009 O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro finally got in the water Wednesday, after two lay days due to uncontestable conditions.  While many of the out of state and international competitors would likely still call Wednesday’s conditions uncontestable, contest organizers decided to go with the knee to waist high waves that were on tap.

The lackluster conditions made for relatively low heat totals throughout the event, with a number of heat winners even dominating their heats with total heat scores of less than 10 out of 20 points.  There were however a few standout performances, with hungry surfers making the best of what was on offer.  Wave of the day went to Aussie, Heath Walker, who posted a 8.17 in his first Round heat.  Puerto Rican young gun, Dylan Graves took home the highest heat score of the day with a 14.67 in his Round 1 heat, before failing to make it through his 2nd Round heat, where he only managed to pull out a total heat score of 4.47 out of 20.  The young North Carolina surfer, Nick Rupp managed to win his heat with the lowest total heat score of the day, with a 6.73 out of 20 points.  He followed that minor victory up with a second place finish in Round 2, allowing him to advance to Round 3.   

With growing swell and gradually improving conditions, we should see a continuation of the event on Thursday morning, where we will pick up with the 5th heat of Round 2.  Log on to the event website for photos, videos, heat sheets and all the live action.


Wednesday’s results:

Round of 160:
(1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Eric Worley (USA) 9.83, Andrew Gahan (USA) 9.67, Colin Harrington (USA) 5.27
Heat 2: Will Tant (USA) 11.50, Alejandro Moreda (PRI) 10.40, Liam Michelbrink (USA) 6.70, Brodie Walker (USA) 6.03
Heat 3: Nick Rupp (USA) 6.73, Marvin Scott (USA) 5.46, Josie Graves (PRI) 5.10, Tommy Orsini (USA) 4.27
Heat 4: Dylan Graves (PRI) 14.67, Caleb Johnston (USA) 9.0, Rick Mellen (USA) 6.10, Devon Ayers (USA) 3.57
Heat 5: Ricky Whitlock (USA) 14.16, Michael Dunphy (USA) 13.60, Jared Thorne (USA) 4.53
Heat 6: Jody Davis (USA) 10.83, Sean Tubbs (USA) 9.84, Phillip Watters (USA) 7.70, Ryan Heavyside (USA) 2.99
Heat 7: Edmund Townsend (USA) 8.74, Dylan Goodale (HAW) 6.93, David Giddings (USA) 5.64
Heat 8: Justin Jones (USA)13.00, Jeremy Johnston (USA) 10.43, Evan Thompson (USA) 10.40
Heat 9: Aaron Cormican (USA) 11.17, Willie Safreed (USA) 5.74, Ian Bloch (USA) 4.83
Heat 10: Dege O’Connell (HAW) 13.86, Robert Kelly (USA) 9.17, Sean Bacon (USA) 6.57
Heat 11: Chase Wilson (USA) 1.42, Ryan Helm (USA) 8.44, Doug Van Mierlo (USA) 6.77, Shaw Kobayashi (USA) 5.47
Heat 12: Hira Teriinatoofa (PYF) 12.17, Ron Keindl (USA) 9.06, Cody Sammons (USA) 2.27
Heat 13: Dylan Southworth (MEX) 10, Matt Wetmore (USA) 6.93, Tory Barron (HAW) 6.56
Heat 14: Heath Walker (AUS) 12.87, Kelsey Strickland (USA) 9.36, Keto Burns (USA) 9.07, Jordan Heaslegrave (BRB) 5.23
Heat 15: Sebastian Moreno (USA) 11.00, Eddie Guilbeau (USA) 7.86, Sean Poynter (USA) 7.46
Heat 16: Tayler Brothers (USA) 7.93, Gary Wheeler (USA) 6.20, Mat Story (USA) 3.54

Round of 128 Results: (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Alejandro Moreda (PRI) 10.40, Eric Worley (USA) 7.13, Thomas Petriken (USA) 6.24, Matt Johnson (USA) 5.69
Heat 2: Andrew Gahan (USA) 10.63, Scott Posner (USA) 7.86, Will Tant (USA) 7.60, Matt Myers (USA) n/s
Heat 3: Oliver Kurtz (USA) 9.00, Nick Rupp (USA) 8.50, Caleb Johnston (USA) 6.87, Hunter Heverly (USA) 5.26
Heat 4: Danny Estes (USA) 8.97, Manuel Selman (CHL) 8.10, Marvin Scott (USA) 4.64, Dylan Graves (PRI) 4.47

O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro – Another lay day


The O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro took a second day off on Tuesday after calling a lay day for Monday, due to a near complete lack of surf.  By Florida standards, the micro-waves on offer were par for the course.  For the national and international hopefuls who have flown in for the event, the stagnant waters of lake Atlantic must be frustrating. 

A slight bump is on tap for the region tomorrow, with an even bigger surge in swell size expected by the weekend.  Event organizers and contestants are hoping to be able to kick off the competition on Wednesday morning, in this first event of the 2009 for the World Qualifying Series.  First heat in the water could see a slight delay, given the morning high tide, but if conditions allow it, we might see an 11am or midday start.

Tune in to the event website for the morning call, heat sheets, updates and live video.


O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro – only one day to go!


Finally, after a few weeks of no live contests, we’ll see our favorite up-and-comers duking it out at the 2009 O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro.  Sure, we just had the the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships, but the damn contest only had a live audio stream.  Nothing quite like listening to the commentators rave about someone’s sick air, filthy hack or textbook turn on an audio stream.  Well, unlike the Junior Championship, this 4 Star Florida event will have a live video and audio stream, bringing us all of the heats live from Sebastian Inlet.  Our friends at Go211.com are hosting the event live on their website, bringing us all of the action as it happens. 

The only problem going into this first WQS event of the year, is waiting for the waves to show up.  Minor waves were on offer today, with not much activity on the horizon.  It looks like the event will get off to a not too exciting start with waves in the ankle to knee high range, as lake Atlantic continues to do its thing.  A slight bump is expected on Wednesday, that could make for messy waves a little over the waist high range.  Tune in to the event website tomorrow morning at 8:00am for the morning call.


Countdown to the 2009 O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro


The official start to the 2009 ASP World Qualifying Series is just a few days away, with the 4 Star O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro, presented by Ron Jon kicking off on Monday, January 12th. The Sebastian Inlet, Florida based contest is a real east coast gem, and is increasing in stature on the national and international level, drawing competitors far beyond the top east coast regulars.

Past event winners include Patrick Gudauskas in 2008, CJ Hobgood in 2007, Damien Hobgood in 2006, and Cory Lopez in 2005. Breaking the Floridian winning trend of the prior three years, Pat Gudauskas was able to take a win for the west coast last year over runner-up, Mike Losness, in what was an all Californian final. Pat, the highest ranking of the Gudauskas clan appears to be skipping this event, but he be pushing to secure himself a seat on the 2010 World Tour, after just narrowly missing out on qualification for this year. An interesting tidbit on the winners of the past four years is that three of the four winners were twins (CJ, Damien and Pat), and all of the four have brothers who also have competed in the event.

Expect another tremendous show this year, with many of the east coast and world’s best turning up to strut their talent in the first WQS competition of 2009.

The seed list for the event is now public: http://www.aspworldtour.com/alhunt/files/2009mqevt01.xls

For more details tune in to the event website:


2009 O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro



The 2008 World Qualifying Series and World Tour have just finished, wrapping up in epic Hawaiian surf, and the good folks at the ASP are already prepping for the very first WQS contest of the new year, the 4 Star O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro.  Scheduled to run from January 12th to January 18th, 2009, the O’Neill SIP will be the very first chance for 2008’s top finishers outside of the top 15 to strike and launch their campaign for a seat on the 2010 World Tour.  Now doesn’t that sound positively futuristic!  This will also be a first time event for many a rookie to the WQS, who wish to start out their first year on a positive note.  Another great feature about the O’Neill SIP, as with all events, is the amazing local talent.  The talent in Florida is even more incredible when you factor in the less than consistent conditions that plague Florida for most of the year.  Some of the more amazing talent who have turned out for past events at Sebastian include our nine time World Champ, Kelly Slater; 2001 World Champ, CJ Hobgood and his twin brother, Damien; and Shea and Cory Lopez; Jeremy Johnson and the brothers Geiselman, among others. 

Hold on to your trunks until the second week in January, as the 2009 O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro goes live in less than a month.  Enjoy the footage from last year’s event until then.  See you in Sebastian.