Hobie Surf: Photo Essay from the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro

The Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro… May 1st-5th

Lowers… home to arguably Southern Californias best wave. Extremely consistent, handling almost all swell directions, this peak at Trestles throws out pristine A frames like they are being produced by a machine. However, it has a tiny take off area, massive crowds and an extremely competitive line-up almost every day of the year.

Lowers… the Yosemite of surfing. Beautiful and secluded, no front row parking. Whatever way you come in, much like the birds who fly by, you wander there.

The consistency of the wave, makes it the perfect spot for a surf contest… the following are moments captured throughout the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro. Enjoy!

The waves were on the whole event… it’s almost painful to see only two or four people out at a time, and watch flawless surf roll through unridden. The only thing you can do is mind surf the empty ones.

The first heats of the morning are a reminder that the Californian sleeps in and takes their time getting to… well… everything. Proof in the ratio of photographers to spectators, about 5 to 1 before 9am.

Dane Reynolds… this is the first time I have ever seen him surf in person; he does not disappoint. Stronger and much more powerful. When he takes to the air it’s like he is not just content to go up and come down, no, he needs to ruin the wave first, then land.

Universal crowd love for Occy (here after hearing he had advanced by one tenth), they were living and dying for him. He was all most people were talking about, it was beyond the usual excitement of a hyped up crowd… it was an awe and reverence for the legendary champion, and it was very well earned.

Out by a tenth and being whisked from the water, into a waiting car headed for LA to host the Billabong XXL awards, Mark Occhilupo’s run came to an end.

Hey… it’s finals week… study break. The kid sitting in the sand next to me was deep in the books, looking up after a nudge from his girlfriend that the sets were coming.

If there is a more gracious surfer on the tour, his last name is probably also Gudauskas. Pat Gudauskas signed every autograph and smiled, genuinely, for every photo, every reporter, every kid, every grandma, every pelican, every everything….

….even when shaking the hand of the man who ended his run, Adrian Buchan, he still had a smile.

Free snacks, and free shade in the VIP tower. Fancy.

John John out in the semi’s to Glenn Hall. John John in and getting ready for the expression session, Hall, upstairs to grab a quick celebration before readying himself for the final heat against Gabriel Medina.

Gabriel Medina mobbed on his way to the water for the final… his focus is incredible. Watching him surf all week, I have never seen anything like it.

When all was said and done, there was no question that the Lowers Pro belonged to Gabriel Medina. Responsible for 5 of the 10 highest scores of the contest, he left no doubt who would earn the priciest trophy in surfing. Nearly flawless every time he took a wave, his errors were so few he made Dane Reyonalds practically disappear during their quarter final heat. He had a perfect 10 30 seconds into the semi finals against Adrian Buchan and followed it up with a 9.8. Staggering. Glenn Hall kept it close in the final, but Medina still won by 5 points.  Both Bob Hurley and Peter “PT” Townend agreed it was the best performance seen at Lowers in the events 35 years, barrier-breaking even.

While Medina gets his solid gold spike trophy, the next generation is gearing up to grab the crown.

-Tracey Engelking

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