The SURFING Blog: Judging the Kustom Airstrike

posted by / Blogs / September 2, 2010

$50,000 is a lot of money for a surfing move. But you could argue it’s the reason we have 10 clips of this caliber — mo’ money, mo’ maneuvers. And then the two frontrunners, well, they’re worth every penny: a backflip vs. a big spin. Finally, an air contest that works! Over the past few days, I’ve shown these clips of Chippa Wilson and Flynn Novak to the majority of the people in my life, surfers and non-surfers, and while they’re exciting, they are very confusing.

I showed my mom. My dad. My gramma on her 72nd birthday. (Happy Birthday, gramma.) I showed my roommates and my girlfriend. I talked about it while looking at the surf over the weekend. I even polled our office neighbors at Skateboarder Magazine. I brought it up to an unsuspecting stranger at my local watering hole. And while it’s kind of like trying to decide what’s better: Tony Hawk doing a loop or Dyland Rieder frontside flipping a 12-stair (very tough to judge against each other), we must decide, as all these people I’ve surveyed did. Which left me even more confused as they were pretty well split down the middle. Which is where my dilemma begins.

I’m no judge. I have an opinion, but I’m not a big fan of having that opinion decide who wins a shit load of money. I’ve gotten a lot of phone calls, e-mails and yeah, I’ve read the comments from our friendly Internet readers and I even listened to that song by “The Bucky Burrow Band” about SURFING Magazine having “its head up its rectum.” How rude! (I actually just heard they’re changing that line? Why man, art is art! Don’t be apologetic at this point.) But anyway, I sit here stoked to watch the top 10 airs of the year and I’ll be voting alongside Joel Parkinson, Kai Neville and Sam Macintosh. For now, watch the Kustom Airstrike and become a man. —Travis Ferré

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  • Nico

    If you cut down to 2 or 3 then you can split the money

  • What about that rodeo?

    Are you kidding me? Chippa’s rodeo flip when matched up against Flynn’s flip wins hands down, way more tech. Who cares if it has been done before, if you are judging one move compared to the other, Flynn’s doesn’t stand a chance.

  • Editor

    I think people are over looking Ryan Carlson’s air. Looks a lot like Flynn’s but bigger!

  • Editor

    Chippa’s is cool but he barely gets above the lip. Might as well put chop-hops in there too!

  • mick

    carlsons is a double grab alley oop. lamest manover surfing has claimed. (kerrupt? deffinetly)
    i recon its outta the spinny from chippa the flip from flynn chippas rodeo. its the best 1 ive seen (look at the distance speed and smoothness!) and kerrzys out of the lip upside down reverse is cool as shit too! id call that a flip too more then the kerrupt(alley opp double grab)

  • Editor2

    Congrats Chippa!!!

  • doo doo

    chippa should get it for sure.. hes got 2 trick in the vid. Most technical by far

  • Nathan Myers

    I don’t envy your decision, Trav. What’s making it difficult is maybe a lack of criteria. “Craziest.” Backflip and Big-Spin are both “crazy,” but in completely different ways (though, not exactly “kerr-azy”). I personally think we should break the tie with a personal essay from each entrant about “why they should win the $50k.” Or a spelling bee. Either way, I think we can expect another Bucky Burro song.

  • Nathan Myers

    PS: someone should edit this vid down a bit so we can look at the REAL contenders. Couple of these airs just aren’t even in the running…couple others maybe should be, but get overlooked. I also want better slow-mo. And a cappuccino, two sugars.

  • dgb

    more proof that these big airs are one maneuver a wave flukes and that the asp’s new format, specifically designed to cater for these guys with a safety net for the inevitable falls, will have the flukers getting by solid surfing only to be hammered by solid surfing in the rounds with out the safety net – ie can’t risk going for the fluke.

  • Lynn

    Novak wins by far!!!!!! How can you even compare??

  • Jamie O’Brien

    Flynn s flip it the best ! clippers is sick but a shit wave !

  • shit yourself

    Damien Wills did two way bigger and better ‘big spins’ in his Innersection part : and they still don’t come close to the backflips Flynn is doing… I can’t believe how much hype Chipper got from that air, while people are trying to hate on a backflip? on a surfboard? Can most people even do a backflip on a trampoline? Flynn’s the only one in this Kustom competition who invented a maneuver this year as well…

    Flynn Novak is the CLEAR winner!