Surf: Loads more of those groovy, slow-mo rights, perfect for weird, look back fades into straight up foam climbs — a full-on J. Parko playground. Events held: Open boys, juniors, women’s and men’s Nature’s call: Don’t race the shoulder, man; crouch in the hook—that’s where all the juice is. Don’t stress on the crowded beach, don’t worry what they’ll say. Visualize. Think clean lines. Predicted: Some kid totally loses it after a shocker heat, rips off his suit, swims nude out into the next heat subsequently being run over while trying to body surf the inside bowl as a form of protest. Heat of the day: Paddling power is important as anything when battling a heat at Nationals, when it’s on the line and five other competitors are all flailing arms and kicking feet in your face and over your back for that one last wave to save the day. Today, the world famous Bethany Hamilton outfoxes the pack simply by sitting a tad deeper to the right, setting herself up perfectly for some of the best, lined up waves running down the point. Oh, and then smacking ’em proper, good enough for a strong second place finish to Encinitas’s Lauren Sweeny and spot in the prestigious semifinals. Performer of the day: With his second perfect 10 score of the comp, central Cal loc, Kilian Garland, coolly meanders one step closer to this years open men’s title. Clocking the crumbly lip of a tapering four-foot right hand track, turning shoulders just so, pressing down the front foot he then lets the wave’s momentum finish the job, spinning him into a classy forehand reverse and without a hitch, another relay bottom drive to straight up man slam. Devastating. Along with his second score, he balls it 18 of a possible 20 points. Competitive Highlight: Dane Gudauskas in the open men’s repo has gnarly veins popping out his neck all over, while his eight-foot arms sling him past the other dudes and into the wave of the heat, into battle stance, upside down three times and directly to first place leaving star boys TJ Barron and his brother Patrick fending for themselves in the tightest nail-biter of the day.
Shockers: Pat Gudauskas loses his usual rhythm of catching a good first wave, falls to his stomach second wave digging on a forehand snap and has to settle with fourth place—one spot short of another national final. TJ Barron also looks to be joining him until polishing off a last minute inside gem complete with tight forehand lip kicks good enough to have veteran pro on the sand, Shane Beschen, nodding his approval. Stay tuned for: What do you mean? Hop a Greyhound, grab a red eye or snag a seat on the sand if you want to see some real rude dog ripping. It’s the finals and these crew are gonna’ show you how to dance. Quotable: “Well, fricken JB Barron did.” — Nick Rosza’s dad on why Nick should’ve caught more than one wave in his open men’s quarterfinal. Quotable: “Look kids; it’s new Smith Optics team manager Chris Drummy — he can get you the big money” — Comp emcee ‘Rockin’ FigQuotable: “Oh no, not the notorious triangle green jersey” — Open junior Granger Larsen’s dad checking on his son’s next heat. –Hagan Kelley