Alex Gray is running across the cobblestones at Lowers toward the beach marshal tent—eyes bloodshot, sunscreen smeared; he looks like an ironman on the last, grueling marathon leg. He hands over his red jersey in exchange for a yellow one and again dances back across the barnacle encrusted rocks and paddles back out. New jersey. New heat. New division—all this because Alex was able to surf his way to the finals in both the Mens 4-star WQS and the Oakley Pro Junior at the Body Glove Surf Bout presented by Adio. “I’ve surfed five heats today—some back-to-back—but I’ll be smiling for a long time,” explains the Red-Bull fueled Gray. “It’s just amazing that I get to surf 4- to 6-foot perfect Lowers—I, mean I was just having so much fun surfing heats.” It’s a good thing because while Gray came up just short, receiving fourth in the Mens Division, and third in the Pro Junior, he’s logged some serious contest overtime this week.
Alex’s only rest came at the start of the Oakley Pro Junior Final. After all the buildup to the final, everyone on the beach watched as the four competitors bobbed out the back like four colorful Skittles waiting for any movement in the ocean. There was none. After pumping out fun waves all day, Lowers seemed to be all out of juice—or maybe just giving Alex a break. Either way it was well over 15 minutes into the 30-minute final before anyone stood up. “We were all pretty stressed out at just getting a wave,” said Oakley Pro Junior winner Eric Geiselman who needed under a 3 to take the win when he stood up on a small lefthander, “I just stood up and was begging myself to just surf it how I would normally surf it, and luckily I got the score—time for some good food now!”
With all the lulls hopefully out of its system, Lowers turned back on for the Mens final. Everyone watched as the first exchange went down, looking to see who was going to be that explosion of fury in the final: Asher Nolan daggered a left to open, leaning all heads towards him early, then WCT Aussie Luke Stedman—who made a lot of new fans over the week, hanging with goddess Malia Jones, styling in and out of the water—brush stroked a right all the way to the inside, artfully tossing himself into the mix. Then it happened. Taking off outside was a Hawaiian who might as well have been a local. After a whole childhood of NSSA Nationals at the break, Dustin Cuizon knew exactly what to do. The compact Ewa Beach local finally sprung on his first set wave, absolutely riddling the overhead right to the degree of a 9.17, shooting himself way out into the lead. Cuizon had everyone on the sand puzzled asking, “What the hell just happened?” But then he paddled back out, snagged another, put his touch on it, and just like that locked up the 2006 Body Glove Surfbout. Afterward, a shocked Cuizon was at a loss for words “It’s so hard to be consistent when you’re traveling around away from home so much, but it’s nice when things work out to your advantage.”
Things definitely worked out for the Hawaiian this day. It’s not every day you get carried over those damn rocks at Lowers by all your friends.
Oakley Pro Junior
1. Eric Geiselman
2. Dylan Graves
3. Alex Gray
4. Alejandro Moreda
Body Glove Surfbout presented by Adio
1. Dustin Cuizon
2. Asher Nolan
3. Luke Stedman
4. Alex Gray