Kustom Air Strike: The Unofficial Top 5 Contenders

posted by / News / March 25, 2009

50 large for one lofty air. Pretty simple concept, but by no means simple to pull off. Just like Taylor Knox’s 52-foot, $50,000 plunge at Todos during the inaugural K2 Challenge, the Kustom Airstrike’s bounty will undoubtedly launch 1000 new above-the-lip assaults. It’s the biggest prize purse we can think of for a single maneuver, and it’s captured the imaginations of surfing’s air wizards worldwide. But all the high-flying fun is coming to an end soon (exactly five days, 21 hours, 32 minutes and 38 seconds at the time of writing). Which means that someone is about to walk away $50,000 richer for stomping a huge one. With hundreds of entries to sift through, we figured we’d make it a bit easier and boil it down to our call on the Top 5. We also recruited one of the judges, Kolohe “Brother” Andino, to comment on each one. Time is of the essence – go out and stick one before one of these dudes lands the cash.


CONTENDER ONE: RY CRAIKE, WEST OZ
Kolohe’s take: “It’s really crazy – rad how he fully rotates and there’s a part where his board goes inverted. I think there are better, but this one is impressive.”



CONTENDER TWO: JAY DAVIES, BALI
Kolohe’s take: “Everyone’s freaking out on this one. It’s just so big and the way he lands it; it’s like he falls in the whitewater and just sort of pops right up. I don’t really like alley oops that much, except the kind Dane and Jordy do where they whip the tail all the way around in the air. But this one’s huge and it deserves to be a contender.”



CONTENDER THREE: MITCH COLEBORN, INDO
Kolohe’s take: “This is a full backflip, which I’m still baffled on how to pull one off. The landing is so textbook perfect, too. The only thing is that he kind of holds on the whole time, but what can I say? I’d be holding on, too.”



CONTENDER FOUR: CLAY MARZO, MAUI
Kolohe’s take: “This is a good-size rotation and a full rotation. So gnarly. These are the airs I’m working on the most, and they’re so hard. It’s like you have to whip it before you even leave the lip. Clay’s the master at these.”



CONTENDER FIVE: DUSTY PAYNE
Kolohe’s Take: “I think this is the one. It’s like Marzo’s but upside down and higher. If you pause it when his tail is facing the land, he’s so inverted it’s a joke. Fully rotates and sticks it easy. If anybody can outdo this one, they deserve {{{100}}} grand.”


OTHER NOTABLES ACCORDING TO KOLOHE:
“I really like Pat Gudauskas’ rodeo – that one’s pretty nuts. And {{{CJ}}}’s straight air is huge. It’s all pretty inspiring, really. This contest really brings out the best in these guys and gives us something to aim for.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

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