By Matt Skenazy
Photos by Jimmicane
When Ian Gentil came by the office last week, he told us that “the thing about Huntington is that anyone can get a lucky one and win — it’s not necessarily the best guys.”
Thursday however, amidst grey skies and peaky combo swell, the (soon to be) household names prevailed in round one of the Open Mens and Open Boys divisions.
Luke Davis, Keanu Asing, Parker and Conner Coffin, Christian Saenz, Trevor Thornton, Ezekiel Lau and Evan Geiselman advanced out of round one with first place results in their respective heats.
Geiselman, fresh off a Surfing America USA Championship title, hadn’t surfed since Monday.
“I was just trying to get used to my board under my feet today,” he said post-heat. It’s rare that you hear of surfers tapering their surfing leading up to contests, but when you have back-to-back week-long affairs like E.G., sometimes you just need a little break here and there.
Conner Coffin surfed early in the morning when the tide was close to bottoming out: “There weren’t a lot of waves in my heat, but I felt good, and I did what I needed to do to get first and keep going,” Coffin said. “I wanna get back out there though, it still looks really fun. Maybe I’ll go to Creek, or Strands, or Trestles or…” He trailed off and five minutes later he was gone and I didn’t see him for the rest of the day, though his brother Parker was around and winning heats in both the Open Men’s and Open Juniors.
The day finished with the first six heats of round two for the Open Juniors with Kaoli Kahokuloa and Parker Coffin looking the most impressive.
- After winning his round one heat in Open Mens, Ian Gentil’s people (of course he has people) tried to coax him into going live on the webcast for a little Q&A. Ian demurred, saying “No, that’s really not my nature. I don’t really like being in front of cameras.”
He’ll have to own up to the camera soon enough if he keeps surfing the way he has been, fast and fluid with that new-age Maui style.
- The girls didn’t put their singlets on Thursday, but Lakey Peterson still tried to hustle her sponsors into buying her tickets to a Taylor Swift concert if she can pull a rodeo flip in a heat. Her sponsors wisely denied — after all, those tickets are expensive, and Lakey is perhaps the top young female aerialist today. Better not to risk it.
- Kalani David’s slick air reverse after the horn in his Open Boys first round heat. Is there a better way to celebrate a heat win?
Tune in to surfingmagazine.com for daily updates and http://nssalive.com for the live heat webcast, as Nationals builds steam into the holiday weekend.