NSSA Cheat-Sheet: Tonino Benson

Tonino Benson. Photo: Jimmicane
Tonino Benson. Photo: Jimmicane


As the NSSA Nationals begin in Huntington Beach, we reach into the minds of past winners to extract the competitive secrets that bring home Nationals gold.


Tonino Benson (HAW) — 2007 Open Mens Champion

“To get ready for Nationals I would surf a lot and get all of my tricks down. I stuck to the lefts at Trestles, but now, with the contest at Huntington, I would say stick to the Rob Machado left. Just work hard. It’s all about preparation before the contest. If you’re prepared, you have nothing to worry about.

I think the judges will be looking for high-performance maneuvers, speed in between turns, flow and style. It almost seems like you have to do an air on every wave or else you won’t make it through a heat.

And it’s always good to have your family and friends on the beach for support.
It’s definitely a great contest to win. It was the biggest contest of my amateur career.”