The SURFING Blog: Judging the Kustom Airstrike

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$50,000 is a lot of money for a surfing move. But you could argue it’s the reason we have 10 clips of this caliber — mo’ money, mo’ maneuvers. And then the two frontrunners, well, they’re worth every penny: a backflip vs. a big spin. Finally, an air contest that works! Over the past few days, I’ve shown these clips of Chippa Wilson and Flynn Novak to the majority of the people in my life, surfers and non-surfers, and while they’re exciting, they are very confusing.

I showed my mom. My dad. My gramma on her 72nd birthday. (Happy Birthday, gramma.) I showed my roommates and my girlfriend. I talked about it while looking at the surf over the weekend. I even polled our office neighbors at Skateboarder Magazine. I brought it up to an unsuspecting stranger at my local watering hole. And while it’s kind of like trying to decide what’s better: Tony Hawk doing a loop or Dyland Rieder frontside flipping a 12-stair (very tough to judge against each other), we must decide, as all these people I’ve surveyed did. Which left me even more confused as they were pretty well split down the middle. Which is where my dilemma begins.

I’m no judge. I have an opinion, but I’m not a big fan of having that opinion decide who wins a shit load of money. I’ve gotten a lot of phone calls, e-mails and yeah, I’ve read the comments from our friendly Internet readers and I even listened to that song by “The Bucky Burrow Band” about SURFING Magazine having “its head up its rectum.” How rude! (I actually just heard they’re changing that line? Why man, art is art! Don’t be apologetic at this point.) But anyway, I sit here stoked to watch the top 10 airs of the year and I’ll be voting alongside Joel Parkinson, Kai Neville and Sam Macintosh. For now, watch the Kustom Airstrike and become a man. —Travis Ferré