The cold crack of metal pierces the air. Four men clad in chain mail, with swords drawn in full battle mode hit the sand near the water's edge. The beach surrounding them is littered with scantily clad maidens drenching themselves in the medieval sunshine. Announcers rattle of Chaucerian rants, and knights in neoprene do battle in the surf. No, I didn't go to Medieval Times Beach Day, this is what I was greeted with at the beach for Volcom's Crustieval Times, VQS Tournament of Champions. With a castle set up on the beach and enough medieval chicken legs and festivities to feed everyone from King to Peasant, the stage was set for a showdown for the Middle Ages
Not to ever be out done, Volcom laid out $75,000 for this year's tournament, which featured competitors from 9 different countries. The final day was graced with a solid south swell that stormed the shores to the liking of everyone.
The finals began in the afternoon as a cavalry of clouds invaded, intensifying the atmosphere. Dark scowls peered from the knights as they entered the water. In the first final it was the fair-maiden's who braved the treacherous seas, and when the spray settled it was Darlene Conolly who just edged out Erica Hosseini for the $5,000 prize. The dragon-flying knights of the Airshow Joust lit the crowd on fire next. Blake Jones sent all the fairest of maidens into an uproar when he successfully landed a supercross inspired superman-air. Unfortunately for Blake, the traveling knight Josh Kerr, who trekked all the way from Australia to fly in the competition, navigated his surfboard into one of the most controlled, yet ridiculously radical air reverses you'll ever see for the win.
In the Little Knights division, it was the gallant Oliver Kurt out of Florida who stormed the competition, and walked away with more money that any 14-year old should ever be allowed to see, "I'll probably hit Seven-Eleven really hard," exclaimed the grom in disbelief after winning $6,000. In the Junior Knights division, it was Maui's most feared competing knight, Dusty Payne who slaughtered the competition in the final. On top of winning $8,000, Dusty won himself a bright orange low-rider bicycle, which he in no way had enough tattoos to ride with any legitimacy.
In the Pro-Am Knights it was Kilian Garland and Asher Nolan who entered the ring, with Yves Bright and Alex Grey. Garland and Noland quickly challenged each other and ran away with the competition, battling to the final blow. Kilian jumped over the mote twirling a full rotation air reverse, stomping it down cleanly, then glared into the eyes of the crowd as they leapt from their seats in cheer. Kilian's next wave was a left that he decapitated on the guillotine. All the while, Asher Noland was fumbling, clearly rattled by the young Garland's prowess. But as if he had set the young Garland on purpose, Sir Noland beamed across two lefts at lightning speed as if he was lead across sections by fiery steeds. In a close finish, it was Kilian Garland who got the nod in the final, picking himself up a King's ransom of $12,000 and enough loot to open his own e-bay store.