SAN CLEMENTE - The Nike Lowers Pro draws the world's best surfers to Lower Trestles each year for a chance to surf Lower Trestles with only one other man in the water. The massive prize purse ($40,000 for first), lucrative ASP points (6,500 for first), and the most valued trophy in surfing, the 14-karat gold railroad spike (valued at over $30,000), are just the icing on the cake. This year is no exception.
The annual event has taken contest surfing to new levels with aerials and other progressive maneuvers the rule rather than the exception. Last year's contest spotlighted the upcoming young Brazilian contingent, with Miguel Pupo's progressive talents shining the brightest to claim the title. Pupo, currently #10 on the World Rankings, will be back to defend his title along with fellow Brazilians Alejo Muniz and Gabriel Medina, currently ranked #23.
In order to earn the 2011 title, Pupo had to take out local hero Tanner Gudauskas (San Clemente, Calif.) in the final. Gudauskas will be back as well as another local favorite, Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, Calif.), currently #21 in the World Rankings. Carlsbad's Taylor Knox, Ventura's Dane Reynolds, and Santa Cruz's Nat Young will round out the California contingent. Two-time Lowers champion (2002, 2007) and former World Champion (2001) C.J. Hobgood (Melbourne Beach, Fla.), currently ranked #13, and Evan Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.), #27, will represent for the east coast of the USA.
World Tour surfer and current #4 in the World Rankings John John Florence (North Shore, Haw.) and 2009 World Junior Champion Kai Barger (Haiku, Haw.), neither of which are strangers to Lower Trestles, are two Hawaiians to watch for.
In addition, Australian legend and 1999 World Champ Mark Occhilupo (AUS) will be joining the mix this year, as will current World Tour surfer Adrian Buchan (AUS) and World Rankings #24 Julian Wilson (AUS).
Nike has allocated wildcards to 17-year-olds Koa Smith (Kilauea, Haw.) and Filipe Toledo (BRA), as well as 21-year-old Nic Von Rupp (GER). The ASP has distributed their wildcards to 18-year-old Conner Coffin (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and 19-year-old Luke Davis (Capo Beach, Calif.), with
others to be determined.
A two-heat Local Trial on the first day of competition will seed two locals into the first round of competition. Eight surfers total have a chance at the coveted spots.
The Nike Lowers Pro returns to San Clemente, Calif., for the fifth consecutive year, May 1-5. The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) PRIME contest is one of only two events of the highest caliber on the US Mainland this year, and touts a $250,000 prize purse with a highly coveted one-of-a-kind 14-karat gold railroad spike trophy worth more than $30,000.
The Nike Lowers Pro will be at the forefront of digital innovation. All five days of competition will be broadcast in HD-quality live on the event webcast. The upgraded production will feature super slow motion video for frame-by-frame analysis of significant maneuvers, heat-by-heat analyzer, and the incorporation of athlete and viewer Tweets and Instagram photos during the broadcast for an insider's view of the event.
With Verizon Wireless as a partner, the 2012 Nike Lowers Pro will become a wireless mecca and virtually eliminate the need for paper. Media and staff will work from wireless tablets to capture photos and HD videos to transfer or upload instantly to media outlets, the event website, and social media. The broadcast team and announcers will use tablets powered by fast Verizon Wireless 4G to watch HD video highlights, and receive instant information, updates, photos, and Tweets. The check-in process for athletes, media, and VIPs will go wireless too, utilizing the Verizon tablets. And athletes and fans will benefit from the strong wireless signal to communicate with family, friends and fans via Facetime or Skype, both of which require a strong WiFi signal.
Look for the Nike Lowers Pro on June 16 at 1 pm ET/10 am PT on NBC. The event airs as part of the "Red Bull Signature Series,” the most progressive and innovative surfing, snowboarding, mountain biking, freestyle motocross, ice cross downhill, skiing and BMX events, showcased on custom courses from the inspiration of the athletes themselves. For more information, visit redbullsignatureseries.com.
For more information on the Nike Lowers Pro, follow the action before, during and after the event online at NikeLowersPro.com, on Facebook NikeSurfing and SurferMag and on Twitter and Instagram @NikeSurfing and @Surfer_Magazine. Start the discussion using #NIKELOWERSPRO right now.
The 2012 Nike Lowers Pro would not be possible without the generous support of sponsors. Special thanks go out to Nike and other event partners Oakley, Verizon, Red Bull, SURFER and ASP.
About Nike Action
Engineered for world-class athletes, Nike Action unites the performance innovation of Nike with a deep commitment to the history, creativity, and raw athleticism of action sports. With a focus on Skateboarding, Snowboarding and Surfing, our footwear and apparel merge advanced materials and design with classic styling, driven by the voice of our athletes. Based at Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, Nike Action is dedicated to inspiring and supporting the world of action sports.
In 1960, SURFER Magazine began as the original. After a long history of delivering provocative and insightful editorial features, revealing interviews and award winning state-of-the-art photography, SURFER remains the authoritative voice of the surfing world and thus earned the moniker “the bible of the sport.” The SURFER brand has also grown to include Surfermag.com, Fantasy Surfer, and the SURFER message boards. All of these assets combine to make the SURFER network the most current and reliable channel of information to the surf community. The magazine is published by Source Interlink’s GrindMedia, which reaches more than 22-million active sports enthusiasts through an integrated network of magazines, online properties, events and television programming. To learn more, visit surfermag.com.
Source Interlink Media's GrindMedia is home to renowned action and adventure sports magazine brands Surfer, Surfing, Snowboarder, Skateboarder, Powder, Bike, Canoe & Kayak, SUP-Standup Paddler, Dirt Rider, ATV Rider, and Paved. Along with our standalone websites, including GrindTV.com, Newschoolers and Motocross.com, GrindMedia is the leading provider of print and online action sports and entertainment content in the United States. Delivering significant reach across both action sports enthusiast and various in-market consumer audiences, GrindMedia produces more than 20 leading events and webcasts such as Surfer Poll Awards, Powder Video Awards, Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro, EnduroCross and International Surfing Day. Grind Media is also the exclusive action and adventure sports content provider for Yahoo! Sports. To learn more, visit grindmedia.com.
KHPR for GrindMedia