As head-high waves rolled through Newport Beach's 56th street, a mix of surf shop employees and pros slugged it out in one of the closest Oakley Surf Shop Challenge events ever. By event's end, it was the Zaun brothers of Spyder Surf who led their team to victory at this year's Oakley Surf Shop Challenge Western regional event.
In the first round, the nine teams comprised of four surfers--two shop employees and two pros--wasted no time in making work of 56th street's punchy beachbreak. At the front of the game stood Val Surf's whammy surfer, Dillion Perrilo, who he received a 9.03 for a giant slob-grab.
"I saw the end section and thought I'd try an air-reverse, but then as I got closer I decided to play it safe," said Perillo. Safe was understatement, and since Dillion was Val Surf's "whammy surfer," the judges doubled his score to give Val Surf a birth into the final.
As the 2010 Western regional champions, Jacks Surfboards stood in strong contention to repeat last year's success after Clay Crandal posted a 5.93 for two backside turns. But moments before Clay's wave, Spyder Surf's whammy surfer Dane Zaun ripped into a mid-size left all the way to the beach to earn a 6.0 and give Sypder surf an early lead in the Finals.
Following Zaun's rhythm was Spyder's two shop employees, Dickie O'Reily and Chris Broman. After O'Reily posted a score of a 4.13, Broman used his smooth and effortless style to net a score of a 4.53 and force his competitors to lock in a good score. However, Katin Surf Shop's Ryan Carlson did just that. After nearly pulling a backside air-reverse on his first wave, Carlson stuck with his strong aerial prowess and soared high into the summer air to earn an 8.17 and give Katin the advantage.
With the hopes of a Western regional title lying on the shoulders of Spyder's youngest surfer, Kelly Zaun took to the water. After patiently waiting, Kelly used his powerful rail-to-rail surfing on one of the heats better rights and was rewarded with a solid 6.77. With this ride, Spyder now had the ball back in their court and could nearly taste the event's win.
But as time dwindled down, Katin's whammy surfer, Teddy Navarro, posted a 5.97 that put Katin back within reach of taking top-honors. In the dying moments of the heat, needing a score in the high-four range, Katin's Drew executed a layback snap on an inside section that would fall just short, and give Spyder Surf Shop the Western regional title.
"I wasn't going to go because there was a three-wave set, but luckily I went and was able to do one good turn and a layback on the end section," said Spyder Surf's Kelly Zaun. "We've been doing this contest for five years now and have never won, so to finally win is awesome."
1) Spyder: 27.43
2) Katin: 25.94
3) Jacks: 25.22
4) Val Surf: 22.76