Surf: Knee to chest high mushburgers
Events held: Grom, Junior, Men’s Pro-Am and Air Semis and Finals
Nature’s call: Tell the groms to pick up their Gogurt wrappers
Predicted: Shota Nakamura is going to have a bloody hard time taking his new {{{Honda}}} motorcycle back to Japan

Sanity was optional at Volcom’s 2004 Totally Crustaceous VQS Surf Championships. Held at 54th Street at Newport Beach, CA May 14 -16, contest organizers, dressed like bloodthirsty pirates, bombarded the perfectly sane group of international competitors and spectators with a plethora of insane activities. Flaming chainsaw jugglers, treasur hunts and a cannon-firing pirate ship were just some of the planned events that kept the crowd nuttier than a squirrel turd.

In fact, on Sunday at 11 am, one male spectator got so wound up that he called out Gavin Beschen and Shawn “Barney” Barron while they were doing the Air Repo play by play, then began screaming at the top of his lungs, “I’m a walking f***ing movie,” before swimming out into the heat. Buccaneer contest organizers finally got the furious youth to calm down by the start of the next heat. And it was rumored that the spectator’s behavior stemmed from his lack of necessary medication.

But that land lover lunacy failed to compare to the craziness being displayed in the sub par surf. During the Grom final, the crowd went pyscho when 15 year old Shota Nakumura, busted two double-grab airs on a sloppy little right. Nakumura went on to win the final and is flying back to Japan with a new Honda Fifty and $4,000 in his pocket.

Another international ${{{4000}}} first place winner was Aussie aerialist Josh Kerr. Kerr rose above a stacked Air spectacular final heat that included Gavin Beschen, Matt Archbold and Zach Keenan. Sporting a Mohawk-mullet hair do throughout the event, Kerr’s eccentric coiffure wasn’t as eye-catching as his 360 reverse airs.

But the rest of the cash stayed in the family. Hawaiian contest machine and Volcom team rider, Dustin Cuizon captured the Pro-Am final victory, destroying the final with an arsenal of vertical back hand slashes and flashy front side floaters that won him the title and four grand. And fellow teamer, Alex Gray also cashed in with $4000 bucks for winning the Juniors final, the hardest heat to judge from the beach because of the high level of performance.

Florida’s Blake Jones and California’s Gray went wave for wave throughout the 30-minute heat. And until the awards ceremony, the Juniors winner was up in the air. But when the day’s Blackbeard look-alike announced Brighton as second place, Gray took a huge chug of champagne and spit it into Brighton’s face before the Floridian returned the favor with a hearty laugh. And although Gray wasn’t boozing at the contest, the young Palos Verde surfer did express a need for professional help.

“I think I need to go into g-string detox after this contest because I’m having withdrawals,” said Gray, “Next time they should just have a naked booth.”

Good thinking. After all, what’s the fun in being a pirate if there’s no booty? Daniel Ikaika Ito