SURF: A strong, head-high-plus south swell at Lower Trestles, cleaning up and on the rise
EVENTS HELD: {{{Explorer}}} Juniors Rounds One and Two; Explorer Menehuene Round One; Explorer Longboard Round One; Explorer Masters Round One
NATURE’S CALL: What–you didn’t think we’d show up to the party?
PREDICTED: No shortage of swell or Perfect 10s
HEAT OF THE DAY: No question: Explorer Juniors Round Two, Heat Five. Four potential finalists; a handful of overhead sets roping along the cobblestones. A few years ago, this would have easily been a final. In today’s genetically enhanced Nationals, it’s a mere second round. Dane Reynolds opened the 15-minute spray-a-thon with two high-speed hacks and a solid, double-grab air off the closeout. Score: 8.75. Toward the end of the heat, he backed that up with a spine-twisting carve combo that netted another 8.75. His two-wave heat total: 17.5 — the day’s highest combined score by more than a point. The battle for second through fourth was equally impressive, as Alex Gray and ’03 0-SMAS champ Ola Eleogram outlasted Hawaii’s Raymond Reichele in the final minutes.

PERFORMER OF THE DAY: Dane Reynolds. There were others who turned heads: Kekoa Bacalso’s 10-ton bash in Round Two was alone good enough for an 8.5, and Dustin Cuizon used his failsafe formula for success — the biggest sets with an endless string of critical maneuvers — for two easy heat wins in the Juniors. But Reynolds isn’t just keeping pace with what he set last year; he’s improving it. Effortless airs; ‘CT-caliber carves; the whole package is looking bigger and brighter than ever.SHOCKERS: Former national champ Kilian Garland never got over the first-round jitters in his first heat and finished last. 2000 Open Juniors National Champ Travis Mellem got a case of those same jitters in the Explorer Juniors Second Round. He, too, brought up the rear.QUOTABLE: “Maybe these burgers will give me that extra point and a half.” — Explorer Junior Kekoa Bacalso, on how he plans to add even more weight to his heavy-duty snaps“If they’re giving Dane 8.75s for his waves, then they should be giving Dustin 4s for his.” — an anonymous observer on the two top contenders’ differing approaches