Has pro surf competition in boring beachbreak become obsolete? Has it always been? Today, off the south side of Huntington pier, as Taj Burrow went ballistic in the US Open of Surfing final — did a muscular man wearing nothing more than a mullet wig and blazing yellow g-string garner the loudest crowd hoots of all? Yes, he did. But what does that say for our roaring sport? In semifinal number two, Rob Machado sliced and diced just like he always does the pier, flowing and blowing by dead spots, snipping on the backhand and making it all look too easy. Then, in the dying seconds, Hawaii’s Fred Pattachia snagged a right worth three straight up snaps to send Rob back to his longboard at Cardiff reef. So, what? Rob loses. Fred wins and makes his first major WQS final since signing his big-time contract with Quiksilver over four years ago. And, both are ripping — at least well enough to win another chop comp under the pier. Rob’s easily on par with what he did back in, let’s say...95?Taj Burrow just won fifteen thousand dollars, but displayed only a tiny glimpse of his full potential. Case in point: his winning wave was a nice backhand floater and vertical coping bash — good stuff, but pretty standard for him. He handled the whole thing real smooth, of course, in the end collecting his cash prize, saying, ” I’m so stoked; I’m over the moon” — but also rode two extra waves after the final, trying airs, like saying, “I’m still looking to blow up.” Yesterday’s US Open of Surfing was a great success — tons of surf fans all pleasured to watch the world’s finest surfers duel it out in the greatest game of soup exchange. One went left, the other right, and whoever works it best shall win! All the hot guys did their jobs: Cory Lopez with the layback lips; Timmy Reyes with the hometown rookie hammers; Trent Munro with the thick-boy cutbacks and TB with the totalitarian tail slides. Progressive or just passable, surf competition in sloppy beachbreak is here to stay. — Hagan KelleyRESULTS
1.Taj Burrow
2.Trent Munro
3.Cory Lopez
4.Fred Patacchia
5.Luke Stedman, Rob Machado
7.Taylor Knox, Timmy ReyesLOST PRO JUNIOR
1.Adriano De Souza
2.Dustin Cuizon
3.Kekoa Bacalso
4.Jean Da SilvaWQS RATINGS
After the {{{Honda}}} US Open
1. Neco Padaratz8155
2. Greg Emslie8033
3. Marcelo Nunes7205
4. Chris Ward7043
5. Trent Munro6998
6. Raoni Monteiro6730
7. Travis Logie6658
8. Fred Patacchia6580
9. Luke Stedman6570
10. Renan Rocha6355