2007 NSSA Nationals: Day 3

Check the previous reports here.

Conditions: Changing more often than Paris Hilton's dudes
Events Held: Open, Mini Groms, Boys, Juniors and Mens
Nature's Call: Hey Socal, you like it hot, right?
Predictions: Warning: Heavy Heats Ahead

Imagine a family reunion. Crazy aunts and uncles clambering around telling wacked-out stories. Packs of groms causing a ruckus, tipping porta potties and eating blackened hot dogs. There's a pleasant smell of chemical based sunscreen and salty air. Throw in a tent city of corpo logos, some waves and a surf contest in the mix and what you have is day three of the NSSA Championships at Lower Trestles.

Lowers witnessed over 36 heats today from various Opens divisions including Open Mini Groms, Boys, Juniors and Mens. The day started off at 8am with Opens Boys squaring off to a rather sleepy eyed crowd, it was Nationals hump day. Nonetheless, Kolohe Andino and company put on highly caffeinated performances, for the sleepy morning crowd.

Starting at 9:45am was the Opens Mens, the NSSA's juggernaut division that is overflowing with talent. By this time the crowd on the beach had grown considerably, there were so many groms running around that Lowers felt more like Chuck-E-Cheeses, minus the crappy pizza. And each of the 12 heats was packed with potential champions.

In heat seven, championship threat and Maui Native Kai Barger showed Lowers what a surfer poised for a title looks like. "I'm feeling good about my surfing right now," said Barger. "I'm hungry to win. I've been thinking about the title for a long time."

Heat ten saw the return of the reigning Open Mens champion Kekoa Cazimero. Kekoa showed great presence in the water commanding waves like an experienced WCT veteran. Kekoa posted the highest score in the mens division with an 8.5, tied with Lahiki Minamishin. "The waves are pretty small so everybody is pretty aggressive," said Cazimero. "As long as I get waves I'm comfortable and confident with my surfing."

Spencer Regan had the standout performance of the day with a progressive display of surfing. Every wave he caught was full of well-executed turns and airs. His two dropped scores were enough to win every heat of the day. Spencer even busted two of the contests gnarliest airs, a huge reverse, and a solid double grab reverse. "I just switched boards today," said Regan when asked about his phenomenal success. "Something was telling me to ride my new squash tail." And if Spencer keeps surfing the way he did today we could easily be seeing him as the 2007 Mens Open Champion, he was that one. "I need to keep surfing solid and getting good waves."

After the mens finished up their heats, a swarm of mini groms hit the water in droves. In an instance the waves grew from shoulder high to double overhead that or the surfers just shrunk.

Open Juniors closed the day of competition by showcasing the future of surfing. The highlight of the division was John John Florence scoring the highest score of the day with a 9.0. "I really like the Juniors division," said Florence. "It's a challenge because the kids are older than me." John John is surely a threat for the Juniors title this year, "I wanna make the finals at least." And a 9 in round one is a nice way to start the campaign.

Well we're hitting our stride. And the swell is on the way, the sun is relentless and the groms are about to hit full froth. So log on, watch the webcast and cheer on your favorite grommets.