2009 Quiksilver ISA World Juniors: Day 2

Conditions: 4-5 lefts
Events Held: Boy's 18 Under Rounds 1 and 2
Nature's Call: Getting bigger
Predictions: More thigh burners

La FAE beach, a dusty hot strip of sand on an Ecuadorian air force base (picture a few scattered rusting WWII era planes baking in the sun) has a left point that can change from super fun to super tricky very quickly. Case in point were the early heats today where Boys Under 18 surfers you've never heard of like Brazilian Miguel Pupo and Lewis St. Jean of Barbados along with guys you may know like Santa Cruz's Nat Young, cut loose on easy {{{300}}} yard long, head high lefts. But, in the afternoon, when a pushing tide combined with a strong onshore wind and rising surf, it was anything but easy as La FAE suddenly turned into the bumpiest wave in the world. Step ladder take offs were followed by desperate attempts to lay a rail in between wind chops and side wedges off the rocks.

One of the few kids with legs strong enough to power turns through the mess was Australian Dean Bowen. 18-year old Bowen, seen last year charging 12 foot Teahupo'o at the Von Zipper trials, laid down some man turns this afternoon. "The chops out there were big but not big enough to bounce me around," said Bowen after emerging from an Aussie "ring of fire" team congratulation session after the heat. Overall, he seemed pretty relaxed. "My favorite things here are the girls and the waves," he said.

Team USA looked like it was having fun as well. The stars and stripes have only had one surfer fall to the elimination repercharge round so far, Chase Wilson, and all of the American Under 18 Girls won their heats today. It's a far cry from the team that finished behind Switzerland in the ISA Games here five years ago.

Home team Ecuador also had reason to smile today after locals Jaime Guzman and David Villaroel posted strong wins. During their heats the beach erupted into cheers almost as loud as the ones heard all over Ecuador yesterday when the national soccer team scored a late goal to tie Brazil.

The big story here is now the surf, which is looking like it may almost be two big for the next few days. La FAE faces due south and a solid pulse of groundswell is on the way, which may make for washout conditions.

For updates on the 2009 Quiksilver ISA World Juniors, stay tuned to SURFINGMagazine.com, and www.isaworldjuniors.com