A Curran Affair

Oxnard local Nathaniel Curran didn’t wait for conditions to improve on the last day of the U.S. Open of Surfing. He’s been banking on this day his whole life and has been serious about getting here for the past six years. Despite the meager two-to-three foot waves on the south side of the Huntington Pier, Curran grabbed an early lead in the final heat against Frenchman Tim Boal and defeated him with a score of 11.6 to 10.70. He quickly jumped from No. 4 in the WQS standings to No. 1. — Curran’s training and focus undoubtedly helped him defeat the 192-man competition at the largest WQS event held in North America and the most-attended contest in pro surfing today.

But how did he manage to get on such a good roll? “I had an amazing board, and I’ve been practicing in crap like that a lot lately,” he said. With his home break in Oxnard he’s used to riding small, fun waves but that doesn’t mean he sweats the big stuff. One day after his win in California, Curran flew to Japan, where shredded to another big point-grab and quarterfinal finish.

The top 16 at the end of the season qualify for the ASP World Tour, of which Curran’s brother, Timmy, was a longtime member. Many of the qualifiers are So Cal natives and Curran’s close friends. “They all rip, and it would be so cool to do the tour with them.”

Curran’s exciting victory not only catapults him among the best surfers in the world but it earned him $15,000, which he plans on using to pay off his bills and maybe buy a {{{new car}}}. This is all a huge boost towards a prestigious qualification for the 2009 ASP World Tour, where Southern California is looking to be well represented at this point.