Being that the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro is one of two 6-star Prime events on U.S. soil (the Coldwater Classic is the other), you can imagine the talent that is amassing right now in San Clemente, California. But one kid that will be under the hottest of spotlights is Maui's Kai Barger. Being that he's the current ASP World Junior champion, he will be the man to beat in the Oakley Pro Junior event. But don't think he won't be a serious threat in the main event. Kid's got style and Hawaiian power. And he's also got a lot of competitive momentum heading into this major 2009 qualifying event.
SURFING caught up with Kai as he was checking into the airport on his way over here for a couple quick questions. Here's what Kai thinks:
WHO'S THE MAN TO BEAT AT LOWERS AND WHY?
That would have to be Dusty Payne. I know there are a lot of pros entering the contest, but after the year Dusty's had -- man, he's every guy's biggest competition. When he gets on one of those solid rights, he's deadly.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT COMPETING AT LOWERS?
I think just that it really is a perfect wave. I'm not sure that it's going to be big next week, but really, even if it's small it's a lot better than most of the other 'QS venues. I know the right is better, but in competition I think I like that left more...when you get the right one.
HOW'S YOUR CONFIDENCE COMING INTO THE 6.0 PRO?
Man, I'm feeling good right now. But there are a lot of good guys out there to beat, so I'm not promising myself anything. Should be a good show though. Wish me luck....
And so it goes. Look for Kai and the rest the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro contingent to begin blowing up Tuesday, April, 28 on: