Small Boards and (Relatively) Small Waves


O'Neill World Cup kicks off the first eight heats of the Men's round of 128

After three days of waiting, the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing finally began in 5-7 foot surf. It wasn't nearly as big as it was yesterday, but a few waves stood up all the way through the bowl, allowing a solid turn here and there.

"There are three different swells going on out there, a Northeast, a North and Northwest swell," said Randy Rarrick, the man who pulled the trigger to run the first eight men's heats of the round of 128.

Most of the surfers were out there on boards between 6'8" and 6'10", but Shane Beschen won his heat on a 5'11" quad, slashing and tail sliding his way to an 11.00 heat total. Beschen made the finals of the Xcel Pro a couple of weeks on a 6'3" quad that he was going to ride today, but he dropped it and snapped a fin.

"I've always wanted to ride smaller boards at Sunset," Beschen said, "and I've been experimenting in the Xcel Pro's the last couple of years. Hopefully my turns looked faster."

Eric Geiselman, for contrast, moved on from that heat riding his 6'10" to second place.

"Sunset's about positioning," Beschen continued, "Even on a big board you have to be in the right spot or you won't catch the wave."

Maybe he was watching Wardo, who was ripping up Sunset yesterday on a 5'9", in waves that were considerably bigger.

Joel Centeio won his heat with a 13.00 two-wave total, continuing his rampage in Hawaiian waters after his win at Haleiwa earlier this week.

After the first eight heats, the men's contest was put on hold and the women hit the water. The waves got a little smaller as the day went on, but this is winter on the north shore, and swell is on the way.

Stay tuned for more news on the Triple Crown to