2005 Unsound Pro: Final Day Report

If you competed at last week's Unsound Pro, in Long Beach, New York, you needed a pocket organizer, a blackberry device, palm pilot and a dry-erase board. That was the only way you were going to keep up with Unsound's circus, including a one-star WQS contest, the Fantasy Team Challenge, The Unsound Air Show, the Red Bull Tow-At, and a Longboard Pro.A 'QS contest is always a good time, but throw in all the sideshow acts, and you're going to get a myriad of talented surfers, looking to put their specialties to the test. There's no doubt that winner, Asher Nolan, dominated the big top event, but having circus freaks like booster-boy Ryan Carlson, sky pilot {{{Sterling}}} Spencer, grominator Balaram Stack, and logrider Mike DeTemple really rounds out the event. It helps to erect your circus tents in the shadows of New York City, at tropical prime time, as well.Hurricane Ophelia was still brewing to the south, making this a tremendous time to run away with the circus.The Round of 130 began on Wednesday, when groundswell started pulsing north. Judge, Brian Walsh, was amazed by how well the three-ring circus ran."The timing was perfect for everything. The Tow-At was held when it was big and glassy. They ran the Airshow when it got chunky, and the finals were held in perfect surf today," said the Long Beach Local, on Saturday.Thursday featured Red Bull's Tow-At contest. Fittingly, Ryan Carlson, the West Coast Pro who calls New York home, won, pocketing $2,000. Floridian, Kyle Garson, netted $500 for "Most Amplitude," and North Carolina's Billy Hume laid down the "Best Snap," for his own $500. The East Coast's top longboarders even got to do battle in firing surf, on Saturday, with Long Beach hero, Charlie Bernawich showing off his patented layback barrel riding. Mike DeTemple, regarded as one of the Right Coast's best, combined old school grace and new school flare to take the Longboard Pro and $800.
"I live in Melbourne, Florida, but I come up to stay on Long Island every Hurricane Season," said DeTemple, "that was the best surf I've ever had in a contest," he admitted.The Airshow trials were run on Friday, and the finals on Saturday, when the wind came onshore. Unsound put up another $1800 for this one as well. Florida's Sterling Spencer stuck a smooth shuvit for "Most Innovative Maneuver," and ${{{200}}}. He then had the air traffic controllers at nearby JFK airport in a panic, when he boosted a gargantuan frontside punt, to win "Best Air," and another $800. Take your eyes off the ringleader for a minute and you miss something spectacular."We could probably bump it up to a Two-Star, but we like to spread the money around. Instead of 20 guys winning money, more people leave with cash," said Mike Nelson, of Unsound Surf Shop.$200 here, $800 there, it all ads up. With the help of Oakley, the pocket-lining philosophy worked, as many pros stuck around to see if they could nab some extra scratch. No one likes to throw the "E" word around lightly, but Saturday's finals for the Pro were damn close to epic. Finalists Dusty Payne, of Maui, Garson, and Aaron Cormican, of Florida, all had flashes of greatness, but this was the heat of Asher Nolan's life. Already owning the heat, Nolan redefined power surfing with two devastating frontside hits and a floater that had the whole circus in an uproar. Later, he found a quick barrel, and unleashed two more brutal tears. Each time he hit the lip, he added quick graceful slide to bolster his scores. His heat total, of 15.{{{90}}} was the highest of the whole contest."Any one of those guys is capable of posting a 9.0. The last fifteen minutes got kind of stressful, but I just kept getting good waves," said the undisputed champ, Nolan.Dusty Payne, of Maui, had never traveled to the East Coast. He'd expected six-inch choppy waves. The surf was better than most contests back in Hawaii, with more events than the Olympics."This is probably one of the most fun contests because of all the side shows," said the young Hawaiian, "I'm stoked to come back."Send in the clowns.
2005 Unsound Pro Results:1st-Asher Nolan – $2,500
2nd-Kyle Garson – $1,000
3rd-Aaron Cormican – $800
4th- Dusty Payne – $700