Benny Banks Another


Bourgeois adds WRV Outer Banks Pro victory to his recent Belmar win

Interview by: Matt Walker
Photo by: Matt Lusk

Chalk it up to familiar territory. Beginning with International Surfing Day in June, Ben Bourgeois has made three trips to the Outer Banks in the past three months. Add a Wrightsville run for the Reef Pro Am and a win at New Jersey's Foster's Belmar Pro the previous weekend, you get a lethal combo of WCT pedigree and plenty of East Coast practice time. So nobody should be shocked to hear that Benny won the Wave Riding Vehicles Outer Banks Pro Presented by Hurley on Sunday, ripping and punting past two other repeat finalists -- Florida's Jeremy Johnston and Asher Nolan -- plus Wrightsville Beach young buck Michael Powell to take his second $5000 check in seven days. The irony: were he still 'on tour', he'd have spent the week surfing that other Hurley comp at some place called Lowers -- and made $4700 just for showing up. So which sounds like a better deal? We decided to ask him ourselves.

It's funny: this time last year you'd have been at Lowers instead. Where would you rather be?

I'd rather be here. I've been traveling for a long time, so it's nice to just relax at home with friends and family. I'm pretty much done with competing, but if there's a contest in North Carolina or the Outer Banks, I'm stoked to do it. Actually, the main reason I did the Belmar is I have people there, too. But being back here, such a nice place, so beautiful -- with all my friends and my family . . .

And to win $5000 bucks while you're at it.

[laughs] Well, that's just the icing on the cake. I'm really just stoked to be home.

It sounds like you're been on a little post-'CT honeymoon. When you retired last year you said you weren't going to miss another hurricane swell on the East Coast. So far you've made good on that -- in fact, [S-Turns local] Karl Detter basically said you were the man during that Danny swell.

Yeah, that was nice to hear. I had to miss that one random low last week to be up in Jersey, so I was a little bummed on that. But I'm gonna stick around and catch some more waves. Go down and check out the ESA Easterns for the first time in a bunch of years. Surf around down south. Just cruise and relax. It' s so nice, man; so nice to come back and just chill.

You're back in Cali starting next week. Does that mean you're done 'til next year, or will you come home if big swell pops up?

You kidding? I'll be back here in a heartbeat. I'm not missing anything..


1. Ben Bourgeois $5000

2. Michael Powell $2000

3. Asher Nolan $1500

4. Jeremy Johnston $1000