2012 Nike Lowers Pro Surfers
2012 Nike Lowers Pro Surfers, No doubt that Dane Reynolds turns heads, but given what John Florence and Gabriel Medina did today, he’s not the only one that does so.
As the Nike Lowers Pro worked through round two and round three today things have gotten more serious, and so have the performances. Consider the Medina show at the end of the day. He finished the heat with an event-high 19.5 heat score, and threw away another nine that he didn’t need in his score line. With a light sideshore wind blowing into the Lowers lefts, he uncorked just about every kind of air, grab and reverse there is. He now owns the two highest heat scores of the event. His surfing is so ridiculously suited for Lowers nobody’s even been able to come close what he’s done the last couple of days.
On the other hand, Florence is cool, composed and understated. Stomping a huge, no-handed backside air at the end of his heat, he didn’t pump his fist or claim it, he just eyeballed the next session. He’s taken his skate-inspired small wave approach and translated it perfectly to the Trestles. The argument could be made that he’s the best on tour at Pipeline, and therefore other waves of consequence, and now that it seems like his act above the lip has kicked into overdrive he’s quickly evolved into a potential world title contender in the next few years. Out of all the young guys on tour, he could be the most well-rounded.
Maybe most impressive is that for as successful as he’s been this year — a Triple Crown title and win at Margaret River — Florence does not appear to be letting any of it go to his head. For his warmup surf the other morning he arrived on the beach alone, hood pulled down over his head, and only one board under arm. There was a little “Rocky” vibe emanating from him. No entourage, no fanfare or filmers in tow, a surfer’s surfer. As somebody put it to me today, “Growing up on the North Shore will keep you humble.”
Florence and Medina may have stolen the show, but also doing work were the Gudauskas brothers, who both advanced into the Round of 16.
Nike Lowers Pro No Losers Round of 24:
Heat 1: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 17.13, Glenn Hall (IRL) 15.03, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.77
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA) 17.17, Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 13.86, Tomas Hermes (BRA) 13.26
Heat 3: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 17.87, Gabe Kling (USA) 15.50, Taylor Knox (USA) 12.23
Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW) 16.23, Cory Lopez (USA) 15.67, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.06
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19.53, Daniel Ross (AUS) 13.06, Dane Reynolds (USA) 12.33
Heat 6: Granger Larsen (HAW) 18.43, Heitor Alves (BRA) 17.00, Brett Simpson (USA) 14.74
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.17, Jay Thompson (AUS) 13.60, Blake Thornton (AUS) 13.20
Heat 8: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 15.53, Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 13.83, Nathan Yeomans (USA) 8.57
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