Written by:Shannon Q
Lower Trestles is about to be taken over by the elite Top-34 of the ASP World Tour battling for the 2012 Hurley Pro title, so local rippers are taking advantage this week to shred their favorite wave before they get the boot. The Surf Channel met up with professional youngsters Kei Kobayahi, O’Neill and …Lost team rider, and Body Glove’s Nick Melanson – two underage groms that rep their home break like nobody’s business. Lowers is one of the world’s best waves for competition, and the best training grounds. So watch out for the young guns, because when you surf Trestles on the regular, the future of surfing is bound to get ridiculous…
With a pumping hurricane swell hitting the Pacific Coast over the Labor Day holiday and peaking Saturday, we knew SoCal would get slammed. Hurricane Ileana brought swell to a starved surf community, and if you made it through the zoo and caught a few sets, you know how good it felt.
The only question planning the trip was deciding which beach to film a free surf. From the massive Wedge in Newport and Hawaiian Jamie O’Brien charging 15-20ft insanity, or even Kelly Slater seen boosting at the Malibu Surfrider beach, there was no wrong Labor Day weekend as long as you could find a parking spot. Sun was shining each day, even the full moon welcomed some epic night surfing. Tired and sunburned after a much needed session in SoCal, The Surf Channel crew made sure we got in a Trestles trip.
Here is a sneak peek from Sunday’s session, which settled a bit compared to the 10+ sets coming through on Saturday. Brazilian Miguel Pupo was taking advantage as he prepares for the upcoming Hurley Pro. And the groms made sure to get their share even amongst the crowd.
However, the best rippers out there seemed to be getting double overhead sets due to their proximity to the ground – nuggets! The up-and-comers are gaining height and boosting their way through the lineup. Check out San Clemente local juniors Kei Kobayahi (13), Nick Melanson (14) and Danielle Weyman (17) rip apart Lower Trestles, with some additional surfers sprinkled into the mix.
“The best part about lowers is having fun with friends, and lovin’ life.” – Kei Kobayashi (13)
”The wave at Lowers is a perfect left and right, so if you’re goofy or regular, you can go either way.” – Nick Melanson (14)
The Surf Channel: Would you ever choose Uppers over Lowers?
“Definitely not, cause Lowers is way better. Lowers is all time. This is my home break; I surf here every day with da’ boys.” -Kobayashi
Kobayashi, the unspoken King of the groms at Lowers. Photo sequence: Surf Channel/Shannon Q
“I started surfing when I was like, one or two or something….with my pops.” – Kobayashi
“I started when I was four. My dad taught me, too.” – Melanson
“We’ve known each other for about one year. We met surfing, and went to the same school so we started hanging out and stuff.” – Kobayashi
TSC: Are yo getting excited for the Hurley Pro?
“Yah, to see some girls and stuff…” – Kei Kobayashi
“It’s going to be super fun, but they are going to kick us off Lowers so that kinda sucks.” – Nick Melanson
TSC: Who are you stoked to see compete at the Hurley Pro?
“John John Florence! He’s my buddy. We hang out when he’s over here. He rips.” – Kobayahsi
“John John and Kolohe, and all the San Clemente locals.” – Melanson
Be sure to check out all the action starting Sunday, September 16th, on TheSurfChannel.com, covering the Hurley Pro Lower Trestles all week long! You’ll see the special preview video from the boys themselves, in addition to highlights from the world’s best surfers as they chase valuable world ranking points.