Following the women's Round 3 action, the men's Vans US Open of Surfing QS 10,000 event took to the water for Round 2, Heats 1 - 6.
Adam Melling (AUS) showed he is a force to be reckoned with, looking ferocious on his backhand, posting an excellent 9.17 and an 8.33 backup. The Australian is well adapted to the ever-changing conditions at Huntington Beach and looks to have found his form despite the bumpy afternoon conditions.
"I started off sitting a bit further away from the pier and got a six straight off the bat," Melling said. "I moved over a bit closer to the wall then just got back-to-back bombs so I was happy to get those waves. It feels good to get in a bit of a rhythm out there today and be in a solid position -- you just have to take each day as it comes, the waves could be totally different tomorrow."
Huntington Beach native Kanoa Igarashi (USA) had the field in a combination situation sixteen minutes into his Round 2 heat after lighting up his second wave right next to the pier. Igarashi maintained his dominant lead until the final horn sounded, matching Melling's 17.50 heat total. The young local continues to make his presence known at the US Open, marking himself as a serious threat in QS competition.
"Not many people want to do two turns in front of the pier because if you fall you'll probably smash your board or yourself," Igarashi said. "I've done it a thousand times and feel really comfortable going big in front of the pier. You always want to get off to a quick start and my first two waves were pretty bad so I reset and stayed away from everybody."
"This is the one contest where I was able to watch all the pros and they all came to my house," continued Igarashi. "I'd watch Kalani Robb and Kelly Slater free surfing then always come out to freesurf with those guys and try to talk to them and see what they were riding. It's funny now because I'll be out after the contest and see the groms doing the same thing."
Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW) led the charge over an all goofyfooted affair in Heat 5, keeping the field comboed until the end of the heat with an impressive 17.43. The Hawaiian CT surfer was in top form at Huntington Beach today, posting an excellent 9.10 en route to victory.
"Once I got priority I felt like I fell into a great rhythm," Patacchia said. "There was an outside chop that let me in early and everything came into place for that heat. It's been a tough year for me so being here at Huntington and making a couple of heats -- just trying some different things and everything's going well for me so as long as I'm making heats there's a smile on my face."
Upcoming Men's Round 2 Match-Ups:
Heat 7: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Granger Larsen (HAW), Beyrick De Vries (ZAF)
Heat 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA), Connor O'Leary (AUS), Alex Ribeiro (BRA), Cooper Chapman (AUS)
Heat 9: Frederico Morais (PRT), Maxime Huscenot (FRA), Aritz Aranburu (ESP), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 10: Dion Atkinson (AUS), Charles Martin (GLP), Krystian Kymerson (BRA), Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 11: Tomas Hermes (BRA), Kolohe Andino (USA), Jack Freestone (AUS), Nat Young (USA)
Heat 12: Dane Reynolds (USA), Tanner Hendrickson (HAW), Billy Stairmand (NZL), Joshua Moniz (HAW)
Watch LIVE as the action continues tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. local time.