The Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup QS1,500 started just after noon as officials waiting for the perfect combination of swell and tide to produce small and perfect waves. Cloud 9 is renowned for producing perfect, intense tubes and today lived up to the hype.
Love Hodel (HAW) took the first heat win of the 21st Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup by picking off a couple of hollow waves and threading the tube seemingly with ease. Hodel is the oldest competitor in the field, but he will be tough to beat in Cloud 9's open tubes.
"This reminds me of some waves we have in Hawaii so I felt right at home," Hodel said. "It feels funny being the oldest guy in the comp, so it feels good to have a first heat like that. I love this country, I want to bring my family back here next year."
Caiden Fowler (VIC/AUS) scored a monster 9.25 (out of a possible 10) for a deep, dredging tube in Heat 2. Fowler and fellow Victorian surfer Todd Roswell (VIC/AUS) both easily advanced into the next round with impressive Round 1 performances.
"I didn't think I was going to come out of that one," Fowler said. "I swung late and pulled in and it ended up holding up and letting me out the end. Last year I didn't know what I was doing out there, but it gave me experience that paid off out there today."
Mitch Parkinson (QLD/AUS) used his Snapper Rocks tube-riding experience to navigate some deep Cloud 9 tunnels. Parkinson scored a 7.75 and an 8.75 to comfortably move into the next Round.
"It was really fun out there," Parkinson said. "Having four-man priority was great it just lets you relax and helped me to pick off two waves that were exactly what I was looking for. This is one of my favorite waves in the world, the waves are great and the place is beautiful."
Dede Suryana (IND) took off on an absolutely perfect wave at the start of the heat, but was swallowed by the barrel and only received a minor score. It took a while to get back into a rhythm but when he did he took full advantage an ended up finishing the heat with a 7.75 and a 6.15 and a solid win.
"I was nervous at the start of the heat and it showed when I took that good wave and didn't make the barrel," Suryana said. "I then just had to put a score on the board and boost my confidence. It's been a great year for me so far, I'm really enjoying all the events and support from the ASC and WSL, hopefully I can get some more barrels and heat wins here before I go home."
Lucas Chianca (BRA) was staring down a possible elimination, sitting in third place with five minutes left in the heat until he caught back-to-back waves, landing a huge backside air-reverse on the first one and sliding sideways into a wide tube on the second scoring a 9.25 and an 8.25 respectively.
"I've never surfed waves like this before, it's perfect here," Chianca said. "I waited so much at the start of the heat, so when I landed that air I was excited but I knew I had to get back out there and get another wave. Then I caught that one and I slid sideways into the barrel. It feels amazing to have a finish like that."
For full results and more, visit the WSL's Cloud 9 event hub.