When you grow up surfing California's Queen of the Coast -- Rincon point -- there are high expectations for your performances at perfect right hand point breaks. Against a pair of highly touted South Africans, Jordy Smith and Michael February, Conner Coffin channeled his inner Taylor Knox, another Californian regularfooter known for his speed lines, sublime technique, and power carves. It's not always easy to contain your composure competing against local favorites, but Coffin never looked bothered by the extra layer of pressure that comes with facing a partisan crowd (as well No. 3 in the world -- Smith -- and an unpredictable wildcard in February).
Coffin's performance, one of the Round One's strongest, may reverberate for a while. At the very least the energy released from of his one end section carves will nudge a Richter scale needle somewhere in the Pacific in a few day's time. Closer to home it sent the event and crowd favorite Jordy Smith into a sudden death matchup with local wildcard Dale Staples in the first heat of Round Two. That means Smith has drawn the one guy with more lineup experience than himself.