Opening day of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 2-Star Ron Jon Vans Junior Pro saw top seeds take to the water for Men's and Women's Round 1 competition in windy one-to-two foot surf at Shepard Park in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
The Ron Jon Vans Junior Pro represents the third stop on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series, offering crucial points towards surfers' qualification campaigns for the ASP World Junior Championships.
Ron Jon Vans Junior Pro Men's Round 1:
Opening day action was led by Huntington Beach's Kanoa Igarashi, 16, and Floridian Noah Schweizer, 18, with the regular-footers matching the day's highest single-wave score of an excellent 8.17 out of 10 for electric forehand surfing in the challenging conditions. Schweizer would net another strong backup score, taking the day's high heat total of 14.84.
Noah Schweizer (New Smyrna Beach, FL): â€œThe waves are just like in front of my house. You've got to go on little wind-chops and hope they double-up. It's tough out there. On my 8.17, this outside wave came right two me. I had a couple of sections and was able to do a couple of turns.â€
Kanoa Igarashi (Huntington Beach, CA): â€œI knew there were going to be a bunch of waves and I've been watching the heats before. There were going to be a bunch of waves ridden and knew I could link a few turns and get a high score without doing anything special. I got a few midrange scores under my belt and then just waited for that good one. There's definitely a lot of luck involved out there.
â€œYou need to keep busy and make sure you get the right waves. Florida is actually a pretty special place for me because I won my first ASP event here and hopefully I can do just as well this year.â€
Ron Jon Vans Junior Pro Women's Round 1:
Women's Pro Junior standouts would include New Jersey's Cassidy McClain, 17, and ASP Women's World Junior runner-up Tatiana Weston-Webb, 17. McClain would join in the day's trend of 8.17 high scores, locking in the high single-wave score in women's Round 1. Weston-Webb looked at home in the small beachbreak conditions despite traveling to Florida for the first time from her native island of Kauai and smashed the day's high heat-total of 13.10 .
Tatiana Weston-Webb (Kauai, HI): â€œIt's not too bad and if you can find a bowly one and get one or two maneuvers, you'll get through. Conditions are the same for everyone though and we all have to deal with the small waves. This is my first time to the East Coast. I'm happy there is wind and a little bit of surf. â€œThis year I'm really trying to push for the World Junior Championship Title. I really want that as one of my achievements. I really want to qualify for the WCT, but my first two events didn't go so well. I'm going to try and switch back to having fun and not put too much pressure on myself and hopefully I'll do well. I'm excited.â€
The Ron Jon Vans Junior Pro holds a waiting period from March13 through 16, 2014.