The battle for the crown saw both Toledo and Cardoso rely on their respective strengths to achieve excellence early in the heat. Toledo took to the air, launching an 8.73 to start while Cardoso collected a 9.03 for three big backhand hooks. In the end, Toledo's air game carried him through to the end. He locked into another right, lofting an additional aerial combo for an 8.73 and the Vans US Open of Surfing win.
“I’m super stoked and excited,” said Toledo. “It was an amazing heat against Willian (Cardoso). He’s been surfing really well the whole competition. I just turned my game to the air game so I could do what I love to do and it worked. I had to surf though a lot of pain with my ankle [following a sprain in Africa] and just put it out of my mind. I felt comfortable in these conditions. I won the junior in 2011 and was just feeling confident throughout the week.”
Cardoso surfed with unmatched power despite the smaller conditions on offer in Huntington Beach, with the gentle giant demolishing the competition en route to the Final. In the end, however, Cardoso was unable to match Toledo’s aerial attack and leaves with a runner-up finish overall. Cardoso’s second-place finish moves the Brazilian to No. 12 on the ASP QS.
“I’m really happy with the result,” said Cardoso. “It’s a nice event. I’ve been surfing well all month and everything felt right but until now I haven’t got the result. This has given me confidence for the rest of the year. It’s amazing to be here and it will really help me at the other events.”
The next ASP Prime event is the Sata Airlines Pro in the Azores Islands, which holds an event window of September 2 to 7, 2014.