VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia/USA (Wednesday, August 21, 2013) - The 2013 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 4-Star Vans Pro Junior saw top seeds take to the water in peaky one-to-two foot waves in Virginia Beach and the next generation put on some standout performances despite challenging conditions.
Stop No. 4 of 5 on the 2013 ASP North America Pro Junior Series, the Vans Pro Junior's ASP 4-Star status plays a vital role in both surfers qualification campaigns for the ASP World Junior Championships as well as the regional under-21 title.
Keanu Asing (Ewa Beach, HI), 20, defending Vans Pro Junior champion, opened his campaign in striking form with lively forehand surfing on the running righthanders during his morning high-tide heat to advance to the Round of 32.
"You have to stay busy out there but you want to be patient too," Asing said. "There's a line in between and you have to really play it smart. I was watching before I went out and stuck to my game plan of catching the best waves. I really focused on watching the shape of the wave and where the best ones were coming from and you pretty much take what you can get out there, but try and find the ones that give you opportunity."
Asing, a standout on the ASP World Junior stage, is competing in his final year as a Pro Junior competitor and is ready to make a strike at the coveted ASP World Junior Title for 2013.
"A World Junior Title is definitely a goal this year for sure," Asing said. "It's kind of like graduating high school where you only get to do it one time in your life and that would be huge for me. First I'm just trying to make some heats, surf really well and get everyone stoked on my surfing."
Jake Halstead (La Jolla, CA), 19, current frontrunner on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series, took a crucial heat win in wave-starved low tide heat today and managed to display impressive carves despite the small conditions.
"I actually wanted to wait and try and get the two best waves out there," Halstead said. "I knew if I got a small one I'd just be struggling because I'm a bigger guy and it's really small out there. I tried to wait and it worked for me. Hopefully I'll stay on that game plan. This was probably my most nerve-wracking heat because it's so close on the rankings now. Me and Carlos (Munoz) are only about 50 points from each other and I'm definitely looking to get a good result here and finish the year off strong."
Noah Schweizer (New Smyrna Beach, FL), 17, dominated his Round 2 heat at the Vans Pro, unloading committed frontside snaps and technical airs, securing the day's high scores including an excellent 15.90 out of 20 heat total.
"It was kind of a weird heat because there were two peaks to sit at and it's kind of hard to choose," Schweizer said. "I guess I got lucky in the beginning and got a little section right away, so I was psyched with that. I'm definitely comfortable in these small conditions, being from Florida I've surfed waves like this a bunch."
Isaiah Moniz (Honolulu, HI), 19, was one of three Moniz brothers to advance to the Round of 32 today, with the talented regular-footer leading the family's charge while contributing to the day's top scores.
"It's pretty small and there are not too many waves, so if something's breaking you have to go," Moniz said. "There's not many options, so you've got to keep the ball rolling and get as many rides as you can and something is going to happen."
No Men's Vans Pro competition was held today.
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7am local time for a possible 8am start to either Vans Pro or Vans Pro Junior competition. Watch the event LIVE via www.vans.com/ecsc.