The Los Cabos Open of Surf Men's and Women's Pro Junior blitzed through competition in the first three days of their event window, June 11 - 13, and wrapped up the women's Final on Wednesday morning before the Los Cabos Open of Surf Women's QS 6,000. Here we take a glance at some of the big moments and things you may have missed from these Pro Juniors laying it all on the line.
5. Juniors Pushed the Limits
Eight-to-ten foot hurricane swell tested the young competitors' mental and physical strength throughout the competition. But they rose to the challenge and delivered incredible performances with many waves double-overhead. From newcomers such as 12-year-old Caitlin Simmers showing us what the future holds, to familiar faces, like 2017 event winner Summer Macedo who took wave after wave on the head, Zippers pushed these surfers to the limit.
4. Kirra Pinkerton Is Officially on Fire
Not since 2013 has a North America women's junior surfer won two events in the same season. Pinkerton's done so in the first two events of 2018 -- adding to her win at the end of 2017 in Barbados for a first-ever three-straight in the region's Junior Tour history. The San Clemente, California, native sits comfortably atop the rankings with a 1,250 point lead heading into the Vans US Open of Surfing.
"It feels amazing to go three-for-three, and that's the second time I've won going left at a righthand pointbreak," Pinkerton said. "I hope this is the year I can take the North America title. It's a good start and it's better than I expected, now I just want to keep it going for a shot at Worlds."
Despite Alyssa Spencer's absence due to a fractured tibia, she still remains No. 2 at 750 points and will return to challenge Pinkerton once more this summer in hopes of defending her North America Regional Title.
3. The Junior International Contingent Still Has Upper Hand
Each year at Zippers, the women's QS 6,000 brings an array of surfing talent that includes international talents under 18-years-old, and they continue to dominate -- claiming three of the four Finals spots. Only Pinkerton, Nicole Fulford, and Bethany Zelasko made their way to the Quarterfinals to vie for points out of the 16 surfers remaining. But, it was only Pinkerton in the Semis and an all-Hawaii competitor Semifinal that witnessed eventual event runner-up Gabriela Bryan and fourth-place finisher Luana Silva come out on top.
This event, along with the US Open, truly challenges regional surfers and helps prepare them for their future within competitive surfing as they see firsthand who their competition will be for years to come.
2. The Colapintos Have Staked Their Claim in Los Cabos
In 2016, a glimpse at what Griffin Colapinto is capable of emerged with a last-minute, huge air-reverse to win the Los Cabos Open of Surf. He has clearly passed that knowledge along to little brother -- Crosby -- who listened intently and delivered his own massive win at Zippers.
"I've been calling my brother and he's been telling me to just wait for the best wave, get a good score, then wait again," Colapinto added. "Which worked out great getting the best wave out there and getting an 8.17 on it to start. One of my goals this year was to win a Pro Junior, so to do it here was pretty next-level."
Now, Crosby has his eyes set on a World Junior Championship appearance and looks well on his way if he can keep up his form.
1. Junior Rankings Shift
Colapinto had to overcome the event's superheat en route to his win -- taking on then North America No. 1 Eithan Osborne, No. 2 Tyler Gunter, and No. 3 Taro Watanabe, in a stacked Quarterfinal. It was Gunter and Colapinto who garnered their spots into the Semis, leaving Watanabe and Osborne with their first throwaway results of 2018.