The men are back for Qualifying Series (QS) action at the Pismo Beach Open QS 1,000 pres. by Dignity Health as the women join them for an inaugural QS 1,000 event to close out their North America regional season.
The colder waters of Pismo Beach Pier will have fun swell on hand throughout the event window with fun conditions in the forecast for some of North America's top QS veterans, upcoming talents, and international representatives in attendance to vie for 1,000 points.
Cory Arrambide: The Champ is Back
Defending event champion Cory Arrambide is back to try and reclaim his title after earning a maiden QS victory last year at this event. The QS veteran knows the need for more events in California is something competitors continue to push for and, with the help of Andy McKay and other contest directors, that need is slowly being filled each year. Arrambide has taken a different approach to this season, taking the foot off the gas pedal and exploring interests away from competition, but looks forward to getting the jersey back on.
"It's going to be really cool to try and defend my win from last year, but I haven't thought too much into it without competing a lot this season," Arrambide said. "I have no pressure and it's been different in a good way. I have been so one track minded with competing for so long now, I needed to take a breather and find other things that interest me, and those other outlets have been great. There should be more contests in California and I applaud all that put in the time and effort to make this event possible -- it's a great a chance for upcoming surfers and locals to compete at a high level."
Arrambide is joined by the likes of fellow veterans such as former Championship Tour (CT) competitorsBrett Simpson and Nathan Yeomans, as well as an international field including new North America No. 1, Peruvian Lucca Mesinas, along with upcoming threats and an international field.
Local competitor Joel Bishop continues to find his footing in the competitive surfing world and events like these help the young, Arroyo Grande, California, native with competition just down the road from his hometown. Bishop grew up surfing in and around Pismo Beach, and now looks to pursue his dream of chasing points when he can. The 21-year-old has his ambitions high and will have to overcome a stacked field if he's to make them a reality.
"Getting the opportunity to have a QS 1,000 in our area is amazing," Bishop said. "Having an event that your community can come support and see how hard you have worked is truly a blessing. Since last year's event I've learned how to compete at a higher level of competition and learned the process it takes to accomplish your goals against so many next level competitors."
Women Set for Another QS Milestone to End North America Season
This marks another stepping stone for the women's QS with an additional event to their schedule to end 2018. Ventura native Makena Burke has shown more of her potential since debuting at the Live Like Zander Junior Pro last season and now has a QS 1,000 win under her belt at just 15. Burke looks for one last result to end 2018 on a high note and is taking into account all she's learned from a breakthrough year.
"It is a dream come true to be able to showcase my surfing in Pismo, a place not far from home," Burke said. "Having that extra support can make all the difference when competing. Not many people have much experience surfing Pismo so I think this will be a great opportunity for all the girls. If there is anything I've learned from my past few events, having a clear mindset as well as staying in the moment and focusing on my own program plays a huge role in my performance."
Burke will face off against fellow California standouts, 2018 North America Pro Junior Champ Kirra Pinkerton, 2017 Regional Pro Junior Champ Alyssa Spencer, and 2016 Regional QS Champ Meah Collins alongside QS threats such as Bailey Nagy and Tanika Hoffman.
A 7:30 a.m. PDT call will determine an 8:00 a.m. start for men's Round 1 as women's Round 1 will be off for the day. Tune in LIVE with a webcast of this event beginning with tomorrow's start throughout the week.