Pismo Beach keeps getting the goods courtesy of a building Southwest swell and more Qualifying Series (QS) action soared through day three at the Men and Women's Pismo Beach Open. Two rounds of men's competition were completed, as well as the women's Quarterfinals, setting up a vital final's day tomorrow.
But, it was 16-year-old Kade Matson leading the pack with the highest heat score and wave score in Men's Round 4. The powerful San Clemente, California, native has won all three of his heats so far in the event with a mixture of power and progression that's undeniable.
"It's always good to start off with a good first heat and then to keep the momentum going today was really what I needed," said Matson, of his progress so far. "I wasn't really trying to go on the rights out there, but I saw one that was a little further off the pier on a different part of the sandbar and I just thought I'd see what it would do. I'm most excited for finals day and the man-on-man heats," continued Matson, in anticipation for tomorrow's match-ups. It's such a different scenario when you only have to beat one guy and I love it. Everyone that's left in the draw is surfing so well, so I'll just bring my best and do everything I can to win."
As one of the veteran competitors in the field, 37-year-old Nathan Yeomans from San Clemente, California, is once again showing his savvy against the youth. Looking for his second Qualifying Series win of 2018, he's been able to get the scores required to advance in all conditions this week.
"Just to be out there is still so fun for me," offered Yeomans. "I haven't surfed an event in a long time where the waves have been so fun, with so many options in our heats and that in itself is just enjoyable. To be able to compete against the kids and put on a show is what it's about for me. My family is here and we're having a blast."
"(Kevin) Schulz has been absolutely ripping," Yeomans said, in anticipation for their Quarterfinal match-up. "There is a strategy going into finals day to be sure you have a little more to show for the win. I'm looking to kick into another gear tomorrow and up my performance and see if I can take another event this year."
Huntington Beach surfer Matt Passaquindici came out on top of a very hotly contest match up with Michael Dunphy finishing in second place and Brett Simpson and Jackson Butler missing advancement in third and fourth respectively. Passaquindici's inspired performance has earned him his best result in a QS event to date and an opportunity to compete in a man-on-man heat for the first time.
"I started pretty well, but I look up to both Simpson and Dunphy, so I knew I couldn't get comfortable and just needed to keep building my scores through the whole heat," said Passquindici ,after his Round 4 heat win. "I'm stoked I pulled the airs because it was risky to do them on the first maneuver and could have really cost me if I'd fallen. It was a goal of mine to make it past this round and get to the man-on-man heats, which is my best QS result ever. I'm psyched."
Representing Germany, but residing in Costa Rica, 21-year-old Leon Glatzer continues to implement his stellar aerial game taking two heat wins today. Glatzer is competing in his first QS in California this week and is enjoying what he's experienced so far in Pismo Beach, as he builds momentum into finals day.
"My homebreak is a left and I couldn't be happier to have this swell giving us such great lefts this weekend. Everyone here is ripping. There is so much talent in the US, which I knew, but now I'm here too and just going to give it my all and try to win a few more heats. I'm feeling good and know what I need to do going into the next round."