Huntington Beach continues to be one of the men's Qualifying Series (QS) prime locations for events and provides opportunity for those in search of building their season before the midyear cutoff. The Jack's Surfboards Pro QS 1,500 brings in a heavy lineup of competitors this year to offer such an opportunity for regional competitors to accrue points near home against a stacked field while showcasing it to the world with a live webcast all three days.
A new event winner also awaits crowning with both defending event winner Kevin Schulz and 2017 victor Hizunome Bettero not in the draw, but one of Huntington Beach's most winning competitors is looking for a fourth Surf City title.
Kanoa Igarashi Goes For Four
The three-year Championship Tour (CT) veteran now prepares for his fourth season among the world's best and chooses to start his competitive year at home. Igarashi already has two, back-to-back, US Open titles and a Shoe City Pro win to his name. The 21-year-old's competitive nature makes any event he enters his ultimate goal of securing a place atop podium and coming into the Jack's Pro is no different.
Torrey Meister: Danger Man Returns
One of the top-seeded competitors, Meister, continues to hunt for his first Huntington Beach QS win. The 30-year-old hails from the Big Island of Hawaii and has proven himself in waves of consequence, as well as showcasing his innovation in beachbreak conditions which keeps him in the Top 100 four of the last five years. Now, Meister makes his return after competing in the inaugural event of 2017 and missing out last season.
"The Jacks Pro is definitely an event I look forward too when I'm in town," Meister said. "It's a good time of year for Huntington Beach as far as waves go and the event usually has really fun surf. Also, it's great training for the US Open and it's important to spend a lot of time in the jersey out there, it can be a tricky wave to compete at. A few years ago this event had some of the best surf I've ever had at southside so I'm hoping this year will be the same. I enjoy competing at Huntington. The surf community always seems to come down to support surfing and that's always cool to see."
Next Generation Ready: Kade Matson
San Clemente, California, returns a number of talents to the 2019 season and 16-year-old Matson is looking to make another surge. Matson finished at No. 109 on the international rankings last year with two more seasons in the Pro Juniors before having to move into the QS full-time, gaining more experience each year.
"It definitely feels like an advantage being so close to home for an event because I get to sleep in my own bed and have the opportunity to surf Huntington a lot more than probably most the people in the contest," Matson said. "To have these events like this gives the kids like me to get points up to be able to get into the bigger events so it's super cool to have that opportunity to be able to build points. It's good that I'm able to take all of the experience as a junior and put it all into my future QS campaign."
The Jack's Surfboards Pro QS 1,500 will begin Friday, March 22 through 24 at Huntington Beach Pier.