The World Surf League (WSL) SLO CAL Open Pismo Beach presented by French Hospital Medical Center witnessed more explosive performances in continued clean, three-to-four foot conditions. The dropping tide proved to make it difficult for competitors, but many rose to the occasion and delivered brilliant surfing as the men finished their Round of 64 and Round of 32 heats followed by the women making their Round of 40 debut.

SLO CAL Open Pismo Beach: John Mel's Heavy Buzzer-Beater
A heart-heavy buzzer-beater sent Mel into the Round of 16 at the event presented by French Hospital Medical Center.

One of the more decorated surfers in attendance John Mel (USA) put on a full display of his forehand, aerial attack to debut with an excellent 8.25 (out of a possible 10) and 14.75 (out of a possible 20) heat total. The Santa Cruz, California competitor then found himself locked into a battle during his Round of 32 heat with Round of 64 standouts Tyler Gunter, Ben Benson, and Sam Reidy.

A last-minute righthander provided Mel a chance to unleash his powerful backhand and garner a 6.50, overtaking Benson for the lead and eliminating Gunter and Reidy. *Full interview in video above

Jett Schilling Shines in Round of 32 at SLO CAL Open Pismo Beach
The goofyfooter found all the right opportunities and notched one of the round's top performances heading into the weekend.

San Clemente, California competitors made their presence felt once more with the likes of Jett Schilling elevating his performance from a Round of 64 victory to a bigger Round of 32 victory. Schilling's dynamic forehand in both the air and on rail paved the way toward a 14.65 heat total, joined by event threat Luke Gordon who eliminated former North America QS Regional Champion Noah Schweizer.

"My friends are what push me the most," said Schilling. "They make me want to keep surfing and (keep) having fun. If I make it (to the Challenger Series) I'd be stoked, but I'm still a little young so I'm just looking to have fun."

From Pipeline To Pismo Beach, Crosby Colapinto Keeps Finding Success
The San Clemente, California competitor is fresh off a Digital Vans Triple Crown win at Pipeline and right into the Round of 16 in Pismo Beach.

Fresh off a Digital Vans Triple Crown of Surfing win at the world-famous reef of Pipeline, fellow San Clemente surfer Crosby Colapinto kept his momentum alive with a big heat win in the Round of 32. Colapinto, 19, found himself in a battle yesterday that earned him an advancing position and wasn't to be outdone this time as he bested event threat Josh Burke, also advancing, with more of his signature forehand power. *Full interview in video above

The action wasn't done as another pair of San Clemente's top competitors Kade Matson and defending event winner Kevin Schulz took on an in-form Evan Geiselman and Philippe Chagas. The final minutes delivered enough drama for the entire heat as Geiselman's incredible grab-rail aerial landed him the score needed to take over runner-up behind Matson, eliminating Schulz.

Also notching big heat wins, Nolan Rapoza, Levi Slawson, Alan Cleland, and Taj Lindblad are into the Round of 16 looking for season-changing results.

Talia Swindal and Emma Stone Headline Women's Debut

Talia Swindal Tips the Scale in Pismo Beach
The 16-year-old set the tone for women's competition to close out the Round of 40.

A terrific debut from Talia Swindal locked in a 13.75 heat total with her forehand gauges on the one-turn wonders she was dealt. The 16-year-old is new to the QS scene with her first events coming in 2021 and now looks to garner more experience among some of the region's best while finding moments of success. *Full interview in video above

"I just tried to stay calm and look for a little bit of open face," said Swindal. "I'd just try to hit it once and stay busy. It's nice to come here with low expectations, have fun and just hope for the best."

SLO CAL Open Pismo Beach: Emma Stone Breaks Through
The Ocean Beach, California competitor found her long-awaited breakthrough on the QS.

Emma Stonestood apart from her competitors, notching a 12.00 heat total on her stout forehand attack. Stone dealt with the low tide conditions wonderfully to find sections for scoring opportunities. Now, Stone, 19, prepares for a big Round of 32 heat where the top seeds await. *Full interview in video above

Also nabbing big heat wins, Faviola Alcala and Taylor Stacy earned their way into the Round of 32.

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A 7:00 a.m. call will determine a likely 7:30 a.m. start for women's Round of 32 competition.

Watch the SLO CAL Open Pismo Beach pres. by French Hospital Medical Center LIVE beginning January 27 - 30.

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