Hawaii dominated at the Surfing For Hope Longboard Classic this weekend. The World Surf League sanctioned inaugural event was held in Pismo Beach, California from September 30-October 1 and was centered around spreading cancer awareness. The top male and female longboarders from the North America and Hawaii regions gathered to battle it out and get their feet wet before heading into the world title race at Malibu.
After two days of exceptional surfing in glassy 2-3 foot surf, the final was heavily stacked by Hawaiians. On the women’s side, it came down to Haley Otto (HAW) and Sophia Culhane (HAW). For the men, it was Kai Sallas (HAW) versus newbie Richie Cravey (USA). In the end, Culhane and Sallas came away victorious—this win marks the first-WSL victory for Culhane.
“It feels so good and I’m just stoked,” Culhane said in her post-heat interview. “It’s pretty special to surf with [Haley Otto] at home and then surf with her in a heat here. There’s always that rivalry, but when you get back on land we’re all friends.”
“The waves actually ended up being really fun,” said Sallas. “If you don’t compete for awhile you get those jitters so this was a good warm up heading into Malibu. I know Richie [Cravey] is a really good surfer and I’ve never competed against him, but I know he’s one of those underground, really good guys. I feel like my boards are working better than ever and I hope I can surf well in Malibu.”
The Malibu Classic has officially been called on for October 4-5. The longboarding tour is about to draw to a close and champions are soon to be crowned. With double points on the line at Malibu, the title is still up for the taking.