With swell on tap and cold waters starting to stir, more than two dozen big wave surfers traveled to Lincoln City, Oregon for the Nelscott Reef Pro. Some questioned if the swell was going to be big enough for the reef to break, and in turn, questioned the green light for the contest. Still, 24 men and four women, including Jojo Roper, Bianca Valenti, Nic Lamb, and more packed the warmest of suits and made the trek to the Pacific Northwest.
“I got called 72 hours before the event,” said competitor Kieran Anderson, who actually brought me to the contest. “There was so much hate and drama leading up to this event. I got told not to do it because the new event would suck but I was promised a 10k purse and a place to stay plus food, so I was in. Conditions looked insane for rad beach break barrels but the swell did not seem that promising for the reef. I watched it consistently for two days and finally pulled the trigger.”
The riders’ meeting the night before was something that definitely set the contest apart from others. With that $10,000 prize purse on the line, competitors decided five thousand would go to the men and five thousand would go to the women to create a friendlier vibe in the lineup. According to a lot of the surfers, it actually did work and created an atmosphere that helped them focus on their surfing instead of just competing. There were no heats and no jerseys, and unlike most surf competitions, the day was composed of a co-ed expression session where the surfers themselves ultimately decided on the final results at the end of the day.