Big Moves and Small Surf at the Azores Pro

Jay Thompson (AUS)

Jay Thompson (AUS)

© 2015 - ASP/Masurel

Stepping onto the black sand of Santa Barbara beach, the competitors of the Azores Pro were greeted by meagre offerings from the Atlantic. But 'QS surfers are accustomed to 2ft wobbling peaks, so they proceeded to launch lofty boosts, and demolish feeble sections all day long.

The highlight from day one was a perfect ten from WCT surfer, Felipe Toledo, who made the most of his slender frame and refined aerial repertoire. All of the top seeds cruised through, and, unsurprisingly, those hailing from lands with lacklustre waves seemed to thrive.

Charly Martin (GLP)

Charly Martin (GLP)

© 2015 - ASP/Masurel

On day two the waves started much the same, and once again the competitors made feeble bumps seem like thoroughly rippable walls. The clear standouts were those straggling WCT competitiors currently staring into the abyss, and they made the quality known as some larger lines pushed in throughout the afternoon.

Brett Simpson posted a solid 8.00, followed by 9.13 on one of the fun-looking lefts which started to pulse during the Round of 48. "It's probably one of the better heats all together I've had in a while," said Simpson. "It felt nice and luckily we got some fun, clean little waves. This wave tends to trick you, you see it outside and then it moves back and forth, so I was just trying to stick to the lefts, I like to use my backhand when it's small."

Bino Lopes (BRZ)

Bino Lopes (BRZ)

© 2015 - ASP/Masurel

Fellow WCT surfer, and winner of the US Open, Alejo Muniz dominated his heat with some razor sharp small wave surfing. "I had a really tough heat yesterday on the high tide," said Muniz. "You always want to surf well, whether you make it or not, so my strategy today was to just surf better and put together two big scores.

Granger Larsen (HAW)

Granger Larsen (HAW)

© 2015 - ASP/Masurel

Other heat winners of note included the Hawaiian, Granger Larsen, who currently sits just outside of WCT qualification, and Frederico Morais, part of the new generation of Portuguese surfing.

"I'm stoked to make my first heat in a Prime, it was a tough one !" Morais said. "Conditions are not easy so I'm stoked and I can't wait for the next round. My bet was on the lefts like in Lacanau, I went out there doing pretty much the same thing and it's been working so I'll keep going!"

"I was kind of nervous this morning," I had a freesurf that wasn't very good," said Granger Larsen, who currently sits just outside of WCT qualification. "It was pretty small but I got a couple of lucky 7s that made me win the heat so I'm pretty happy about that ! This is my third year in a row on this position on the World Rankings before Hawaii, I'm hoping to do really good here to help out in my campaign to try and qualify for the world tour."

© 2015 - ASP/Masurel

Felipe Toledo (BRZ)

Felipe Toledo (BRZ)

© 2015 - ASP/Masurel

As this is written, day three is already under way, so for more information click here: http://www.aspeurope.com/azores/


Struan Gray

Writer and Content Manager