Santa Cruz, Calif. (January 9, 2019) – Santa Cruz will host what promises to be spectacular surfing in epic conditions this week. More than 100 of the best under 18 surfers will compete Saturday and Sunday at Santa Cruz’s famed Steamer Lane – the fifth stop of the Toyota USA Surfing Prime Series presented by Got Milk? The Prime Series event comes on the heels of Friday’s USA Surfing-sanctioned Shoe City Pro – a professional competition series for elite surfers of all ages. The events are co-located in Steamer Lane and will use many of the same judges and computer scoring system.
An intense winter storm with hurricane force winds is leaving behind XXL waves of consequence for Thursday’s USA Surfing junior national team training held in advance of the competitions. Surfers will have plenty of wave faces and barrels to pull off high-scoring maneuvers. The Surfline forecast calls for 8-12 foot waves Thursday that ease to 5-8 feet through the weekend.
The invite-only Toyota USA Surfing Prime Series presented by Got Milk? is a bi-coastal competition among under 18 surfers who placed highest in regional competitions held by USA Surfing’s affiliate organizations – the Western Surfing Association, Eastern Surfing Association, National Scholastic Surfing Association, Hawaiian Surfing Association and Texas Gulf Surfing Association. Participation and wins at each Prime Series event earn points that cumulatively determine national rankings and a chance to compete at national championships.
“Steamer Lane will be an amphitheater for some incredible surfing fireworks,” said USA Surfing CEO Greg Cruse.
WSL analyst and big wave surfer Pete Mel will be announcing on USA Surfing Prime finals day Sunday after competing himself in the Friday Shoe City Pro. Local legends Darryl “Flea” Virostko and Anthony “Ruffo” will be on water patrol. Top WSL priority judge Tim Manno will be in the tower running the events.
USA Surfing’s Prime Series was created to bridge the gap young surfers experience when working to make the leap to next-level competition opportunities, including a position on the USA Surfing national teams, the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series, the WSL Championship Tour and the Olympic Games. The Prime Series provides surfers with a competitive experience similar to WSL pro events with professional WSL/ISA judges and announcers, four-person heats using priority, and computer scoring.
Several current WSL pro surfers honed their competitive skills through USA Surfing’s Prime Series, including 2nd-ranked Lakey Peterson, No. 6 Caroline Marks, 2018 US Open champions Courtney Conlogue and Kanoa Igarashi, No. 7 Conner Coffin, Kolohe Andino, and Griffin Colapinto.
The Got Milk Prime Series continues in venues across the country including:
The series culminates with USA Surfing Championships in June – the pinnacle competition with 250 of the nation’s top surfers competing for national titles and spots on the USA Surfing team at one of the world’s best surf breaks – Lower Trestles.
Contact: becky (at) usasurfing (dot) org; 302-588-0671
USA Surfing is the National Governing Body for surfing in the United States, recognized by the International Surfing Association (ISA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). USA Surfing’s mission is to promote and grow the sport of surfing and support United States athletes of all backgrounds to achieve sustained competitive excellence in Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American competition. USA Surfing will oversee and support America’s Olympic team as surfing makes its debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and surfing and stand-up paddleboarding athletes compete in the 2019 Pan American Games.
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