One week down at the FireWire E-Pro USA presented by Futures has the field of 18 down to just four competitors. Critical four-man, two heat Quarterfinal bouts brought out some absolute gems from the eight surfers vying for a Semifinal berth and Surf Web Series Online World Championship spot while others petered out getting deep into the contest.
The lone East Coast talent Rob Kelly dealt with his Round 2 scare brilliantly and hasn’t looked back since delivering one insane barrel after another to earn four heat wins in a row. His latest and greatest from home shores in New Jersey garnered an easy decision with the event’s second first-place sweep. But, it was a split decision between San Clemente, California, duo Kade Matson and Kevin Schulz that swayed to the young guard of Matson with three second-place votes to Schulz’s two.
Matson’s Lower Trestles submissions continue to showcase his powerful variety and did away with Schulz’s Hail Mary huck at “Bushwhackers” while Nolan Rapoza’s one-turn wonder wasn’t enough to contend.
A second first-place sweep for Kei Kobyashi sent him easily through to the Semifinals with another Lowers righthand dreamer to display an array of his arsenal. Unanimous second-place from the judges and third-place by fan voting put Cole Houshmand’s decimating backhand attack into a World Championships slot in pumping Lowers.
Kobayashi and Houshmand’s Lowers submissions overwhelmed Wesley Santos and Ben Benson’s Huntington Beach submissions to once again prove that the iconic cobblestone break is all but unbeatable.
Cast your vote for the FireWire E-Pro USA presented by Futures Semifinal action beginning Sunday, March 21, at 12pm PST.