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2006 Surfshop Challenge

Writeup by Dustin Howard (One of the competitors on Team Nekton)

The waves were small, but the contest was really fun! The Nekton team (Gulfcoast) included: Shea Lopez, Alek Parker, Grant Johnston, and Dustin Howard. The waves were knee to occasional waist high. There were 17 teams in the whole event, and after the quarter finals Nekton was in first place. Other teams that were looking strong, were: Quiet flight, Sunrise and the goods. The Nekton team was infernally the motley Crue of the contest when the Nekton team was in the water it got loud. We were yelling and screaming stuff like," SHAKE N BAKE BABY!!!", and "IF YA AINT FIRST YER LAST!!" (we had all recently seen "Taladega nights.") It was alot of fun to see Cory down the beach as team manager. He had one of those cheap cones you can yell through and he was just screaming his head off telling us where to sit, and what waves were on the horizon. At one point after my heat he told me that he was screaming so hard for so long that he almost passed out. It was pretty cool, in heat one we smoked everybody. heat two (or the semifinals) we ended up in second. so we advanced to the Finals. The event was held at a place that I guess could be compared to a certain spot in Clearwater, but instead of being inside an Inlet its right on the Atlantic. its bar called S.B.I. about 7 miles from Sebastian Inlet. There was a 1/2 hour grace period before the final, so we all went up to the bar and hung out and talked about stuff you talk about when your at a bar... So we hear Matt Kechele on the intercom say "Alright lets get this thing rolling! We got some clouds moving our way and we don't want to get rained out again. so the heat horn sounds for the final to start. The contest format is really cool you have four people on the team and you have to have a team roster, or an order of who goes first through last. Alek was our lead off surfer. he only caught his 2 scoring waves and came in, his first wave was solid. He got three strong snaps to the beach, his second wave was an outside freak set, he did a huge wrap around and smashed the lip and then worked the wave to the inside sitting up for the big air. As he hit the lip this huge piece of back-wash blew up and threw Alek starfishing through the air. Our second guy was Shea. His first wave of the final wasn't bad, he went front side which is a left for Shea, and smacked twice. Shea and Alek could get into these little waves so fast. About 10 mins went by and Shea caught what was for the day a pretty good inside wave, it got real steep on the inside and you could tell he was gonna try and punt an air, but right as he started his bottom turn his fin hit the sand and he dug his rail and ate it. During this whole heat black clouds had been moving in, and lighting strikes were getting close. Within 2 min of Shea's fall it had turned into 30 mph gusts and terenchal down pour. So Kech called for a 1 hour waiting period. So we all went back up to the bar. The rain passed & we all went back out and did pretty good. As we were packing up and heading to the awards area we were all thinking, "Well we might have first but we are a solid 2nd" I asked Cory what he thought and he said, "I think we were one wave short of first place. We ended up getting fourth over all??? Not bad, BUT the Nekton team will be back next year with a vengeance!!!!!!!!


1 - SUNRISE SURF SHOP: Robert Rohman, Adam McGill, Dane Jeffreys,
and Jason Motes

2 - QUIET FLIGHT: Nick Piette, David Aubrey, Bryan Hewitson, and John

3 - OCEAN MAGIC: Ryan Helm, Taylor Hogland, Brian Cunningham, and Kedran Ferrero

4 - NEKTON: Alek Parker, Shea Lopez, Brant Johnston, and Dustin Howard

Read more and see pics on: http://surfermag.com/events/qssc06/se/





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