The Vans Pro Men's QS3,000 is down to its final 16 competitors after finishing an explosive Round Four of competition. The 1st Street Jetty of Virginia Beach offered two-to-three foot windswell that required the remaining contender's patience and best surfing they had to earn a spot into the Quarterfinals. With many of the in-form surfers heading straight for a European leg of events, their focus must first lie on an all-important 3,000 points that could help turn their 2016 QS season in the right direction and come away with a big win.
Patrick Guduaskas found near-perfection in the tough windswell and posted a 9.33 (out of a possible 10) when he needed it most. On paper, Gudauskas entered one of the most anticipated heats of the day alongside Mitch Crews, last year's Quarterfinalist Griffin Colapinto and Finalist Oney Anwar (IDN). But, it was the former WSL World Tour competitor and last year's Semifinalist who used his veteran experience for a big win -- posting the Round's highest heat total as well with a 16.90 (out of a possible 20).
"That heat on paper looked so insane with all those guys ripping and we got lucky to have a few waves come through that heat. It's just a matter of trying to get on those good set waves which you had to be patient for. On the same note though, each year I come back here after winning it I make sure not to lose by waiting too long knowing there's a bunch of waves to ride. I'm trying to dig back into some East Coast roots and stay light on my feet which helps get those exciting rides in so it'll be a fun day tomorrow."
Kaito Kino is back to his first Quarterfinal since the Rangiroa Open Pro QS1,000 after a great performance in Round 4 of the Vans Pro Men's QS3,000. The Honolulu, Oahu native has shown his prowess in waves of consequence, but put on a showcase of solid surfing at the 1st Street Jetty. Posting a 16.17, Kino moved into the Quartefinals with plenty of momentum.
"I'm just feeling good throughout this event with my boards, mindset, and physical shape so I'm excited on moving forward. I wanted to do this event on my way to Europe and stoked to be making heats, gaining points, and really feeling confident here. Really just having fun and I've won the Junior event here in the past so I know which waves are good and how to surf them."
"I've finally gotten into the primes this year so building points and gaining some momentum heading into those are huge. To make some finals in those events are the dream to try and make the tour -- every year I've gotten better and better so the dream is getting closer."
"I've finally gotten into the primes this year so building points and gaining some momentum heading into those are huge," Kino added. "To make some finals in those events are the dream to try and make the tour -- every year I've gotten better and better so the dream is getting closer."
Currently ranked No. 35 on the QS rankings, Krystian Kymerson came out of an impressive heat as he did battle with Evan Geiselman, Ian Crane, and an in-form Rafael Pereira. Earning a 7.67 on his last scoring wave, the Brazilian secured his place into the Quarterfinals and a big result in the making -- one that could be a crucial turning point for him.
"I'm so happy to be making those really hard heats in these smaller conditions and can't thank my support crew enough. My girlfriend and her family are here which is great to have knowing I need a strong finish at this contest. With the forecast looking a little better tomorrow for the Quarterfinals I'm getting really excited and just so stoked to be in this position."
Kymerson's young compatriot Samuel Pupo continues to turn heads in both events here at the Vans Pro Men's QS,3000 and Junior contest, topping veteran QS competitors Rafael Teixeira and Francisco Bellorin in a big Round Four win. Pupo is taking to the air with confidence and riding out of nearly every attempt as he now looks toward a big QS3,000 Quarterfinal -- putting any feelings of intimidation aside.
"I was pretty nervous coming straight into the QS heat since I've had the Juniors to get in the water first which has helped me a lot. Every QS heat is like a final out there to me and I've learned you just can't be scared so I've taken that experience into the Junior event to keep going in that one. This is my first year really getting some competition under my belt so I just want to go out and do my best. My brother and Gabriel [Medina] have been really big inspirations for me competing on the QS for one year and getting some big wins. I really look at my brother's career for trying to do the same and maybe try to get on tour after two seasons of the QS."