The lineup of Zippers can be a fickle one with tides and conditions, but this year was one for the books and the Los Cabos Open of Surf men's Pro Junior seemed to always receive its best push for waves. In the end, it was Che Allan who showcased his best form and earned himself a second WSL win.
The Final was no different for the region's best 18-and-under men who took full advantage of the fun conditions on offer and Allan came back firing. The Barbadian went to work against the in-form talents of current North America No. 1 Ryland Rubens, last year's Los Cabos Open of Surf fourth-place finisher Eithan Osborne, and explosive Tyler Gunter.
"After that first contest I just went home and regrouped then came here wanting to win so bad, that's all I wanted, so to do that is unbelievable," Allan said. "Hopefully I can go through the rest of the year with a lot more confidence now and try to qualify for Worlds again. I got nervous thinking I peaked too early in that first heat and had a slow Quarterfinal yesterday, but I got my form back in the Semifinals and Finals which is what mattered."
"I'll just have to get back to square one now and not get ahead of myself heading into the US Open," Allan added. "It'll be good to go home and regroup again before getting to Huntington to practice early. That's always such a big event with all the internationals there and I'm looking forward to competing against them again."
Current North America No. 1, Rubens, gained more ground as the ratings leader after his own dominant performance that earned him consecutive Finals. The San Diego, California native will carry this momentum into the summer where the arena of Huntington Beach awaits next month.
"This was such a great event, it's probably the best waves we've ever gotten here and it feels really good to make another Final even though I made some mistakes," Rubens. "I got that one last opportunity, but it wasn't enough. It's a good spot to be in, but there's still a lot of work to be done and I'm just enjoying every moment of it -- hopefully get it done in Huntington as well."
Last year, Gunter was chaired up the beach for the first time in his WSL career and earned himself another big Finals appearance here at Zippers. While his homebreak of 54th Street in Newport, California usually offers classic lefthand conditions, it was Gunter's backhand that did all the damage.
"I was super pumped to make the Finals since Cocoa was definitely a throw away result and I'm excited that I got a 3rd," Gunter said. "It definitely boosted my confidence on trying to make it to Worlds. Going into the US open I will just be training a lot and doing some QS events to hopefully keep the rhythm going and get another result at the open."
Osborne looked to be on a tear en route to his second consecutive Final at Zippers, but couldn't find a second score he needed after opening up with a 7.83. The aerial attack of Osborne will be one to watch this year, along with a powerful rail game he's developed to take on the region's best.
The next Pro Junior will be the Vans US Open of Surfing July 29 - August 6