Rider Slip Slider Pro Invitational
The UK's top surfers came together to do battle in a unique surfing competition. Who would take home the £1,000 cash prize?
A clean 3ft swell groomed by offshore winds and flip flops freebies greeted the cream of British surfing talent on 21st May at Porthmeor beach, St Ives for the inaugural running of the Rider Slip Slider Pro Invitational.
In a break from the surfing competition norm, the guys at Rider flip flops devised a unique format whereby each surfer competed in two heats with the scores from their best two waves securing a place in the four man final. The format proved popular, with the surfers encouraged to cut loose and go for the biggest moves in their repertoire as they chased the maximum two wave score.
The first round of heats were contested in typically punchy Porthmeor. With the new format taking the pressure off the guys to get some solid banker scores on the board, the pace was slower as the key was to pick off the best of the sets and try to nail some high scoring turns. Local St Ives lad Tom Lowe and Newquay's Oli Adams set the tone early on with some big airs. Tom's air reverse in the second heat secured him an 8.7, the wave with the highest score and loudest hoots of the day, plus the prize for the "Sickest Move".
A break was called before round two of the heats, a chance for all to gather thoughts, review the scores and build a game plan whilst supping on a "Ginger Spice", the fruity liquid dream served up by the Porthmeor Cafe.
With perfect timing both the surfers and the waves turned it up a notch for round two, as a mid tide bank started to work with a highly rippable, wedgy peak and this provided the platform for some big moves, in particular standout waves by Gordon Fontaine of Bournemouth with a powerful, vertical forehand snap and Constantine's Micah Lester's vertical backhand attack on the best left hander to break all day. Johnny Fryer showed a cool head backing up a solid round one performance by pumping in some heavy scoring, setting himself up as the man to beat.
Tensions continued to build during round two as it became clear that securing a place in the final was going to be tight and with no one knowing who was going to make it through until the last heat had finished everyone gathered to hear the results. Eventually the competitors for the final were decided by the closest possible margin with Gordon Fontaine missing out by just 0.1 of a point.
The Winners Line Up
The final took place in clean but highly challenging surf as the sets became less frequent. Each of the finalists had demonstrated throughout the heats that they were capable of landing the top prize but in the end it was the ability of Johnny Fryer, from Isle of Wight, who consistently got more quality turns on each wave which enabled him to walk off with the title and a cheque for £1,000.
The Rider Slip Slider Pro Invitational 2011 Results
1st - Johnny Fryer - Isle of Wight
2nd - Mark "Egor" Harris - Newquay
3rd - Tom Butler - Newquay
4th - Tom Lowe - St Ives
A very special thanks to Tyson from the Gwithian Academy of Surf and his team and to Jenna at Porthmeor Beach for being so welcoming.
Source: Jamhill / Rider Flip Flips
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