HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Saturday, June 5, 2010) - The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) 1-Star WLA Pro presented by Kicker saw two-time ASP North America LQS champion Taylor Jensen (Oceanside, CA), 26, lead an impressive field of global talent to the men’s Round of 16 in two-to-four foot (1 metre) surf at South Huntington Beach Pier today. Hawaiian upstart Stacia Ahina (HAW) posted the top scores while deciding the women’s Quarterfinalists.
Surfers competing on the ASP LQS are out to capitalize on the valuable ratings points on offer in an attempt to finish atop their regional ratings. A top regional position qualifies each competitor for a spot on the ASP World Longboard Tour (WLT).
Jensen, who has claimed several ASP longboaring event titles at Huntington’s tricky beachbreak, was in rhythm at this year’s WLA Pro and reveled in the day’s peaky conditions while leading a stacked field including former ASP World Longboard Champions Bonga Perkins (HAW) and Josh Constable (AUS) to the Round of 16.
“The conditions are pretty good for Huntington,” Jensen said. “This is the best surf we’ve had for an event this year. It’s super peaky and really fun.”
The powerful Californian detonated the day’s highest heat total, an impressive16.16 out of 20 in his opening heat by combining progressive rail-to-rail power surfing with classic longboarding.
“I paddled out and went straight into an 8 and that kind of set the pace for my whole heat,” Jensen said. “I backed it up with another solid score and kept picking off those right reforms. Huntington has always been good to me.”
Ahina, who has only a little experience with Huntington Beach, seemed to feel comfortable in the day’s conditions while securing a Semifinals berth by posting one of the strongest heat totals of the womens’ division.
“I’ve surfed here one other time and there was a terrible rip current, the surf is way better today,” Ahina said. “Today’s conditions remind me of this righthander that I always surf at Kewalos in Hawaii, it’s super similar.”
Ahina is hoping to post a top result at the WLA Pro to help build her seed in a quest for a position on the ASP Women’s World Longboard Tour.
“My goal is to build my seed and eventually qualify for the event in France to compete for the World Longboard Title,” Ahina said.
The 2010 WLA Pro presented by Kicker will crown a champion by tomorrow afternoon.