Dusty Payne 

Dusty Payne, the teenage surfer from Hawaii who went within a whisker of winning the 2008 Triple Crown of Surfing in Hawaii, has gone one better by winning the world’s richest single manoeuvre surfing competition.

Payne was today awarded the US$50,000 cash purse as the winner of the Kustom Air Strike, an eight-month global search for the best aerial surfing manoeuvre. Videographer Matt Shuster also collected US$5000 for capturing vision of the massive air reverse, which was filmed during downtime between the Triple Crown events late in 2008.

Ironically, Joel Parkinson, the current world title ratings leader who edged out Payne for the Triple Crown title, headed the judging panel for the Kustom Air Strike.

“Dusty’s aerial was unreal’, said Joel. “It was a big section that he hit and the way he landed he should have broken his legs, but he landed so smoothly and just rode it out.’

“The $50k for one move is really pushing the aerial guys to be more innovative. It’s unbelievable and I can’t wait until next year’s event!”

Payne said the Kustom Air Strike victory allowed him to look into buying an apartment in Western Australia with fellow finalist Jay Davies, a deal they made prior to the winner’s announcement should either of them claim victory.

“This is unbelievable, I’m speechless,” said Dusty at hearing the news at a Bondi restaurant late on Easter Friday night. “I didn’t even realise I was in the running, this is the best Good Friday ever!”

Judging panel member and Kustom general manager, Harry Truscott, said there was vigorous debate over the aerials short-listed for final judging.

“The quality of the entries builds each year and we had a wealth of incredible clips by the time the eight-month competition window closed,” he said.
 
“I think it fair to say each of the judges had a tough time going through the entries and coming in to the final judging the cash could have gone to any of three or four surfers.

“But we all kept coming back to Dusty’s wave and in the end he edged just ahead of the field to claim the US$50,000, one of the richest prize purses in surfing.”

Pat Fraley, Brand Director of Kustom USA, said they were blown away by the level of surfing produced by the competition.
 
 “The aim of the competition is to produce surfing so innovative that it forever changes the face of surfing as we know it.  We get a bit closer to realising that goal by producing events such as the Kustom Airstrike.”

The Kustom Air Strike judging panel was headed by Parko and included emerging US surfer Kolohe Andino and Surfing Magazine’s Travis Ferre, both representing the USA; Kustom’s Harry Truscott and Stab Magazine’s Sam McIntosh representing the Australasian region; and Kustom’s Julian Vergnes and Bruce Boal from Surfersvillage and The Surfing Yearbook representing Europe.

Check out all of the entries, including Payne’s winning entry, on the official event website, www.kustomairstrike.com.


SOURCE: Surfing Australia