Miguel Pupo: aerial-to-pier surfing trick

Gabriel Medina, Felipe Toledo and Julian Wilson dominated the Round of 24 of the 2012 US Open of Surfing, in Huntington Beach Pier.

Making the most out of two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves, Medina continued his unstoppable surf and signature aerial game to launch the highest score of the event so far, a 9.93, on the way to a 19.03 out of 20 heat total.

"I just tried to have fun," Medina said. "Today’s waves are better than the other day and I just tried to do my airs and make the heat, so I’m stoked."

Despite an unfortunate interference, Filipe Toledo put on an amazing performance to win his Round of 24 heat.

The progressive young talent fought back to amass one of the event’s highest scores of 9.80 when he launched a fully committed air-reverse on the outside followed by a clean cutback and consolidated the score with a second air-reverse on the inside.

"I got the interference and I thought, I’m going to do airs and make up for it," Toledo said. "I knew I needed to make up for it and the interference might have given me extra motivation. I’ve got a lot of heats left to surf in the juniors too and I’m stoked to defend my title."

Nathaniel Curran, former winner at the US Open of Surfing, put on a banner performance to relegate reigning 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater and last year’s event runner-up Yadin Nicol to Round 5.

"It was a little high-tide but there were actually some waves in the heat which made it nice," Curran said. "I wanted to do some airs, but I didn’t want to change my game up much".

Julian Wilson got off to a slow start in his match up against local favorite Brett Simpson and Keanu Asing, but catapulted to victory with a huge air-reverse to the tune of 9.50 out of 10.

"I was just taking off on everything, really" Wilson said. "I was just trying to find an opportunity. It was similar to my last heat where we had an eight minute lull. It’s never that fun when you can’t get it going in a heat, but it was a fun second part to the heat.