Cory Lopez: aerial specialist

The 30th Vans Triple Crown of Surfing has kicked off with the Reef Hawaiian Pro, on the North Shore of Oahu.


Up to 128 surfers from 15 nations are looking forward to put their hands on the $250,000 on offer. Nathan Hedge, Cory Lopez, Hank Gaskell and Mason Ho have showed off in the first round of waves, at Haleiwa.

"Today's the perfect day to go for the Hawaiian Air miles," said Cory Lopez. "There's a couple of long lefts where you can get a lot of speed and do the big air and the wind's perfect for it.

Nathan Hedge is hunting down valuable requalification points. A former ASP World Tour Top 10 surfer, Hedge has returned to Hawaii this winter on a mission to requalify.

"I took two years off and I'm refocused and got a new perspective, a new outlook and I'm enthusiastic again," said Hedge.

Hawaii's Mason Ho set up a late flare today with a double tube-ride to aerial that got the beach to its feet. Unfortunately the aerial was incomplete, or it would have been a perfect score.

"I kind of got ahead of myself. I saw the air section out of the second barrel and I was already thinking, 'ok what grab?', and I wasn't even out of the barrel and that's what dad says, don't ever get ahead of yourself", said Mason.