Surfing in Cornwall: there's room for everyone | Photo: Jim Champion

Surfing is a new way of to fight depression in Cornwall. The UK authorities, through the National Health System, are putting up a pilot project to help people with mental health needs.

Surfing is seen by doctors as an excellent sport to regain confidence, self-esteem and restore social interaction. The patients undergoing the surfing therapy are aged between 12 a 25.

Since 2009, there is also a scheme targeted to armed forces personnel suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

The contact with the water and the ocean is a great way to overcome mental health problems.

And riding waves answers a very old motto: only a surfer knows the feeling.

Flynnstone Flip: you know the inventor

When it all boils down, the objective is pure and simple – the Kustom Airstrike is about discovering something new; producing surfing so inspired and revolutionary that it breaks all the rules, forever changing the face of surfing as we know it.

This year's Airstrike event has driven surfing to its creative extremes and divided the judges down the middle.

"It was no unanimous decision this year, that's for sure" said Harry Truscott, Kustom's General Manager and one this year's judges. Watch the video.

"The two big contenders when it came down to it were Kustom's Chris 'CHIPPA' Wilson and Hawaiian Flynn Novak, both riding away from amazing and very different examples of how to take surfing forward."

Chippa did a legit backside big spin, legit! No revert slither, no shuv it with an awkward switch landing. One straight up single trick done effortlessly and with style. If anything done on a surfboard could be referenced directly to skateboarding then that is the one.

On the flip side you've got Hawaii's Flynn Novak, who until this year's event had toiled with landing what he has chipped away at for eight years – the full backflip, or the Flynnstone Flip as it has been dubbed. No half steppin' there.

"The Flynnstone Flip defies where many thought surfing could go" said Kustom's USA Brand Director, Pat Fraley. "Things have happened that are arguably similar, but Flynn goes straight upside down, full rotation, just like he's strapped in on a snowboard. Crazy!"

So with all that said, it's Kustom's pleasure to announce that Flynn Novak is the winner of the 2010 Kustom Airstrike!

In addition to being crowned this year's champion, Flynn also walks away with the USD$50,000 bounty, the richest prize in surfing for a single move. Last year's winner, Dusty Payne, was enlisted to let Flynn know the great news. Flynn's scream for joy was deafening.

Gony Zubizarreta: surname of a famous Spanish goalkeeper

The Lusiaves Figueira Pro once again set up shop at the backup site of Praia da Murtinheira and ran through to complete Round Two of competition in clean peaky 3ft (1m) waves. After yesterday’s heat wave conditions, cool winds, rain and heavy cloud cover was a welcome relief to everyone during the morning.

Although slightly smaller, waves were still more than contestable and the remaining surfers in the round enjoyed the fun conditions. Off-shore winds cleaned up conditions during the afternoon to add to a complete day of competitive surfing.

A new swell is predicted to hit over night and showed early signs of its arrival late today for the later heats of the day. Event officials are going to make a first call tomorrow morning at the main event site which hopefully will display the potential the wave in Figueira has.

Many of the event favourites advanced through to Round Three with little or no trouble. Joan Duru (FRA) 21, scored the highest single score of the day with an 8.83 looking strong and comfortable. Billy Stairmand (NZL) 20, and Pablo Paulino (BRA) 23, the young guns on tour, also advanced without dramas to continue their recent good form along with Tim Boal (FRA) 27, who recently has had a third placing followed by a runner-up result a fortnight ago.

“I guess I am on a bit of a roll after these last two events and I am trying to keep it going in these tough little waves out here today. I have never surfed at the main break and I hear it is really fun. We are expecting some swell tomorrow so hopefully we can have some fun down there.”

“I’ve been doing heaps of training this year and working hard on techniques for contests,” continued Boal. “It has been going good and it has worked out in the last couple of events so I am stoked.”

Mitch Coleborn (AUS) jumped from fourth to first with under a minute remaining to advance through to Round Three in a true nail-biter. What resulted to be a low scoring, close clash, Coleborn was all but gone and threw his last roll of the dice by heading down from the main peak in search of a miracle. Looking gone for all money suddenly the wave he was searching for presented itself and Coleborn took full advantage of it.

“I had a real shaky start and didn’t get going during the entire heat and I was lucky to get that last wave at the end. I’m stoked to get that one out of the way and looking forward to the next heat. It was so good yesterday and I was keen to go but as the tides are so big here it didn’t happen.”

“I did think it was all over,” explained Coleborn. “I just paddled down the beach and hoped that a wave would come and it did. It was one of those things that doesn’t usually happen to me but you hear guys talk about it and it happened today for me and luckily I didn’t fall off and got the score.

“It was a tough heat,” began Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 25, after his 25-minute clash. Starting slowly and building on his scores, Zubizarreta gained momentum and finished with a combined two-wave total of 15.16 out of 20.

“I wasn’t getting any good waves and I started to get nervous but then I found a good right and when I got back to the peak I had a left with a couple of good turns which gave me the lead.”

“After that I got that really good right that had a nice wall on it that sat up for me and I got that 8.33,” continued Zubizarreta. “I am stoked with the result. I came to Figueira when I was 14 years old and I surfed only the main break at the jetty but I never came to this beach. It is flat everywhere else and here there is like 4ft waves so it is a special place for sure.”

Nathan Hedge (AUS) 31, had another strong performance and is bound to get a big result soon at an ASP 6-Star event. Looking sharp and crisp in his powerful turns, Hedge needs only a touch of luck which so far this European leg has not been on his side, to turn the tables and be a true threat for this year’s Lusiaves Figueira Pro title

“Conditions are a bit tricky out there so it is always good to get over 6’s or even higher in your heat. They were not in the excellent range but the other guys weren’t getting too much so for what was available I think I got the best of it.”

Having spent his time off here in Portugal, Hedge has done a lot of water time to prepare for this final event on the ASP Europe Summer Leg of 6-Star contests.

“I have been enjoying the tour over here this year and it seems that Portugal has been having the best of the swells and the bigger waves so I have been hunting them down. I have some good friends down here so it has been a good destination with so many different waves and for testing boards it is perfect. The restaurants and the people are nice so it has been great.”

First call tomorrow Day 3 will be at 09:00am at the main event site of Praia do Cabedelo. With an expected swell increase to continue over night the action is guaranteed to continue through to the weekend.

Upcoming Lusiaves Figueira Pro Round Three Match-Ups
Heat 1: Heitor Alves (BRA), Alain Riou (PYF), Blake Jones (USA), Austin Ware (USA)
Heat 2: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Eneko Acero (EUK), Richard Christie (NZL), Jean Da Silva (BRA)
Heat 3: Aritz Aranburu (EUK), Andre Silva (BRA), Manfred Adrio (ZAF), Charles Martin (GLP)
Heat 4: Txaber Trojaola (EUK), Miguel Mouzinho (PRT), Rudy Palmboom (ZAF), Marc Lacomare (FRA)
Heat 5: Jayke Sharp (AUS), Mitch Coleborn (AUS), Jay Quinn (NZL), Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY)
Heat 6: Madison Williams (AUS), Francisco Bellorin (VEN), Gony Zubizarreta (ESP), Messias Felix (BRA)
Heat 7: Joan Duru (FRA), Billy Stairmand (NZL), Shaun Joubert (ZAF), David do Carmo (BRA)
Heat 8: Tanner Gadauskas (USA), Brian Toth (PRI), Nathan Hedge (AUS), Tim Boal (FRA)
Heat 9: Royden Bryson (ZAF), Maxime Huscenot (FRA), Gustavo Fernandes (BRA), Tonino Benson (HAW)
Heat 10: Adrien Toyon (REU), Romain Cloitre (FRA), Jano Belo (BRA), Pablo Paulino (BRA)
Heat 11: Leonardo Neves (BRA), Yadin Nicol (AUS), Yuri Sodre (BRA), Bruno Rodrigues (BRA)
Heat 12: Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK), Glen Hall (IRL), Yannick de Jager (NDL), Vincent Duvignac (FRA)