Clay Marzo 

Three of the world’s most exciting aerial surfers have unloaded a late assault on the US$50,000 Kustom Air Strike, the eight-month search for the planet’s most innovative above-the-wave manoeuvre.

Hawaii’s Clay Marzo and Dusty Payne, and Australia’s Ry Craike, have each entered the battle by dropping incredible moves that are so smooth they demand viewing in slow motion to appreciate the degree of difficulty.

Marzo, already recognised as one of the world’s most creative surfers, launches high into an explosive air reverse that was caught on film by Adam Kelvin. Not to be outdone, Dusty Payne has countered with his own air reverse, that is certainly one of the most committed and radical moves that the event has seen so far, this time captured by Matt Shuster.

Craike was filmed by Tom Jennings doing a huge Front Side Loop, one of the biggest that has ever been caught on film.

The new entries, which have each landed on the Kustom Air Strike website (www.kustomairstrike.com), come just two weeks before the close of the event.

In another major boost to the event, the final judging panel has been selected and is headlined by current World #1 Joel Parkinson. He is joined by Kustom’s Harry Truscott and Stab Magazine’s Sam McIntosh representing the Australasian region; Kustom’s Julian Vergnes and Bruce Boal from Surfersvillage and The Surfing Yearbook representing Europe; Evan Slater from Surfing Magazine and one of surfing’s emerging stars, Kolohe Andino, representing the USA.

“The global nature of the event dictated that we had to have a diverse group of international judges,” said Kustom’s general manager Harry Truscott.

“But the real coup is getting current world #1, Joel Parkinson, and then one of the world’s most talented up and coming surfers, Kolohe Andino. They will bring tremendous technical insight and perspective to the judging panel and be a great support to the team.”

The Kustom Air Strike event window, which opened in August 2008, closes on 31 March 2009.

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Dane Wilson

The Backbeach Noosa Stand Up Paddle Pro handled the tiny waves on Tuesday late afternoon superbly and local Noosa surfer Dane Wilson (16.25), who recently relocated from Cronulla in NSW, took a high scoring win over Burleigh Heads rider James Watson (15.35).

Dane has been living at Perigian for the past 6 months relocating from Cronulla and it was this move that has inspired him into Stand Up Paddle – After his win on Tuesday the former pro longboard surfer said “ Since I’ve been here on the Sunshine Coast I have really dedicated myself to Stand Up Paddling .“

“It’s such a perfect location to be a stand up paddling surfer and I’m now right into it! To win this event is unbelievable, the whole festival is held in the highest regard worldwide and for Stand Up Paddling in Australia this is the biggest and best event – It’s a special feeling to have won.”

Final placings in the Backbeach Noosa Stand Up Paddle Pro were, in order from 1st to 6th:

Dane Wilson, James Watson (Qld), Keahi De Aboitiz (Qld), Matt Lumley (Vic), Eugene"Woogie"Marsh(Qld/Perigian) and Noel Graham (NSW).

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Colin McPhillips 

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) North America Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) saw three-time ASP World Longboard Champion Colin McPhillips (San Clemente, CA), 33, claim the ASP LQS 1-Star Costa Del Mar Pro this afternoon in peaky three-to-four foot (1 metre) surf at Ninth Street in Huntington Beach over Hawaiian talent Kai Sallas (Honolulu, HI), 27.

The ASP LQS North American regional series allows the nation’s top two performers to qualify for the prestigious ASP World Longboard Tour (WLT) the following year where each surfer strives to earn the title of ASP World Longboard Champion.

McPhillips claimed the event by smashing the Final’s highest single wave score of an 8.33 out of a possible 10 with three massive backside carves on a steep Huntington Beach lefthander. The former champ followed up with a second solid score, which proved to be enough to take out the win over Sallas.

“That one wave was the best wave I caught all day,” McPhillips said. “I caught one wave and got a low score and decided I was going to wait until I got a good one and luckily that set came through, it was the only good wave in the heat.”

Although bumpy afternoon conditions were not ideal for longboarding, McPhillips was able to capitalize on the best waves over his tough competitor.

“I haven’t surfed that many heats in a long time,” McPhillips said. “It was really bumpy and tough and there was tons of current, so I’m beat, but I’m happy with the win and it’s a great start to the year.”

Sallas smashed some of the day’s highest scores in earlier heats, but was unable to find a rhythm in the Final and could not uncover the scores needed to overtake McPhillips.

“I didn’t have to wait more than two-minutes to catch a wave all day and in the Final I just felt like it shut off,” Sallas said. “I just could not get into rhythm out there.”

Sallas is now looking to utilize the joint ratings between ASP North America and ASP Hawaii in the longboarding division to keep a top Hawaiian seed.

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