Taylor Jensen 

Two-time and defending Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) North America Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) Champion Taylor Jensen (Oceanside, CA), 25, and Kaitlin Maguire (Del Mar, CA), 21, won the ASP LQS 1-Star PLA and Gidget PLA Pros today in peaky two-to-three foot (1 metre) surf at C Street in Ventura, California.

The ASP LQS is a regional qualifier for the ASP World Longboard Tour (WLT). Each region sends their top performers at year’s end in an attempt to claim the coveted title of ASP World Longboard Champion each following year.

Jensen continued his tear through the ASP LQS today, notching another impressive victory on his belt in Ventura this afternoon. The powerful longboarder saved his best performance for the final, netting the event’s highest heat total of a near-perfect 18.57 out of 20, placing fellow finalists Tony Silvagni (Kure Beach, NC), 22, Brendan White (Dana Point, CA) and Joe Aaron (Capistrano Beach, CA), 18, in a combination situation on the way to his convincing PLA Pro win.

“The conditions were tricky with the south swell in the water here at C Street,” Jensen said. “I feel really good right now and in tune with my equipment and I’ve had such a good year so far, it’s great to win another event.”

The Oceanside local has been in stellar form throughout the ning of the year and has already claimed a victory at the prestigious Noosa Pro event in Australia.

“I’m so stoked with how things went in Australia,” Jensen said. “Winning Noosa was amazing and I got a second and a third in the following events, so I’m really happy to continue to do well in America now.

Jensen is now chasing his first ASP WLT Championship and is hoping that his success on the ASP LQS will help him achieve his goal of an ASP World Longboard title.

“I’ve always stressed more about the WLT,” Jensen said. “In the past I had felt pressure about winning the World Title, but I’ve had a few great accomplishments that have made me happy so far, so I feel there is less pressure this year.”

Silvagni, who finished second overall on last year’s regional ASP LQS continued to shine throughout the day’s entirety and finished in the runner up position behind Jensen by combining new school flare with classic noseriding.

“I always try to get 10 right away on the outside and connect each wave through to the inside,” Silvagni said. “I know that the first maneuver is the most critical, so I always try to get to the nose right away.”


NOOA's new Hawaiian buoy

Wave and weather forecasters in Hawaii will be able to gather more information from three new buoys deployed this week by the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Kukui, possibly improving surf reports for North-facing shores in the islands.

Crew members aboard the Honolulu-based buoy tender finished deploying three new weather buoys for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Thursday, April 23.

The buoys will provide better wind and wave analysis for NOAA and should be available to the public as early as Sunday, April 26, at NOAA's National Data Buoy Center.

The buoys specifically help aid in forecasting incoming surf and weather in the Main Hawaiian Islands. The buoy tender's crew this week established buoy 51001, 270 miles northwest of Oahu, and buoys 51000 and 51100, both 250 miles northeast of Oahu.Buoys 51001, 51000, and 51100 will benefit a broad spectrum of islanders and businesses; including avid surfers, weekend beach goers, inter-island shipping companies utilizing Kahului Harbor, and small businesses operating on north facing shores.

According to James Waymen, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service Honolulu forecast office, the addition of buoys 51001, 51000, and 51100 significantly amplifies the NWS ability to forecast weather, predict high surf, and monitor large storm systems.

"There was a gap to the northeast," says Waymen. "These buoys will allow us to not only track weather but also monitor the wave height, wave period, and wave direction of incoming swell from the north."

Previously there were only four NOAA buoys positioned around the islands.
As a result of their addition, the accuracy of forecasting for the north facing shores of the Hawaiian Islands will significantly improve, says NOAA scientists.Along with the standard weather systems that measure wind speed, wind direction, temperature, and barometric pressure, buoys 51001, 51000, and 51100 are equipped with sensors that measure wave height, period, and direction. The relationship between accurate forecasting, safety of life at sea, and the economy, is critical, says Jeff Jenner, a manager at the National Data Buoy Center.

"Accurate wave and surf forecasts are critical to Hawaii's economy and to the safety of residents and tourists involved in surfing and other activities in the waters around the islands," Jenner said. "Surfing alone draws tens of thousands of people to Oahu's North Shore each year and accounts for more than $10 million in direct benefit to the state's economy."


Jadson Andre 

Brazilian Jadson Andre has taken out the win at the 2009 Quiksilver Pro Durban at Ansteys Beach on Durban's Bluff today, defeating Australian ripper Owen Wright after putting on an amazing display of backhand power surfing.

Jadson walked away with US$20,000 in prize money and 3,500 WQS ratings points for the win. With a heat score of 18.00 out of a possible 20, the highest score of the entire event, Andre proved the surfer of the event and deservedly took home the title.

In clean four foot conditions and a pushing tide, the Brazilian goofy-footer was in amazing form, blasting some inverted backhand vertical moves on his way to victory. After two early waves, Andre officially announced his intentions when he logged a 7.00 to take an early lead. Wright quickly answered back with a 5.00, but as Andre arrived back in the lineup he found himself sitting directly in the path of a heaving right.

Flying off the bottom, Andre squared up and went vertically up the face to smash a huge re-entry, sending kilo-litres of spray flying into the air. Racing down the line Andre then backed up his initial cracker with two additional turns to secure a near perfect 9.33 out of a possible 10 and leave Wright needing a combination of scores to usurp the Brazilian's lead.

Not one to lie down, the plucky Australian paddled into a solid left-hander that walled up perfectly for him as he boosted a beautiful aerial move to pick up an 8.33 and close his required score down to 8.10. With just nine minutes to go Wright found a similar looking left and again boosted a huge 360 aerial, but unfortunately came unstuck on his second move, a vicious forehand layback, and scored only a 6.83.

In the 32nd minute of the 35 minute final, Andre put the nail in Wright's coffin as he paddled into a big left and smashed two powerful forehand turns as the crowd on the beach showed their appreciation and the judges awarded him an 8.67 to effectively end Wright's hopes of taking home the title.

"I'm really happy to have won this event," said the elated victor after spraying the crowd with champagne, "and I'd just like to thank all my friends and everyone who was on the beach today supporting me. When I was out in the water I just concentrated on surfing as well as I could and I am really happy to have won such a prestigious event."

Andre has been in great form the entire event, eliminating a host of big name surfer on his way to the final, among them world tour stalwart Victor Ribas (Brazil), superbly talented Kirk Flintoff (Australia) and Bluff local Rudy Palmboom.

"I've had a great time here in Durban," said runner-up Wright at the prize-giving, "and I'm super stoked to have made the final. This is the second final I've surfed against Jadson, so I guess now it's one all buddy!"

Both semi-finals were close fought affairs with each of the winners only sneaking through on the siren. In the first semi-final new school standout Julian Wilson took on compatriot Wright. Starting off slowly Wilson was behind for most of the heat until a huge forehand 360 aerial saw the judges award him an 8.00 to push him into the lead. Needing a low six to take back the lead, Wright found a meaty looking left right on the siren, milking it all the way to the beach where he finished with his own 360 air to post a 6.33 and knock his 21 year old compatriot out of contention.

In the second semi-final Australian Matt Wilkinson found himself having to contend with an in-form Andre who had put on a phenomenal display of aerial surfing in the quarter finals to eliminate Ireland's Glenn Hall. But as the tide pushed in, Andre changed tact and began using his rail as he carved some beautiful turns.

Andre had a terrible start to the heat, breaking his board on his opening wave and losing time as he had to swim in and get a back-up of the beach. In the mean time Wilkinson went to work and began to build a lead over the unfortunate Brazilian.