Joel Parkinson: always smooth at Lower Trestles | Photo: Kirstin/WSL

Four surfers from four different countries have qualified for the semifinals of the 2016 Hurley Pro at Trestles, in San Clemente, California.

In an exciting quarterfinal battle, Filipe Toledo defeated Kelly Slater with the highest two-wave total of the day. The Brazilian only got his winning rides in the last third of the heat.

Toledo used his air knowledge to earn a 9.17; Slater answered with a competent 8.17. But Filipe was in comfortable waters and finished his sixth ride with an air reverse scored at 9.20.

"Since I was born, since I've known surfing, there's been Kelly, and he's the most incredible surfer in this world, so it's always good to beat him and surf against him."

"I had to go big because he's in a good rhythm right now. He won Tahiti, and he's been surfing amazing here. It's such a blessing to surf against Kelly and beat him. The waves are fun; my boards are looking good so let's hope I can get a bigger wave in the semifinals and finals - definitely go for the 10 or high 9, we will see."

Jordy Smith had a tough heat against event wildcard Brett Simpson, but he found two gems that put him in the semifinals. The South African secures his second-best result of the season.

"Brett is an incredible surfer, and he's got nothing to lose. I think he's got a lot of confidence. He's taken out some big dogs along the way, and he's just been in rhythm. I was feeling pretty nervous throughout the whole day, but I just kept focusing on what I had going," explained Smith.

Tanner Gudauskas also has reasons to smile. The local talent eliminated Stuart Kennedy with a strong display of backhand surfing.

"This moment feels amazing, and I'm just trying to absorb everything from it. For this week though I just feel like every heat I surf is my only opportunity that I'll get. I'll be back to the QS after this and will really earn it to get back on Tour," concluded Gudauskas.

2016 Hurley Pro at Trestles | Quarterfinals

Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.87 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 10.43
Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.37 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 15.60
Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 15.13 def. Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 9.17
Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.77 def. Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 12.40

2016 Hurley Pro at Trestles | Semifinal Match-Ups

Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Tanner Gudauskas (USA) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)