Hiroto Ohhara: high moves in small waves | Photo: WSL

Hiroto Ohhara claimed the 2018 Van Pro at Virginia Beach, in Virginia.

The Japanese surfer, who had won the US Open of Surfing in 2015, has once again proved he is one of the most in-form athletes on the Qualifying Series (QS).

Ohhara defeated fellow countryman Reo Inaba, Brazilian rider Flavio Nakagima, and American surfer Tyler Gunter in the final held in tricky two-to-three-foot waves.

"It feels amazing to win this event after not getting a result this year. It reminds me of winning the US Open of Surfing," joked Ohhara.

"I thought Reo was going to win that final after he got those two scores to start, but I waited patiently with priority and knew a wave would come."

Hiroto showed a lot of confidence throughout the event. The 21-year-old surfer recently won the Surf Ranch Pro Trials, and he kept the momentum going for this important QS 3,000 event.

"I feel this is a turning point in the season, and now I have valuable points heading to Europe. It's going to be hard work, but I'll do my best and see how far I can go in the next couple events," concluded Ohhara.

With this win, the Japanese surfer moved up 30 places in the QS rankings. He is now sitting in 27th place with 7,390 points.

2018 Vans Pro | Final

1. Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 15.74
2. Reo Inaba (JPN) 15.10
3. Flavio Nakagima (BRA) 12.07
4. Tyler Gunter (USA) 10.76