Kolohe Andino: how good is that?

Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, CA), 16, won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grade-4 Nike 6.0 Unsound Junior Pro over Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 19, in Long Beach, New York after a marathon day of competition in peaky one-to-three foot surf to take an early season lead on the new ASP North America Pro Junior Series ratings.

Surfers competing on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series are out to finish atop the regional ratings to qualify for the prestigious ASP World Junior Tour and the Nike 6.0 Unsound Junior Pro’s heightened ASP Grade-4 status will play a vital role in competitors overall standing for the season.

Andino remained focused on his wave selection throughout the event’s entirety despite the tricky conditions and his patients paid off, putting Young in a combination situation in the Final to take out the Nike 6.0 Unsound Junior Pro victory.

“Everyone was surfing so well and I’m just stoked to have ended up in the Final,” Andino said. “There are lots of waves out there, but wave selection is such a huge part of surfing heats. I just tried to focus on myself and focus on my wave selection.”

Andino hopes to carry the momentum from his ASP Grade-4 win to the first stop on the ASP World Junior Tour, the Oakley Pro Junior in Bali.

“I’m really excited about heading to Bali and I’ve been working with my shaper Matt Biolis on getting my boards ready,” Andino said. “I’ll be traveling with Luke Davis and my Dad and it should be fun, I can’t wait.”

Young, who posted the highest heat total of the day, a 16.40 out of 20 in his Quarterfinals heat, was in top form throughout the event’s entirety, defeating fellow Californian Conner Coffin (Santa Barbara, CA), 17, hungry Hawaiian Tanner Hendrickson (Haiku, HAW), 17, and ASP Pro Junior standout Keanu Asing (Ewa Beach, HI), 18, but was unable to find a rhythm against Andino in the Final.

“The tide got really high and the wind switched offshore,” Young said. “Everything that could go wrong went wrong for me out there. It was tough. I’m bummed. To make it to the Final and lose is always hard.”

Conner Coffin (Santa Barbara, CA), 17, tore through the opening rounds of competition in the small punchy waves on a magic contest board, but was unable to find the scores needed to surpass Young in the Semifinals. The explosive regular-footer’s equal 3rd place results sets him in excellent position on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series ratings.

“I’m super excited on this result,” Coffin said. “I missed the World Juniors by one spot last year, so I’m psyched on this as my first result of the new season, especially since it’s a Grade-4.”

Coffin, who earned a wildcard berth into the first event on the ASP World Junior Tour, the Oakley Pro Junior in Bali, will turn his focus on preparing for the event once he returns home.

“I have a wildcard from Oakley into the Bali event and hopefully I can get a wildcard into Narrabeen if I do well in the first event,” Coffin said. “I hope we get some waves at home and I can just surf a lot and maybe do some yoga to stay flexible before the contest.”

Balaram Stack (Long Beach, NY), 18, earned his career-best result at his home break and put on an excellent performance before falling to eventual Nike 6.0 Unsound Junior Pro winner, Andino in the Quarterfinals.

“I surf here every day and to have the best surfers here at my home break has just blown my mind,” Stack said. “To take them to the city as well and show them around has been amazing.”

The equal 5th place result earned by the native New Yorker puts him in excellent position on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series and he hopes to carry the momentum on to the next event, the Fins Pro Junior in New Jersey.

“I’m psyched on this result,” Stack said. “I’ve only made the Quarterfinals a few times and to do it in a Grade-4, the points are really good for my rating. I’m looking to do well in the next few events.”

Nike 6.0 Unsound Jr. Pro Final Result:
1 - Kolohe Andino 15.50
2 - Nat Young (USA) 10.70

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