Marzo, Payne and Craike enter the US$50,000 Kustom Air Strike

March 18, 2009 | Surfing

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, 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.

Entry is open to anyone, from amateurs surfing their local beach break through to the world’s best aerial surfers in exotic locations, and is designed to encourage and reward innovation in aerial surfing.

All entries are posted on the official event website. Kustom is laying down US$50,000 cash to the winning surfer, while the videographer who records the manoeuvre scores a US$5000 cash prize.

The Kustom Air Strike winner will be the surfer who performs the most radical and innovative ‘completed’ manoeuvre. Judges will vote on height, innovation and completion of the aerial and, while tow surfing is permitted, riders are not allowed to use straps.

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