Like a silent assassin, Keanu Asing of Ewa Beach Hawaii claims the Nike 6.0 Pier pressure. With a come from behind advance during his semi-final heat, Keanu went on to a commanding win during the Finals. Fresh from his Quiksilver ISA world championship title win this last April in Ecuador, Keanu is doing more than his fair share to bring world championship titles back home to Hawaii.
One of the benefits of living in a surf town is that the access to the event and athletes are a mere walking distance. With the surf barely hanging in at a mere 1-2’, with barely a 3’ set wave, I chose to watch the event from the comfort of my laptop while lounging at home.
As the quarters and semis approached, I noticed that Keanu was silently taking charge. Having lower wave counts but garnering higher scores by maximizing with powerful turns and consistent “to the beach’ surfing.
As the finals wrapped and Keanu named champion, I grabbed my camera and hopped on my bike for a quick ride to the beach. I said to myself… “This kid may one day bring the ASP world title back to Hawaii, I’d better document his path every step of the way…”
Official ASP Press Release
HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Monday, June 29, 2009) – Keanu Asing (Ewa Beach, HI), 16, won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grade-4 Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure presented by Jack’s Surfboards at South Huntington Beach Pier this afternoon over fellow finalists Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 19, Evan Thompson (Jacksonville Beach, FL), 17, and Chase Wilson (Newport Beach, CA), 18.
The Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure is the only ASP Grade-4 event on the 2009 calendar, making the premier contest an integral stop in all surfers’ campaigns in their quest for qualification for the ASP World Junior Championships. All regional surfers are out to compile their top four results this year in hopes to finish within the top three on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series to earn their shot at an ASP World Junior Title.
Asing battled through the tough conditions on offer at South Huntington Beach Pier this afternoon, blasting strong outside turns on the set-waves and managed to work his way through the infamous reform, finishing each wave with strong maneuvers.
“There weren’t too many waves, but I just tried to wait my turn and get the best waves I could,” Asing said. “Luckily it worked out.”
Asing, who was a finalist at the ASP Grade-3 Arnette Pro Junior last month, earned his first ASP Pro Junior victory of the year, cementing him as the top Hawaiian in the regional ratings.
“I’m really happy with my results this year,” Asing said. “I’m getting on a roll this year and I just want to keep it going.”
Asing’s victory was almost cut short. The talented regular-footer earned his Final berth with a last-minute effort to advance out of his Semifinals heat, which proved to be crucial in his Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure victory.
“I’m so excited,” Asing said. “I never thought I’d make the Final, but I just kept chipping away and did what I had to make the Final. I was a little bit frustrated, there were no waves, and I knew there had to be one wave. Everyone had low scores and I knew I could get what I needed to advance. I just did what I had to do to make that heat.”
Perillo overtook the lead early in the Final with two massive fins-free forehand turns on a Pier bowl right which earned him a seven-point-score, but was unable to find a backup wave to overtake Asing for the win and finished runner up at the premier event.
“You had to make sure to get the set-waves and be in the right spot,” Perillo said. “If you’re too far to the left of the bowl, behind the bubble, you can’t get the waves,” Perillo said. “I was in position for the set waves, but I just didn’t get in to them, it’s my fault.”
The impressive result by the stylish regular-footer marks his third Final appearance of the 2009 ASP North America Pro Junior Series season. After missing the Arnette Pro Junior due to unfortunate circumstances, Perillo has now been a finalist in every event he’s entered this year.
“This result will help me because I finished above everyone that was ahead of me on the ratings,” Perillo said. “It’s good to have made the Final in each event so far. I’m hoping I can do well again at the U.S. Open.”
Thompson was a top performer throughout the event’s entirety, but was unable to find a rhythm in the Final, finishing third overall and the Floridian talent was thrilled to capitalize on the heightened points available at the Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure.
“I’m super stoked to have made the Final in a Grade-4,” Thompson said. “It’s hands down the biggest event of the whole year and to make this Final, you’re guaranteed to walk away with so many points. To make the Final in this event, it’s really hard, there are so many good guys and I never thought I would have made it.”
The explosive east-coaster utilized his familiarity of the small mushy conditions on offer in Huntington reminiscent of his home in Florida to earn the crucial result while topping standout performers such as defending ASP North America Pro Junior Series Champion Cory Arrambide (Ventura, CA), 20, on the way to his crucial result.
“These conditions remind me of home,” Thompson said. “It’s small and mushy and it’s really a dogfight for waves out there. There are not many waves and everyone is scratching for them when they come. I guess I’m pretty used to it, the small waves and the bumpiness, but it’s hard for everyone. No matter how good you are it’s really hard.”
Wilson also turned heads on the way to his fourth place finish. The Newport Beach local earned his first ASP Pro Junior Final at the Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure, significantly helping his cause on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series after a Semifinals finish at the ASP Grade-3 Arnette Pro Junior last month.
“This is my first Pro Junior Final ever and it’s a Grade-4, so I’m so stoked,” Wilson said. “I made the Semifinals in Newport and now I’m in the Final so this is really going to help my rating. Hopefully I’m up there now.”
For all of the Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure pres. by Jack’s Surfboards highlights look below.
Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure Final Results: 1- Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.00 2- Dillon Perillo (USA) 11.00 3- Evan Thompson (USA) 10.20 4- Chase Wilson (USA) 9.50