Pat Gudauskas' Eyes World Tour Spot
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Patrick Gudauskas, 23, has been battling it out in the trenches on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) for years now and the San Clemente talent is devoted to earning his spot on the ASP World Tour.
Gudauskas just had an amazing run at the ASP 6-Star PRIME SriLankan Airlines Pro, launching him to seventh overall on The Grind and now the innovative regular-footer is out to carry his momentum to the ASP 6-Star Mr. Price Pro Ballito.
"I think maldives was a big turning point in my season," Gudauskas said. “I've got a lot of confidence in my surfing right now. I've got great equipment, and I think it was a huge booster to pull out some big moves over there. I'm hoping that momentum will carry over to this next leg. I've been surfing a ton and I'm looking for a win in South Africa."
Gudauskas’ clutch performance at the SriLankan Airlines Pro could not have come at a better time. After a booming season opening performance at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic in Tasmania, Gudauskas had stumbled a bit and slipped down the ratings when he suffered an early round elimination in a stacked Round of 48 heat at his home break of Lower Trestles, but used his brother Tanner’s success to build his confidence back up for the Maldives event.
“Lowers was a dissapointment for myself," Gudauskas said. “I felt like I was surfing good, I even lost with a 16 point heat total. It was just one of those heats where Benny Bourgeois and Sebass (Sebastien Zietz) stepped up and took the heat. Tanner carried through to the quarters and that really got me heated up to do well in Maldives. It seems that I have had some close losses in the last couple of events, so I didn't want to leave anything to chance in the Maldives. It's a high-performance wave and I wanted to step up my level of surfing for it. Also I got onto a really good board, an Al Merrick Proton, the thing was magic carpet, and that made a huge difference in my confidence at that wave."
Gudauskas did more than just make the Final at the Premier event at Pasta Point, he managed to punt, and land, the first two inverted airs in ASP history.
"It's for sure been one of the new moves that all the progressive free-surfers have been doing," Gudauskas said. “For me it started watching Aaron Cormican do one at trestles a couple of years back. I thought it was a really exciting and different move and wanted to master it. It seems like today a lot of people can do them, but it's maybe one of those things that surfers would try 50 times and stick once or twice. I think that's why to be completed in a heat is pretty radical. The chances of you sticking one in a 25 minute pressure cooker window of time are pretty slim."
The explosive talent is pushing the barrier of combining progressive free-surfing maneuvers while using them to his competitive advantage and finds his name alongside the likes of free-surfing magicians such as Jordy Smith and Dane Reynolds.
“It's really exciting to have my name up there with guys like Dane and Jordy," Gudauskas said. “They're definitely the most progressive surfers out there right now, and some of my favorite guys to surf with. I think that really pulling a rodeo in a heat is only a preview of things to come from our generation and younger. Guys like Dane and Jordy are pulling massive tricks and moves all the time in comps and in free-surfs. Hopefully it's the evolution of competitive surfing to continue to grow in excitement. It's a spectator’s sport, and I think people want to see exciting stuff."