In what can only be described as perfect waves, Ryan Payne outpointed Warren Dean in a dramatic and incredibly close final of the inaugural Xcel Supertubes Showdown. The surf varied between four to six-foot, and most of the surfers throughout the event were just chasing the tube – the highest scoring move in surfing.
One of the standouts of the day was 14-year-old Dylan Lightfoot, who had been charging the solid surf the previous day. despite putting on a sterling performance he was left agonisingly close to the final, needing 0.4 to advance. Remi Peterson and Steven Sawyer were the two other junior surfers who were invited into the event and both gave fine performances in the challenging Supertubes surf.
Head judge Mike Ginsberg also commented on Steven Sawyers’ performance. “Steven was surfing exceptionally well,” said Ginsberg. “He was surfing really tight, and he got the best tube out of the groms, and it was on his backhand.”
Another competitor, Ashley Walter, caught a wave in his heat that he called, “My best wave in seventeen years,” giving more evidence of how good the waves were for the event.
The final comprised consummate barrel rider Deon Lategan, Supers ripper Ryan Payne, legendary Warren Dean and stylemaster Stan Badger. It was long and smooth tuberiding style of Badger that saw him advance into the final, but it left him short in the final 45 minutes and he was relegated to fourth place.
Deon Lategan started off strong and fast in the final with some big hooks and long barrels, but he seemed to lose a bit of steam in the second half. During the last 20-minutes it was a full-on duel between Payne and DEan, with both scoring some ridiculous barrels, entering and exiting the tube up to four times on a single wave. on top of this, Payne was belting the lip whenever he found a it of space between tube time.
Towards the end it seemed impossible to separate the two, but a ten-point ride saw Payne edge out the experienced Dean and take the crown and the wildcard into the Von Zipper trials. “It’s the best contest I have ever competed in,” said a stoked Payne. “To have Supers as good as it was with just your mates in the water – we were all winners! I just got lucky and ended up with the contest win as well.”
“It was an amazing event,” said Mike Ginsberg when the dust had settled after the final. “Warren Dean surfed well, but after Ryan’s tube on his last wave he was the clear-cut winner.”
Contest organiser Koffie Jacobs was also pleased with the event, the turn-out, and the support of the local community. “It doesn’t get much better than this,” said Jacobs as the crowds cheered on the ten-point tube ride by Payne.
1. Ryan Payne
2. Warren Dean
3. Deon Lategan
4. Stan Badger
Deon Lategan – Firewire surfboard.
Ryan Payne – Sector 9 skateboard.
Wave of the Day:
Warren Dean – R2000 from Billabong
The event was co-sponsored by DaKine, Von Zipper, Billabong, Nixon and Sector 9. Red Bull gave the competitors wings to get out of those deep tubes.