This past Friday a legendary surf competition was held at the Huntington Beach Pier in which companies from within the surf industry assembled four man teams to compete against each other. This competition is known as the Katin Pro-Am Team Challenge and has been going since 1977 (with a hiatus from 1999-2008) and boasts and individual winners list comprised of six past world champions and many other heavies within the surfing world. Well, this year we decided to enter a team and although we didn’t win, we were pretty happy with our 16th place finish considering the circumstances. Those circumstances being two of our original surfers (Timmy Reyes and Ford Archbold) pulling out last minute to chase a swell for mag trips and video parts, and the other one (unnamed) having to compete on his clothing sponsors team. So, when we called upon HB local Christian Saenz, Jarred Cassidy, Eric Vallely and Tyler Gunter they were more than up for the challenge and did not disappoint.
In truth, being the true bad asses we are we made the best of it and actually did quite well. In fact, our supergrom, Tyler Gunter, who at 10 years old being the youngest competitor ever to compete in the event seriously had the beach erupting and peanut gallery going crazy when he caught one from the outside and smashed it all the way into the inside before his heat even started. Rookie mistake, but hey, guess what, he’s a rookie. If that wave had counted he definitely would have advanced.
All in all it was a great event with mediocre waves and strong camaraderie amongst the beach. Everybody was just stoked to be there and competing within a team format without the pressure of having to “grind” for points and rankings. We hope you enjoy the photos below and we promise you, if all goes to plan, we’ll get ‘em next year!
Christian Saenz with a textbook top turn.
Saenz again this time with a backside blast.
Tyler Gunter on his bomb before the horn...
The Judges booth.
Our zone...you best empty yo pockets before you step in here.
Gunter's eye of the tiger.
Jarred manages to almost find a barrel in the fledgling surf.
Eric's heat was plagued with the longest lulls and most horrid conditions.
See, told you it was mediocre at best.
Chase Wilson just couldn't get it going, bet he would have had better luck surfing for our team.
Although Bobby Okvist was flaring (for team Analog) his dream ended in RD2.
Dunphy, being from Florida is no stranger to small waves and turns like this got him all the way into the semis.
Nick "Little D" Fowler smashing the end section.
Jarred and Christian taking in the scene.
Free Wahoo's anybody? I ate like 4 fish tacos!
Jarred Cassidy with a smooth cutty but unfortunately his heat was stacked against some CT vets.
Gunter going vertical.
Gunter mad-dawging the paparrazi.
Christian Saenz all smiles.
Jarred Cassidy is a kid who is eternally stoked and we're glad to have him on our team.
Michael Dunphy made it all the way to the semis, frustrated but stoked at the same time. Good thing our patented Venkman's hide his tears but make him look good all at the same time. Next year Dunphhh!!
PHOTOS: CARL STEINDLER/ARNETTE