unsOund Right Coast Cup [Full Recap by BoardshortReport.com]

(Blake Jones winning the cup with Don Juan of unsOund & Pro Surfer Gabe King. Photo courtesy of BoardshortReport.com)

Raymond of local Long Beach surfing blog BoardshortReport.com was kind enough to share this update and photos on the unsOund Right Coast Cup, which took place in our city by the sea, Long Beach, NY. Go to Boardshortreport.com for more stuff and visit them on Facebook where you will find a ton more photos: facebook.com/BoardshortReport

unsOund Right Coast Cup

The annual unsound surf contest took place September 5-6th. Unlike the Quiksilver Pro of 2011 the Unsound right coast cup 2012 was made up of junior pros competing for $20,000 in prize money. Founded by the owners of Unsound Surf shop, Dave Juan and Mike Nelson have been holding surf contests in Long Beach for years.  The cup is co-sponsered by Quiksilver, Zico Coconut water and Red Bull.

The cup consist of five rounds and started with 41 competitors including local boys Balaram Stack (Unsound & Quiksilver rider), TJ Gumiela, and Leif Engstrom (NY Sea rider). Leif and Balaram coasted through the first 3 round while TJ was eliminated in the first round.

The contest was a new format of SKINS. Winners of each heat from each round won money. So the winner of the first 12 heats (made up of 3 or 4 contestants) got $250, while the 12 second places finishers just got to move to the 2nd round. The 8 heat winners from the second round (3 contestants) got $450 each while second place got to move on. The third round winner got $550, second went home. The quarter finals were worth $750, the semis $900 and the final winner got $2000!   There was also a prize for the biggest air of the contest that went to Leif with a score of 8.0 while Andrew Gessler got the prize for best barrel of the event.  Both got $500

Thursday saw giants waves that were over head through out most of the contest until the early afternoon. The waves died out and the second half of the contest was moved to Friday morning.  Balaram the goofy footer and local hero had a huge advantage in the third round and quarter finals destroying his competition each time. Patience was the key to Friday’s part of the contest.  Waves were few and far between as the day went on. For our local boy Balaram, he just couldn’t find the right waves and couldn’t get to his feet under him after launching into the air on some big waves. Balaram finished third taking home a total of $1800, not bad for a surfer that just turned 21 this week.

The final was an all Florida battle of friends and travel mates Gabe King and Blake Jones. Gabe had dominated Blake all year but the Unsound Right Coast Cup was Blake time to shine.  Both started off strong and were nearly tied through the first 20 minutes of the 30 minute heat. But then Blake pulled away scoring 8’s and high 7’s to take a commanding lead over Gabe. In the end Blake won the cup and over $4500 and was showered in Red Bull and Corona from fellow surfers as he accepted his trophy.

Dave and Mike from Unsound know how to put on a great surf contest. We should all thank them and hopefully this successful Cup will encourage the Quiksilver Pro to come back to Long Beach next year. Unsound Right Coast Cup t-shirts, posters and Quiksilver gear was available on the boardwalk and are always available at Unsound Surf shop and the Quiksilver store in Oceanside.!

You can visit Boardshortreport.com’s facebook site to see the whole contest.  There are over 1000 action shots from the contest.  Check them out and like them at facebook.com/BoardshortReport and there regular site Boardshortreport.com for blog on all surf related news.

Quiksilver Pro NY / Balaram Stack documentary ‘Stacked’ will premiere this April (Watch the Trailer!)

“The transformation of Long Beach from a quiet beach suburb of New York City into the center of the action sports world is the subject of “Stacked,” a new 15-minute documentary set to premiere in April.” (source – Stoked for N.Y. surfing in ‘Stacked’)

The film is made by Patrick Cummings, of Fine Thanks Inc.. Pretty freakin’ cool if you ask me. Check out the trailer below (Link):

Stacked- Official Trailer from Stacked on Vimeo.

Trailer for Stacked: a short documentary on the 2011 Quiksilver Pro New York and local surf star, Balaram Stack

Official Selection:
2012 Newport Beach Film Festival
2012 Rincon International Film Festival

Patrick Cummings (http://www.finethanksinc.com)
E.J. McLeavey-Fisher (http://ej-mf.com)
Producer: Veronica Balta

Editor: Erik Auli
Audio: Brooklyn Post
Post Producer: Tom Maiorino

Film Inquiries:

Balaram Scores Big at Pipe (Go Balaram Go)

Local surf star, Balaram Stack, who received national attention when he surfed against Kelly Slater in the first days of the Quiksilver Pro, received a perfect 10 on a monster barreling Pipeline wave on Hawaii’s North Shore yesterday. While competing at the Volcom Pipe Pro, Balaram in his second heat, he dropped super deep into a perfect Pipeline wave and was spit out after a long ride to the cheers of the spectators and judges. Balaram received the top score of a 10 for the wave, advanced to the next round, and an additional $1000 from the event organizers.

The NYSea surf crew has been out in Hawaii for the winter season and were in the water to catch the heat. The video is a must-see.

Later today, you can watch as Balaram goes up against Carlos Munoz, Joan Duru of France, and John John Florence of Hawaii during Heat #6 of Round 4. Go Balaram Go!

You Can watch the competition live here

Men’s Journal Talks Balaram Stack (LB Surf News in November!)

(Balaram enjoying a slice at Gino’s – Photo Credit Men’s Journal)

With the excitement coming out of the ASP’s announced 2012 schedule (which includes New York on the competition schedule), a great article was sent my way that seems exceedingly well-times.  Just the other day, Long Beach’s big wave master went up against Bear Grylls.  Today, SeabytheCity reader The_Allegria_Sucks pointed me towards an article appearing in the November issue of Men’s Journal on local ripper turned Kelly Slater Quiksilver rival, Balaram Stack.

Calling him the “surf prince of Long Beach,” the piece goes on to profile 20-year-old Stack, his surf exploits this summer, and how he grew up surfing in a chick’s wet suit in the middle of the winter.  It’s all around a fun read, and it is further surprising to be finding articles about Long Beach surfers in November, certainly a welcome fallout from the Quiksilver Pro 2011.  Take a second to think about that: a national magazine decided to spend time writing an article on a surfer from New York that isn’t selling a movie, plugging a book, or actively competing in an event.

Now there have been plenty of Balaram profiles to come out during the lead-up to the Quiksilver Pro [ESPN, USA Today, Transworld SurfSports Illustrated, New Yorker, New York Times, Newsday, and of course SBC], but this one does seem to have done its homework and was actually able to tell something new about his story:

“It was a little odd. Most guys get out of the water by December,” says Mike Nelson, co-owner of Unsound, Stack’s local surf shop. “But this kid would be out there in January, February. He was different.” His mother watched from an idling car, heat blasting. When Mary grounded Balaram, unlike his brothers, he wasn’t kept away from the water. “I learned to never use someone’s passion against them,” she says. [emphasis mine]

(Balaram hucking an air during a QPNY exhibition tow-in session)

The article also includes an interesting bit on the darker side that used to represent the New York surf scene:

The well-groomed Stack represents a different New York than that of its last great surf talent, Rick Rasmussen, who was killed in a 1981 drug deal in Harlem. And he comes from a less edgy local surf scene than even 1997, when the Times reported on a Rockaway surfer who taped a knife to the bottom of his board for protection.

Check out the whole article here. More winter surf news to follow, keep sending in the tips and stories.

Surfpocalypse Thursday Schedule

(Taj Burrow Getting Ready before Round 1)

All of the action can be watched LIVE here – http://quiksilverpro.com/live.en.html

And if you missed anything you can watch here – http://quiksilverpro.com/heat_review.en.html

Rounds, heats.  Head-to-head and three-ways.  Priority waves and close-outs.

What the hell are they talking about??

I’m going to go through everything and tell you what is on store for the next two days with regards to the Quiksilver Pro.

What’s happened already

On Sunday, the Unsound trials were run in abysmal conditions (window was cut to only 1 day because of Irene).  Asher Nolan won a wild card entry into the Quiksilver Pro ASP tour.

On Tuesday, the Quiksilver Pro began.  Round 1 was run – 12 heats with three men in the water.  Non-elimination but the winner of the heat got to skip Round 2.

On Wednesday, Round 2 began early at 7:30AM.  All 12 heats were run, with the loser being eliminated.  On this day, Balaram lost his chance at the dream of of winning his first ASP tour stop, but he’s young and has a ton of potential.  As the waves began to feel the power of Hurricane Katia, the organizers kept the competition going, beginning Round 3.  Round 3 is made up of the winners of Round 1 and Round 2, another 12 heats.

Round 3 ran heats 1-4.  Check the highlights on Taj Burrow Vs. Adam Melling – high flying amazingness.

What’s Next

On Thursday, the remainder of Round 3 will begin.  Heats 5-12 will run.  Because Bobby Martinez was thrown off the tour after an expletive-laden rant on live TV, Kelly Slater currently does not have an opponent.  This is unfamiliar waters, so it is unclear if one of the alternate wildcards will be subbed in or Kelly will just advance straight to the next round.

Rounds 4 and 5 are run with 6 heats each, and are identical to rounds 1-3 with the first being a three-man non-elimination, and Round 5 being an elimination round.  After Round 3 is completed they will move straight into them and get as much of it done as possible.

Round 4 heat 1 will will be amazing – featuring Taj Burrow, Adriano De Souza, and Jeremy Flores.

Friday morning – very early, probably with a 7am start, the quarter finals will start.  4 heats.  From there, two heats in the semi finals, and then one heat in the finals.  By Friday at lunch time, the winner of 300,000$ will be decided.

Fear not, they will likely run some free surf events this weekend, so you’ll still get a chance to see the pros in action.  I’ll be on the beach all day tomorrow and update as much as possible.  Comment if there is anything specific you want me to get or anyone you want me to talk to.

Quiksilver Pro Round 2 (Balaram Goes Down, Comp goes On)

Reminder – all events can be watched live @ http://www.quiksilverpro.com/live.en.html

Today,  the first elimination round began for the Quiksilver Pro at 7:30AM.

Balaram Stack went up against Mick Fanning, but wasn’t able to get his momentum together to unseat the previous champion. Fanning took the heat and advances to Round 3.

Balaram, just sharing the water with these guys already made you a winner in this City.  You’ve got a long and amazing career ahead of you. I think the moment of Balaram’s WCT career will have to be paddling in on Kelly for the same way – though he did behave himself and back-off.

Remember, Balaram became sponsored at 14.  Kelly Slater received his sponsorship at 18 and look how much he was able to achieve since.

What’s Up for the Rest of the Day

Round 2 will go through in its entirety (12 heats).  We’re at heat 7 right now, about another 2-3 hours.

Then, they will immediately start Round 3 which will have all the round 1 and round 2 winners facing off to get into the next round.

One of the highlights of the morning happened not in the water but during one of the on-the-beach interviews.  Surfer Bobby Martinez absolutely exploded – complaining about the World Tour, the other surfers – most likely because he’s losing and dropping off the tour.  The series of expletives our of his mouth was hilarious.

Olympic gold medalist Todd Richards has been hilarious during his commentary, and almost made me snort my coffee.  He described just how dangerous the surf was at the last stop – at Teahupoo – and how the athletes were all so hurt and then said, “and then its straight into New York, and your liver takes a beating.”  I think its safe to say, the pros are having a blast at the far more relaxed stop here – being able to enjoy themselves (perhaps a bit too much for that 6:30am call)

Later, when commenting that he would go the the Art of Flight premiere tonight, he promised that he wouldn’t let anyone keep him in NYC and “And force alcoholic beverages down my throat and punch my liver till 3 o’clock in the morning.”

Todd Richards did have some extremely kind words though.  He said, “People keep coming up to me and asking are we [Long Beach] doing a good job… if your’re watching this at home, I want you to know that you are – we feel more welcome than at our homes … and we thank you.”

Balaram Stack & Kelly Slater (Photos from Round 1, Heat 6)

Photos from today’s exciting Stack/Slater showdown. For a writeup, check out Shaun’s post – Kelly Owns First Heat, Balaram Up Against Another Champ Next.

All photos were taken by Anthony. Click on images for a larger view.

While Balaram & Kelly were surfing, you can really see the difference between youth and experience. Balaram was taking risks, getting fancy, hitting as many waves as he could. While Kelly was the smoothest, most patient surfer I had ever seen.











Quiksilver Pro ‘Opening Ceremony’ Video – Long Beach, NY 2011

I like press credentials because I got to stand fifteen feet away from Kelly Slater. I missed the first few minutes of the ceremony, but I got the good stuff – some of the top surfers introducing themselves.

Featured in this video: Kelly Slater, Jeremy Flores, Travis Logie, Adriano De Souza, Bede Durbidge & Balaram Stack. Oh, and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano (who is the complete opposite of a surfer). Enjoy:

You can view this video in 720p HD on YOUTUBE. (FYI: Kelly Slater starts speaking at 1:25)

It was great to see such a large crowd.



Kelly Owns First Heat, Balaram Up Against Another Champ Next




UPDATE: Round 2 will not run today.  Likely 8AM start tomorrow

Balaram Stack headed off against Kelly Slater and Daniel Ross during 35 minutes of inconsistent waves; inconsistent for everyone but Kelly who absolutely dominated during the heat.  Every wave seemingly opened up perfectly for him and he set the tone for the other athletes.

Kelly used a short epoxy quad fin board which provided lots of float and speed through the marginal waves.  A layman would think he had a motor plugged into that board.  Slater was able to pull rights and lefts that the other athletes didn’t even consider and worked his way to inside sections that appeared all but closed out.

The Aussie, Daniel Ross, surfed well in the conditions – scoring a 6.4 and a 5.2 putting him in second place.

Balaram too his credit threw for some big airs but was never able to quite get his board back under him.

If they run round 2 today – which will be called around 3PM, Balaram is now matched up against Mick Fanning in an elimination heat.  Mick Fanning is the one-time WCT tour and one of the most fit athletes of the top 32 with over 10 years of tour experience.  It will be quite a challenge for Balaram, but wave conditions have picked up all day providing many more opportunities for the 20-year-old.

Programing Alert – Balaram Stack Vs. Kelly Slater In 30 Minutes

Balaram Stack’s opening three-man heat with Kelly Slater will begin in just under 30 minutes.  Daniel Ross from Australia is the 3rd man in the heat, but all eyes will be on the 10 time champ versus the Point Lookout young gun.

If you’re not at the beach, watch here


This is a non-elimination heat, but the winner skips the next elimination heat and is guaranteed $14,000.