LOS ANGELES (Monday, March 5, 2012) – The highly anticipated arrival of ASP World Championship Tour rookie Kolohe Andino (USA), 17, has finally gone down, with the California Prodigy taking a 13th place finish in a solid showing, where he nearly scalped eventual Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast runner-up Adriano de Souza (BRA), 25, in their Round 3 clash. ESPN caught up with Andino to see what his first experience as an official member of the ASP Top 34 was all about… Surfing against Slater, the relief of wrapping up his first event and looking ahead to Bells. This… is their story…
It’s been a long time coming for Kolohe Andino, and finally his much-anticipated first ASP World Tour event is behind him. In round one Kelly Slater dropped the hammer, blowing Andino out in the first five minutes. But he came back and got his first heat win in round two against fellow Californian Brett Simpson. Round three was his demise as he fell to Adriano De Souza by a point and a half. All told, a fair outing for the 17-year-old, and a good experience. In an interview with him prior to his departure to Australia, Andino noted that he’d been surfing five hours a day since he was eight years old and that he was as ready as he was going to be. On the first day of the waiting period for the Quiksilver Pro, Nike released the above video clip indicating such. Two things about the video: First, Andino’s no slouch with a jump rope. And second, dude’s got the eye of the tiger. ESPN Surfing caught up with him this week, here’s where his head’s at after the storm:
First event’s behind you, do you feel like there’s any weight off your shoulders?
Uh, yeah I mean I had a lot of pressure on myself to do well in the first event only because it was the first event. Now that it is done I can sort of sit back and realize that I’m on tour and how happy I should be to apart of the ASP World Tour.
What's something you learned that maybe you didn't expect to?
This event I learned that they really like tradition surfing. Good carves, big bottom turns and linking all of your maneuvers effortlessly with a nice air mixed in somewhere. If I could sum it up into two words, it would have to be "variety" and to be "unpredictability."
First heat against Kelly, can you describe what's going through your head during those 30 minutes?
Well, it was more like five minutes. The heat started and I thought if I surfed my very best and he had a shocker then I would have a chance. But in those first five to eight minutes of the heat he got a 9.8 and a 8.9, so it was done. But I was really excited prior to surfing against him at least once, not knowing if he is gonna do the tour for the rest of 2012.
First heat win in Round 2, how did it feel to get that over with?
Brett is a great surfer and probably one of my best friends on the tour. Therefore I was really nervous going into the heat, especially with the radical tricks he can do. But I was really stoked to win that one. Just to see what it feels like to win an ASP World Tour heat. It was rad, and great for my confidence going into the next heat against Adriano De Souza.