To say the SUP Sunset Pro was full of fireworks would be the understatement of the year. After sitting through a series of laydays that saw the North Shore awash in monstrous swell and howling winds, the event culimanated in near-perfect conditions at Sunset Beach yesterday. With well overhead swell filling through the iconic venue, the likes of former 2 time long board World Champion Bonga Perkins and two-time past champion Kai Lenny dueled it out in a climactic final.
Heading into the final, as a two-time world champ as well as event champ, it was clear that the teenage Kai Lenny held a competitive edge over Perkins. From the opening blare of the horn, Lenny took first blood, mixing fluid lines and committed turns from the outside reef through the West Bowl. Although Perkins would counter with a slew of solid scores, it felt as if Lenny was destined for yet another repeat.
But Perkins had other plans in mind, countering with a slew of amazing rides and edging out Lenny in the dying moments of the final by a mere .6 points, he would take the win. To boot, Perkins managed pull it all off despite loosing his paddle for a solid chunk of the heat. Karl Schaper of Schaper Surfboards has been shaping for Bonga.
Other standouts in the event included the West Side’s own Ikaika Kalama and Duane DeSoto. Kalama would finish the event in fourth and DeSoto would earn the respect of the crowd gathered on the beach time and again as he pushed himself over the ledge with his trademark composure and grace.
Big ups to all the competitors and sponsors of the event including Malibu, Starboard and Maui Jim.