Hurley Pro & Swatch Women's Pro Trestles Event Breakdown & Forecast

4 Sep 2017 8

Nick Carroll

Senior Writer

The Lower Trestles lineup, Photo by WSL/Scholtz

The Lower Trestles lineup, Photo by WSL/Scholtz



EVENTS: Swatch Women’s Pro & Hurley Pro, Lower Trestles, CA


Let’s just take a deep breath here folks.

Rarely if ever has CW seen a surf forecast this neutral for a CT waiting period. Lower Trestles is a long interval south swell location that depends on moderate to strong storm energy from the Southern Ocean and South Pacific, mostly between longitudes matching New Zealand’s South Island and about longitude 120 degrees W — like a bit east of Tahiti etc.

Swells from these zones take between six and 10 days to reach Southern California, so we can get a good long glimpse into the future from current and long range forecast charts. And right now, what they show is ALMOST NOTHING AT ALL. There’s a couple of tiny cut-off lows coming and going near Tahiti, and one slight uptick possible off a semi-icebound storm at the very eastern edge of the window around September 4-5 (swell from which might reach Lowers around September 11-12). But these sources are very unlikely to produce competitive surf values. You’re looking at 1-2’ inconsistent background pulses at best.

A small early season North Pacific storm will push a weak long-range NW swell at CA for around September 9, but it’s unlikely to have much if any impact on the Trestles area, which is heavily shielded from such swells by Point Conception and by the Channel Islands way offshore.

The Pacific is a big ocean and there’s always random swell energy wandering around, but… Honestly, I dunno how this event will be run. It’s that dire.


JEFFREYS BAY: J-Bay has continued to pump its brains out since the CT back in July. It should be hit by at least two significant swells during the Trestles waiting period. The town would hardly resist another flood of off-season money but the locals might get the shits.

INDONESIA: It’s not exactly about to go flat right now.

FIJI: It pretty much sucked back in June, but it’s gonna take a couple of very solid SW swell hits in the second full week of September, from mega-lows that’ll be hammering the crap out of Victoria this week. Beautiful wind conditions forecast. Fijian Redemption!

KELLY'S WAVE POOL: The WSL is set to hold a demo event starring some CT pros at the LeMoore pool in the days immediately following Lowers. Could this be the freakish moment for which this strange device has been built? I can’t imagine the pros agreeing to it, much less the naming rights sponsors. But if they did it, tell me you wouldn’t be glued to the webcast.

A HURRICANE: This is the only possible swell source that’s capable of coming online in time to save the contest. Eastern Pacific hurricanes typically start as a wave of tropical energy coming across the Central American isthmus from the Caribbean and getting a kick out of warm waters off Mexico and points south. They can develop in a matter of days, and this is the season. One could form beyond the long range chart horizon and still be in time.


Hurricane swell or the steep south angled pulse for Sept 11-12 both will mean short bowly rights and longer re-forming lefts. The short bowly rights will be aerialist and quick-fire style surfing, the lefts will be hard work.

The Surfers

Who do you favour in such conditions?

As most onlookers will have probably figured out by now thanks to the scattergun results of the past four events, lots of pros are in close to winning form, both in the men’s and women’s draws. Small variations in form, equipment and psyche are making big differences. They’re blowing one event and bouncing back hard in the next.

On that basis I’d say Filipe, but he’s not the most patient supergrommet on earth, and his wave choice could go totally sideways when there’s only two waves in a heat. I’d also say Kolohe Andino because he knows the spot even at its most horrible, and Italo because he has the energy to lift and a fantastic backside air repertoire. I suspect JJF may struggle with motivation in waves like this; let’s see if coach Ross Williams lets him get away with that. It might be time for lighter-built yet lower seeded people like Kanoa Igarashi or Ian Gouveia to bring something quick and sharp to the table; guys who’ve been winning on the rail are gonna need some help from their boards I reckon, and without seeing the new quivers that’ll no doubt be at Lowers this week, it’s very hard to tell who’ll be getting help and who won’t.

The fact is, a wobbly forecast like this can produce anything — any kind of result. It could march right down the leaderboard or it could do the exact inverse. All I can really tell ya is the surf, by and large, is going to suck.


In the women’s, it’ll probably work more in favour of this year’s winners. Steph might be a bit prey to impatience or uncertainty in the rubbish, but Tyler, Sally and Courtney are all strategically rock solid and that’s going to count for a lot. Sage Erickson’s coming in off a win and might feel confident enough to push them, and Tatiana Weston-Webb is from Florida. Enough said. 

The Draw

Hurley Pro Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Josh Kerr (AUS)
Heat 4: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Ethan Ewing (AUS)
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW), Italo Ferreira (BRA), Hiroto Ohhara (JPN)
Heat 6: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Ian Gouveia (BRA), Evan Geiselman (USA)
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Nat Young (USA)
Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Conner Coffin (USA), Stu Kennedy (AUS)
Heat 9: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Joan Duru (FRA), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 10: Connor O’Leary (AUS), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Kanoa Igarashi (USA)
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (USA), Frederico Morais (PRT), Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS), Michel Bourez (PYF), Ezekiel Lau (HAW)

Swatch Pro Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Johanne Defay (FRA), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Pauline Ado (FRA)
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Carissa Moore (HAW), Silvana Lima (BRA)
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS), Keely Andrew (AUS), Macy Callaghan (AUS)
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Coco Ho (HAW), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Heat 5: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Lakey Peterson (USA), Laura Enever (AUS)
Heat 6: Sage Erickson (USA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW)

Tags: forecast , lowers , trestles , hurley , swatch , surfing , nick carroll , world surf league , 2017 (create Alert from these tags)

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