The 2016 Unsound Pro sponsored by RVCA kicked off in conjunction with the Surfing America Prime and was greeted by a clean 2-3 foot groundswell that looked to stick around through the afternoon. Looking to make it through the first couple of rounds, the America Prime event ran through the early morning high tide and led into the Pro. Competitors ranged from Hawaii, to Florida, to Puerto Rico and all looked to have brought their A game. With a dropping tide, the first heat of the pro was in the water.
Unsound Surf Shop has been running this annual competition for 19 consecutive years and has been known to draw some heavy hitters. Travis Beckman, Pat Schmidt, Dylan Goodale and Rob Kelly were obvious standouts during the primary rounds, taking each heat down with speed and flow over the crumbly sections. The afternoon tide began to rise extremely high because of the new moon, making the final heats of round 2 a bit slow and sluggish at times. However, Asher Nolan, Goodale and Beckman managed to find a few chunky inside bowls that offered big scoring potential taking them into the quarterfinals the following day.
Saturday morning started similar to Friday, in that the America Prime would run their final heats before jumping into the pro competition. The swell lingered around until mid morning/early giving contestants opportunity to still put some scores on the board. Nolan, putting an 8 and 6 on the board in almost every heat he surfed looked like he was the man to beat. “He’s won our contest two times and the Quiksilver Pro trials, so he has quite a bit of knowledge around Long Beach,” says co-owner of Unsound Mike Nelson.
After taking out Beckman in the semi-final, Nolan was into the final heat of the day with 14-year-old Tommy Coleman of Florida. Coleman, who took his division of the America Prime, and made the semi in another, wouldn’t go down without a fight. Coleman’s strategy was to stay busy, ripping a couple inside waves to the bone. In the end, Asher stuck to his guns and got a couple of bigger set waves, posting two sixes and taking the win for the third time at the Unsound Pro.
Check some of the day’s photos in the gallery below.