Austin Keen Wins the Florida Skimboarding Pro/Am
Day two of the 2010 Florida Pro/Am saw very similar conditions to day one, though the expected bump in swell was an absolute no show. The waves were still contestable, but lacked the power and size to make wave riding or barrels the main attraction. It was clear that the best tricks thrown on what waves there were, would be the high scoring heat winning factors.
The Quarterfinals and Semi Finals were relatively close aside from a few standouts. Jason Wilson came out with guns firing in his QuarterFinal with a smooth backside slash to 720 spin riding up the beach with confidence, but was unable to back it up with more high scores. Max Smetts put on another crowd pleasing performance and could have easily gotten himself into the semi-finals in his second professional appearance. The entire group of professionals watching Max at the event were impressed at his composure and ability to skim without being intimidated by older veteran pros. Tim Fulton, another young pro was on fire up until the Quarterfinals when he just came up short in a stacked heat. Brad Evers was barely able to edge out Max in the quarterfinals to put himself into the semi’s alongside the younger push of new school skimboarders. Sam Stinnett and Brad Domke both stuck 540 shuv-its in their quarterfinal heats, as Dave Armstrong launched massive frontside airs up and down the beach. Bill Bryan put together his standard rock solid performance of fakie shuv-its to switch wraps, and backside liners to fakie, switch shuv-it to cover ups. Standard for Bill, not so standard for the average skimboarder.
Though small, the waves were boostable and the inconsistent knee-thigh high sets would push through giving competitors infinite launch ramps. And launch they did. The finals came down to Bill Bryan, Sam Stinnett, Brad Domke and Austin Keen. The current and past living skimboard legend against three of the most progressive young guns. What else could we ask for in a final at a huge UST event? The level of skimboarding was immediately elevated in the final. Bill Bryan came out strong linking combo tricks like frontside bigspins to switch wraps into trough barrels. Sam Stinnett stuck a frontside 360 shuv-it out and completed it with a backside air back onto the sand. Austin Keen answered with a what I believe would be called a Korrupt Flip, that he stuck. The crowd went insane, I’ve never experienced as long of an applause as Austin received for that trick. Austin was instantly filled with confidence and everyone could tell he was in the zone. He immediately followed it up with a frontside floater to 360 shuv-it. Sam, Brad and Bill knew they needed something. Austin answered again with a massive 360 shuvit landing in the transition and riding up the beach. He couldn’t but help throw his hands in the air for the crowd to make some noise. And that they did. After a couple of failed attempts Brad was able to stick a bigger spin off the lip of a wave back onto the beach. The crowd erupted again. Sam answered with a frontside wrap and some more solid rides. Brad finished strong with a frontside bigspin out to small switch backside air, but it was too late; Austin’s bangers (huge tricks) had sealed the deal for his first UST win, and a final that will re-set the bar for skimboarding tech in a Final. A huge thanks to Steve Pullara and all that helped him put the event together. The judges, the tabulators, the announcers, everyone. A big congratulations to Steve for making a women’s professional division for the first time on the East Coast, which Anna Prophet was able to continue her dominance in, going two for two in women’s professional events so far. Make sure you get out to Vilano Beach next year if you can, you won’t be disappointed.
Final Pro Results:
- Austin Keen (Exile, EOS)
- Brad Domke (Exile)
- Bill Bryan (Victoria)
- Sam Stinnett (Exile, Main St.)
- Brandon Sears (Exile, Main St.)
- Dave Armstrong (Zap)
Photos By Tad Mask