2014 OBX Skim Jam Day 1
By Shawn Kenny
Wet \’wet\ adjective – covered or saturated with water or another liquid. Day one of the 2014 OBX Skim Jam was just that. A low pressure system sitting just off the coast brought onshore wind upwards of 20 mph and scattered rain. The wind had switched Thursday night and then continued blowing onshore for three consecutive days, which of course made conditions sloppy and very difficult to skim. The shorebreak was about two to three feet with a challenging trough section. The first round of pros went off a little after noon about two hours before dead high tide at 2:15pm. As the tide came in the bigger set waves became reachable and scoring waves were easier to come by. Jack Tenney and Dave Scott were standouts in the first two heats. Tenney was managing the trough section very well and Dave spent half of his heat in the air. Also advancing out the first heat was Gordon Levine who did a 540 shuv it out to a wave. Jake Stinnett also made his way out of the second heat and advanced to the quarters. I apologize as I only saw a few waves of the first two heats because I was warming up for mine. Heat C consisted of Johnny Salta, John Joyce and myself. I have skimmed 50+ heats and this was by far the most difficult heat I have ever skimmed. The trough was a monster, the wind was just a burden and the rain made it difficult to even see. Luckily I found a few air sections and managed to make it through. John Joyce had the better wave of the heat a backside line to big spin to edge his way in to the quarters. Austin Keen destroyed heat D the monkey crawl was a huge advantage with the gusting onshore wind. Also advancing from heat D Dave Bracht. Heat E was a close one. Teddy Vlasis threw more 3 shuvs in ten minutes than I have in my entire life but based on the outcome of the heat the judges were looking for wave riding. Perry Pruitt and Max Smetts were trading off backside lines as well as wraps to cover ups and advanced to the quarters. Heat F was an air show brought to you by Morgan Just. He had five scoring waves after going for just six. Tom Bracht monkey crawled his way past Colton Wallace and Ed Hayden to the quarters. Heat G consisted of Sam Stinnett, Blair Conklin, Joe Ryce, and Alex Hood…. Yea… stacked preliminary heat huh? Easily could have been a final. This heat was very exciting to watch both an airshow and some great wave rides as well. Right off the starting bell the battle began. Blair had the wave of the day. Wrapping a wave to an open face, before heading down the line and hitting off the lip. Sam has not missed one beat since The Vic and was picking off the better waves of the day. Not to leave out Joe and Alex who were just barely edged out by the more experienced tour pros. Heat H was filled with rail grabbing frontside turns from Kyle Calendra. Troy Rhoten snagged himself a few very clean backside lines to advance. In the Women’s Pro division standouts include Casey Kiernan and Brittany Osburn who killed both their heats. Also advancing to the womens pro final were Alexandra Badie and Sylvia Garavito. Big shout out to Skim USA who not only started the contest on time in the sideways rain but also managed to get an hour a head of schedule. Hope to see you out at the contest tomorrow! Forecast is calling for sunshine.