The End of an Era

ASP - East First Season Ratings

ASP – East First Season Ratings


What you are viewing is a fossil. This relic contains a story that is perhaps one of the most important items in modern surfing history.

You see, once there was a contest formula called 4 to the Shore. Basically you were judged on 4 waves and part of the criteria was length of ride. So imagine a person surfing in an event and really trying his hardest to do the most difficult tricks. If the surfer did not properly execute his turns; he could go off balance and maybe even have the unspeakable happen which is that the surfer might lose his speed and then fail to ride the wave to the shoreline. The end result was the surfers began to surf to the system. This meant that turns were measured. The surfers pretty much played it safe.

Then arrived the ASP-East. The judges still judged on your best 4 waves but they really wanted to see something big. So the surfers ditched half-snaps and s-turns for bigger turns and airs.

What also pushed things along as well was the talent pool. The first year was a big experiment and many surfers were unsure what to do. Future pros such as Danny Melhado and David Speir kept their amateur status but began to surf in events. Kelly Slater also was getting experience in the pro ranks and was gaining momentum that carried him over to the P.S.A.A. and the Black and White film. Some surfers would just sign up and surf an event or two just to test the water. By the time the season ended, international surfers such as Gary Green and Nicky Woods had made the journey in search of some extra money and bonus points.

By the time the ASP-East had made the final curtain call, the landscape had changed dramatically. Shea and Cory Lopez had come aboard and internationals like Shane Dorian and Todd Prestage had also entered.

This later would culminate in The Momentum generation that would change the sport and the direction of modern surfing.

So inspect this document and look at some of the names. Some are known for going on to the big tour. Some became commentators and others known free surfers. #65 is my favorite!


About 1stpeaksteve

Welcome to The Side Wedge! The Side Wedge is a product of the journey through life of Steve Zima. Former professional surfer, a writer, surf coach, and hospitality manager. This is a collection of travel tips, motivation, and stories from my past. Finally, I offer surf coaching through The Side Wedge. Please feel free to contact me with questions if you want to improve your performance today! Thanks for reading!
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4 Responses to The End of an Era

  1. landlockedsurfgirl says:

    Wow that’s amazing! And to be a piece of that history yourself is fantastic. Thanks for sharing and explaining the story behind it – a really interesting read!

    • 1stpeaksteve says:

      Thanks! To be honest, I think we were just doing what came naturally beyond the judging.

      In the media, they just tell the story of the 4 to the shore era of Tom Curren and Gary Elkerton and the like and suddenly! Kelly Slater and the Momentum crew! A lot happened behind the scenes before this came about.

      I remember a day where Kelly and a few friends and myself went for a surf and my friend was video taping it. (That tape could be worth something!). We were just going for airs and trying to rotate them. We were copying what we saw John Holeman do but trying to rotate all the way around and land on the lip. We did not land a one but looking back; we were laying out what would soon be the air to reverses.

      As for my time surfing, all I can say is that at times it seems to be a fairy tale. Just glad to have done it.

  2. Hi Steve! My favorite is #65 too! Ha, ha! Wow! I don’t know much about the surfing world so thanks for schooling me. It’s very impressive that you’re on this list. Very cool, dude! πŸ˜‰

  3. Ever the competition risk, play it safe and just do well prepared old rep. Or take a risk and do a challenging new program with a risk of crash and burn πŸ’₯
    Cool memories Steve

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