The morning’s subpar conditions gave way to a fun afternoon session just a couple miles up the road. Shaun Devine feeling the glide on a 5’3 blunt-nose Valaric Surfboards prototype. Photo: Joshua Carolino. Words by John Streit. Photos by Shaun Devine, Joshua Carolino and Streit. As soon as Shaun and I took a left turn onto Sandbridge Road from Surf & Adventure Co., the excitement and anticipation of the days ahead were impossible to ignore. After all, we just logged day five in a row at the shop, which is steadily coming to life as the weather gets warmer and we approach summer. From now until Monday morning, it was the weekend and it looked to be a pretty rad one at that: We were invited to compete against the Mid-Atlantic’s top shop surf teams at the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge. Our teammate Forrest Roberts jumped in the Jeep and the course was set to our second home on the Outer Banks, N.C. A couple of 12 oz. curls that night warmed us up for the early morning that greeted us at Nags Head’s Jennette’s Pier. The good news: there was plenty of swell for the contest. The bad news: the conditions were small and difficult to manage with inconsistent sections and lots of current ripping through the lineup. Hats off to Oakley for giving the boys a true ASP experience with live scoring and commentary. This was a top-rate event. Thanks to our local Oakley rep Rocky Parr for the invitation: It was an honor to compete. Photo: Streit. You couldn’t tell from the interactions between the competitors: Everyone was stoked to be a part of the event and the good vibes were rolling as we prepared for our heats. Our teammate Tyler Balak arrived soon after us, and the S&A squad was united. Unfortunately for our hopes of heading to Bali to compete for a national championship and $10,000, our efforts fell just short. Tyler, our “double-whammy” surfer, kept us squarely in the hunt as our heat reached its final minutes. It was simple, if he sticks a score of 5.0 or better and claims it as his double-whammy (the top wave claim counts for double the points), then S&A punches a ticket to the finals. However, that opportunity eluded the team, cutting our campaign short. We were still all smiles — it was a honor to be included in the field and the contest’s format made for some exciting team surfing. Congratulations to Sweetwater Surf Shop of North Carolina on winning the regional championship. The Surf & Adventure Co. team: Shaun Devine, John Streit, Tyler Balak and Forrest Roberts. Photo: Carolino. We noticed the conditions continued to improve as the competition drew to a close. We picked up our friend and 17th Street Surf Shop team member Joshua Carolino and decided to cruise up the beach to see if we could score a more consistent peak. That’s just what we found, and we couldn’t have been more pumped than to get back in the water and surf without the pressure of competition. The result was a memorable session with an awesome crew of our friends from back home. Shaun and Joshua rode one of our demo Valaric Surfboards 5’3 blunt-nosed prototype for some important research and development for our upcoming collaboration with our friend Jordan Brazie, the visionary and shaper behind Valaric. While the contest was as fun as it was thrilling, the free surf session that followed reminded us of why we all surf in the first place. The style of Shaun Devine turned heads both at the contest site and during our free surf. Grace and flow on the 5’3 Valaric prototype. Photo: Carolino. No, that’s not a filter or a film overexposure. By chance, Joshua caught the edge of a ketchup bottle from his perch on a seaside cafe’s deck. We think it looks pretty rad! Shaun Devine, feeling the rails of the Valaric prototype. Photo: Carolino. John Streit manages a flat section, but he rode the whip to handle it with power on his 6’0 Haydenshapes Hypto Krypto. Photo: Devine. Joshua Carolino dropped a tiny thruster fin into the twin-keeled Valaric prototype and found some nice trim. Photo: Devine. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.