October 30, 2016 – Santa Cruz, CA – The O’Neill Halloween Freakshow was a success! This past weekend was the first O’Neill Halloween Freakshow Pro-Am and O’Neill Air Show. 76 surfers were met with plenty of swell and great conditions on Saturday. With these optimal conditions and a storm brewing, contest directors Shane Skelton and Darryl “Flea” Virosko made the decision to push through 31 heats on Saturday. The weather specialists were calling for 15-25 mph S winds on Sunday, which is not good for surfing Steamer Lane.
Round one started at 8am on Saturday and didn’t stop until 6:40pm. During this action packed day of competition the Pro-Am quarterfinals and the Air Show semi-finals were completed. Locals and tourists crowded the cliffs in awe of the high level of surfing while enjoying the perfect Santa Cruz fall weather. “I haven’t seen this large of a crowd at a Santa Cruz surf competition in a long time”, said Darryl “Flea” Virosko.
Competition resumed on Sunday at 8am and was met with challenging conditions, as predicted. The South wind was 15-20 mph and rain was on the horizon. This did not stop the surfers or spectators from showing up bright and early with smiling faces and positive vibes. The Pro-Am semi finalists suited up, charged the line up and were met with surprisingly fun high performance surf. “The waves were almost more fun this morning (Sunday) with the wind and bump. There were double ups and long walls. I’ve surfed a lot of events at the Lane and this was one of the best”, said Randy “The Kid” Bonds.
After the semi-finals were complete, the O’Neill Air Show finals took place. Wilem Banks dominated the heat and took home the $500 dollar first place prize. The final heat of the day was the Pro-Am Final. Randy “The Kid” Bonds, John Mel, Victor Done and Richie Schmidt battled it out in a 30-minute heat of non-stop surf. Bonds’ experience and knowledge of Steamer Lane paid off and helped him clench the win.
O’Neill Halloween Freakshow Pro-Am
- Randy “The Kid” Bonds
- Victor Done
- Richie Schmidt
- John Mel
O’Neill Air Show in memory of Shaun “Barney” Barron
- Wilem Banks
- Sam Coffey
- Austin Smith-Ford
O’Neill, the original California surf, snow and youth lifestyle brand, was founded in 1952 when a young man named Jack O’Neill took his unstoppable passion for surfing and used it to beat Mother Nature at her own game. Pioneering the first neoprene surfing wetsuit, Jack had successfully found a way to extend his surf sessions in the bone-chilling breaks of Northern California. He opened up the garage doors to his first surf shop in Santa Cruz soon after.
While many things have changed since those humble beginnings, Jack’s initial vision of producing functional and innovative board riding products continues to lie at the core of everything the company does. O’Neill’s core values—innovation in style and technology—have seen the brand devote itself wholeheartedly to the evolution of the action sports lifestyle. From the first line of surfing wetsuits and surf leash, to the world’s first stitchless boardshorts, and range of groundbreaking wearable electronics, O’Neill’s progressive spirit will always drive the company forward. For more information, please visit us.oneill.com.
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