Joel Centeio matched the perfection of excellent 5-foot barreling waves with record high scores on his way to winning the Local Motion Surf Into Summer Pro. Sunny Garcia, Hank Gaskell and Kaimana Jaquias finished second, third and fourth, respectively, each earning vital regional ratings points with their results.
Centeio, 32, was a clear standout en route to the Final, surfing four rounds and posting the highest combined two-wave heat scores for the Quarters (17.05), Semis (16.60) and Final (13.25).
“This is by far the best Bowls I’ve ever surfed,” said Centeio, referring to Ala Moana Bowls, the iconic South Shore surf spot on Oahu where the contest was held. “The waves were insane the whole time. The first day was perfect, 3-to-4-foot Middles, then today the North wind came and it was just the right size to where the guys could really lay into good turns and get some good barrels. So it’s up there man, and I’m stoked I won.
“My board felt really great. Erik (Arakawa) has been shaping me good boards for a really long time and it felt like I could push really hard and do big turns. Every once in a while I could hear a score and I heard 8’s or 9’s and man, when you’re hearing that it gives you the confidence to keep going. So stoked to take this home.”
Still in top competitive form at 45, Garcia surfed a total of five times on Finals Day and looked at it as an extension of his preparation for the May 30 half-marathon triathlon in Kona, Hawaii, that he will compete in.
The Final was a gathering of friends. Jaquias was the relative rookie in the lineup, although very familiar with Garcia who was his dad’s pro touring buddy in their prime.
“We all did the full gentleman rule, everybody took turns,” says Garcia. “We were having fun just cheering everybody on. Joel was ripping all day. To me he was the standout.”