Somewhere west of the Mississippi River — and about 150 miles east of the Pacific Ocean — a group of Young Guns convened. There was Samuel Pupo from Maresias, Brazil, Jett Schilling from San Clemente, USA, Justin Becret from Seignosse, France and Marco Mignot, who’s from France but currently resides in Mexico.
There would be a showdown and one of these Young Guns was bound to win $10k.
The showdown used an innovative format that broke the wave up into different sections in order to emphasize airs, power surfing and big maneuvers instead of complete rides from start to finish. When you bring the world’s best teenage surfers to the world’s best man-made wave, fireworks are pretty much a guarantee.
Leonardo Fioravanti and Kanoa Igarashi watched every air, hack, tube and turn. They took notes. Then they thought long and hard. Then they picked the best surfer and handed them an oversized check.