HUNTINGTON BEACH - The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) is ready to start the 2009 season with the Professional Longboard Association (PLA) ASP 1-Star Costa Del Mar Pro event at 9th Street in Huntington Beach, California on the weekend of March 14-15, 2009 which will host both men’s and women’s divisions.
The upcoming contest is the first of five events sponsored by the PLA for the 2009 season which include both men’s and women’s divisions in each contest, allowing ASP North America to establish a legitimate tour for male and female ASP LQS competitors to earn points towards qualification for the ASP World Longboard Tour.
"We are excited to get the 2009 season underway,” Jeff Stoner, Executive PLA Director said. “Being able to now provide both pro men and women longboarders an authentic qualifying tour has always been a top priority for us. These surfers deserve a series such as this and we couldn't be happier that we are giving them a chance to qualify here in North America for the world longboard tour. It should be an exciting year with lots of great competition"
Former three-time ASP World Longboard Champion and current ASP World No. 5 Colin McPhillips (San Clemente, CA), 33, will be one top competitor to surf in the PLA event this weekend and the seasoned veteran is fired up over this year’s significantly improved schedule.
“It’s huge that the PLA is stepping up,” McPhillips said. “We haven’t had a series in about five years now and these events really allow for surfers to earn points towards qualification for the World Longboard Tour. It also alleviates a lot of pressure on competitors because in previous years we have only had a few events to qualify, so it was do-or-die, now surfers have several events to piece together a few good results.”
McPhillips is also looking to use the ASP LQS regional series to prepare for his 2009 ASP WLT campaign.
“These events will totally help my mindset for this year on the WLT,” McPhillips said. “It allows me to get in rhythm and it’s also an excellent stepping stone for the younger surfers who are looking to qualify for the World Tour events.”
Joe Aaron (Capistrano Beach, CA), 18, is one younger surfer who is looking to capitalize on this year’s series in hopes to qualify for the ASP WLT. They stylish talent did some serious damage at the Oxbow Pro at San Onofre State Beach when he entered the event as a wildcard, and now Aaron hopes to utilize this season to make a permanent presence on the ASP WLT.
“For me, it’s great to have all of these events this year because I can tell my sponsors that I have a legitimate tour to compete on,” Aaron said. “Last year we only had two events, so it’s hard to really work on gaining points on qualifying for the ASP World Longboard Tour. This year will be better because it will allow surfers to work on their competitive strategy throughout the season, whereas in past years it has been tough to get in to the competitive mindset with only a few events.”
The Costa Del Mar Pro will be held at 9th Street in Huntington Beach, California from March 14-15, 2009 and the final day of competition will be webcast LIVE via www.surfpla.com