HUNTINGTON BEACH, California - The third of five stops on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) North America Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) will hit Huntington Beach Pier this weekend with ASP LQS 1-Star Yakult HB Pro and ASP LQS 2-Star Gidget PLA Pro.
Surfers competing on the ASP LQS earn points towards qualification for the ASP World Longboard Tour (WLT), where each surfer earns the right to tackle the finest competitive longboarding talent in a chance to claim the title of ASP World Longboard Champion.
Taylor Jensen (Oceanside, CA), 25, claimed a victory at the last ASP LQS event in Ventura and is now out for back-to-back victories when he hits the water in Huntington Beach. Jensen is the reigning two-time regional ASP Longboarding Champion and was victorious two events in Huntington last year, making him a favorite entering the Yakult HB Pro.
“Getting a win in my first North American event for the year really gets me in the right head space going into the second half of the year,” Jensen said. “This is the best start to a year I have ever had so I am just trying to keep the momentum going and take things one heat at a time.”
Josh Mohr (Huntington Beach, CA), 33, earned a third place finish at the last Huntington Beach event and is always a standout at his home break. Mohr is looking to utilize his local knowledge to fend off the stacked competitive field at the upcoming event.
“It’s hard to do well in Huntington if you’re not familiar with the wave,” Mohr said. “I’ve worked on riding more progressive equipment to fit the wave and have it dialed. Plus, it’s my home, so I have the comfort of sleeping in my bed which always helps.”
After taking several years off from competitive surfing, the new regional ASP LQS series launched this year has re-sparked the Huntington Beach native’s desire to compete. Mohr is currently rated fourth overall on the ASP North America LQS and is looking to gain ground on Jensen at his home break.
“Having a series and being able to shoot for the top ranks really brought me back to competition,” Mohr said. “Before, I had lost interest because there were only one or two events to compete in. To be in the top rank amongst the up-and-coming talent is great.”
Cori Schumacher (Cardiff,CA), 32, is the defending Women’s ASP North America LQS champion and is currently sitting atop the ratings once again over the nation’s top competitive longboarding talent.
”The competition has been fierce and sustained,” Schumacher said. “My fellow competitors are hungry for their piece of the tour and I believe that it takes this type of competition to push a sport to higher levels. Having Gidget step up to support our tour has really been an amazing gift as well. I am truly thankful to them and the PLA for supporting women's longboarding in the North American Region.”
Schumacher feels that she has been able to sharpen her competitive skills due to this year’s regional tour.
“Being fortunate enough to have multiple events at diverse locations this year gives me the opportunity to consistently approach my surfing with a renewed sense of purpose,” Schumacher said. “I feel as though I am pushing myself and my surfing to new levels, striving for ever more effective winning strategies, in body and mind. Changing locations keeps me on-point and aware of my conditioning.”