Pro Surfing's Long Legacy at Lower Trestles
In the early 1970's only one Trestles local mattered, one who loomed larger than anyone before or since-- President Richard Nixon. With policy summits on China
, and Vietnam
taking place at his Western White House at Cotton's Point, the Marines had the famed San Clemente surf breaks on lockdown, sealing any remaining paths of access.
Fortunately, some of Nixon's closest aides belonged to the San Onofre Surf Club
, and convinced the President that Trestles was one of California's most treasured playgrounds. Yet by the time Nixon created a State Park that opened Trestles to the public, the surfing landscape in California had gone dark. Surfers beleaguered and weary of the establishment had retreated from the international surfing scene, avoiding competitive gatherings of any kind.
Then, in 1977, Trestles hosted its first professional event ever, the Sutherland Pro. The visiting Free Ride generation of surfers from Australia
woke the sleepy Californians out of their slumber with their mind-bending attacks that paved the way for performance shortboard surfing, and ultimately, a California rebirth.
Three decades later, Lower Trestles is the world's brightest stage for high-performance surfing, a launch pad for future American and international stars, and a crucial stop on the road to a world championship.
And while only a handful of events are run each year at Trestles, the Prime-rated Nike Lowers Pro is the largest assembly of global talent, with 96 of the world's best vying for the world's attention.
Last year they claimed 6 of the top 8 spots, as well as 3 of the top 4; including Miguel Pupo
winning the precious golden spike.
The 2011 Nike Lowers Pro will forever be remembered as the moment when Brazilians abruptly changed the landscape of pro surfing. While Brazil has been firing warning shots at the U.S. and Australia
for years, never before had their invading force so firmly dominated an event at Lower Trestles. Last year they claimed 6 of the top 8 spots, as well as 3 of the top 4; so it was only fitting that Miguel Pupo
, one of their own, walked off with the precious golden spike.
One year later,..
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