It was a drizzly, gray day for the final day of the Standup World Tour‘s Huntington Beach Pro but that didn’t mean the action was any less sizzling. Thirteen-year-old Floridian Izzi Gomez took her first major women’s win while Kai Lenny took his second SUWT victory this year.
The final heats of competition were a battle of wave selection as the swell that had blessed the three prior days of competition slowly died. The semifinals were hotly contested with Lenny taking down Sean Poynter in a wave-starved heat, while Mo Freitas lost out to Brazilian Caio Vaz when Vaz got a backside buzzer beater. On the women’s side, Vanina Walsh went down swinging to Gomez, while Candice Appleby took down French talent Caroline Angibaud.
In the women’s final, Gomez strung together a couple multiple-maneuver waves that left Appleby searching for a backup that never came.
“It feels amazing to win,” Gomez said. “I went into the final expecting second place. I’ve surfed against Candice a few times before and she’s always won because she’s such a good competitor. I felt like the ocean was on my side.”
For the men, Lenny looked in control throughout the final, even when he was down needing a mid-range score. He found that and more with two six-plus rides, including one lofty punt. Vaz didn’t get another chance to fight back.
“I’ve always wanted to win a contest at Huntington,” Lenny said. “Conditions were really hard but we were really able to make the most of it. Stoked.”