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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, June 11, 2001

Surfers show their stuff in state amateur championships

By Seabrook Mow
Special to The Advertiser

A south swell couldn't have come at a better time as the Hawai'i Amateur Surfing Association wrapped up its season yesterday, with the State Surfing Championship off Magic Island at Ala Moana Bowls.

Dustin Cuizon of 'Ewa Beach rips through a wave during the junior men's competition of the National Amateur Surfing Association's State Championships at Ala Moana Bowls. Cuizon took first in his division.

Eugene Tanner • The Honolulu Advertiser

About 300 surfers competed in consistent 2- to 3-foot waves.

In the hotly contested men's open shortboard division, Maui's Sean Louden, 19, and Wai'anae's Hop Tong Smith, 25, surfed aggressively during the final heat, and were tied based on their three best rides.

To declare a winner, the judges went to the surfers' two top scores, giving Louden the win.

"I just got lucky that I caught the right wave," said Louden, who got covered in water on his third wave. "They (Smith, Ira Masaki, Billy Choi, Eddie Huihui and Travis Hashimoto) killed it and surfed super hard, so I was real shocked and super stoked to win."

'Ewa Beach's Dustin Cuizon, 16, dominated the junior men (age 15-17) shortboard division.

Cuizon, who recently completed his sophomore year at Campbell High School this past Friday, said he had a strategy to capture his division.

"Everybody was pushing each other deep in the bowl and couldn't make it around the section, so I just decided to stay at the end so I can get in front of the wave and get more points and moves," Cuizon said.

"I pretty much tried to stay focused and break away from the pack and do my own thing," he said.

Cuizon was fortunate to catch a set coming in for his first wave.

He wasted little time filling the wave with explosive moves such as huge snapping turns off of every section of the wave.

Cuizon said he wants to turn professional after graduating from high school.

In the girls (up to age 17) shortboard division, Wai'anae's Kristen Quizon, 17, who will be a senior at Wai'anae this autumn, bettered the competition, showing mastery over snaps and floaters in navigating waves.

"I completed the moves I knew I could make, moves I would land and not fall on," Quizon said.

HASA president Wendell Aoki said that the association's goal is to train young surfers to become professionals.

Also sharing the surf with the younger set, are surfing veterans such as Ed Pieper, 54, who's been surfing for 40 years. Pieper, of Hilo, won the senior men's (ages 45-54) longboard division.

"This is my break, I surfed here all my life," Pieper said.

Pieper has won 15 of the 30 times he has entered the contest.

Next year, Pieper will have to enter the legends division.

"I finally become a legend." Pieper said with a smile.