It has been long known that beautiful Puerto Rico is rich with variety of world class surf breaks in addition to world class surfing talent. On Oct. 29th & 30th, during the 3rd Annual 2011 Quiksilver Halloween Skins, it's never been more apparent. Quiksilver selected the famous Domes Beach in Rincon for this years venue. The crew was greeted with a clean 3-to-5 foot north swell and long peeling right handers on opening day of the two day event. The stage was set for a weekend of eye popping and jaw dropping action not only from the ripping in the ocean but the Halloween Spirit on land. This years costume component lived up to the hype. There were all kinds of funky, creepy and classic costumes. Supporting sponsors, Vitamin Water threw down $500 towards the most progressive maneuver in a costume and DC with $500 for the best aerial in a costume. Once again the Skins format was a hit. Surfers were rewarded $150 for claiming their single highest score of each heat. A major threat as usual Carlos Cabrero, owner of Tres Palmas Surf Shop in San Juan, came out on top of the first heat winning $150. Darren Muschett, in his first heat, stopped Carlos from getting on a roll in heat three stomping a super sick lofty air revo with a Nacho Libre wrestling mask. Darren continued his presence with six more consecutive skin wins. Other notables on day one were air freak Tommy Bursian capturing two skins and Wilfredo 'Control' Felix locking in two skins. Jose Taverez and Miguel Diaz were also on fire. Miguel stuck a clean frontside punt to put him in the running for the Vitamin Water best air. 14 year old Quiksilver rider Mauro Diaz finished out day one with 3 consecutive Skin wins with a mix of really smooth carves and some punctuated tricks. At the end of day one, Muschett was holding a strong lead over the Grom Mauro Diaz and Bursian.
Former ASP East Champion Matt Kechele helped develop the Skins format now widely known famous from its 17 years running at Sebastian Inlet's King of the Peak. Another cool concept with the skins is day two which starts out with a flipped heat draw. The flipped draw mixes up the skins winners and challenges leaders to a wider mix of competitive match ups. The swell dropped on day two but remained very contestable with little peeling right handers and left wedge ramps. The lefts proved playful for goofy footers to take to the air. Being just a little past the half way mark of the event it was wide open for someone to step up big and try to match Muschett's strong roll. Answering was Tommy Bursian who opened with early wave claims taking to the air on the lefts. Tommy grabbed two more skins good for four total. Showing great form though out the two days was the local Rincon legend 'Control' who squeezed out an early win over Otto Flores with some vertical attack. It was an epic fun filled day and it was apparent that Puerto Ricans love Halloween as some of the coolest costumes were on hand including wrestling masks, Tarzan, Goofy, John Travolta, Scream and Echo Beach Newport but the top dog was Collin MacNamera shredding as an Oscar Myer Wiener. None the less, they were all very entertaining. As round two came to an end it was Darren Muschett's early round one domination with a world class display of big hacks and aerials that gave him a total of 7 skins crowning him "King of Hallowed Domes"!
In addition to the skins event was the Tag Team Challenge. This is where the best 5 surfers from the East Side of the island compete against the best 5 surfers from the West Side of the island. With the boys claiming their home side of the island it was time to settle the east versus west rivalry for 2011. The two teams were ready to do battle with $2000 going to the winners. The Tag Team format was developed by Ricky Villanueva, Puerto Rico's power surfer/waterman, and Quiksilver sales rep. Rick is further proof of the talent pool in PR coming fresh out of the ISA World Surfing Masters where he contributed to Puerto Rico's 4th place finish beating the Hawaiian and the Australian teams for the first time ever (had to throw that bit in as that is huge for PR). The Tag Team was filled with laughter and ridicule as the teams passed a bullhorn back and forth calling out each ride. With two 50 minute heats and each surfer claiming one of their allotted three waves it's all about racing the clock and posting big scores. When everything was said and done it came down to the West Coast team's local knowledge capturing them the win.
Congratulations to all Skins winners and team West Coast! The location of next year's event is decided by the winning team and the West Coast boys chose to move the event to Arecibo's beautiful coastline.
Total 32 Skins heats:
1st Darren Muschett 7 Skins $900
2nd Tommy Bursian 4 Skins $600
3rd Mauro Diaz 3 Skins $450
3rd Wilfredo Feleiz 3 Skins $450
5th Carlos Cabrero 2 Skins $300
5th Miguel Diaz 2 Skins $300
5th Jose Tavarez 2 Skins $300
6th Josie Graves 1 Skin $150
6th Ricardo Delgado 1 Skin $150
6th Cocola Torres 1 Skin $150
6th Nico Moreda 1 Skin $150
6th Fernando Alvarez 1 Skin $150
6th Collin McNamera 1 Skin $150
6th Jake Stiles 1 Skin $150
Quiksilver East vs West Tag Team Challenge:
West Coast Team 1st place $2000
East Team 2nd Place
Vitamin Water "Best Maneuver in a Costume":
DC "Best Aerial in a Costume":