The WSL’s Hurley Pro Trestles started Wednesday morning, so who better to catch up with than Curren Caples to talk Trestles?
JC: Do you love surfing Trestles when you get the chance?
CC: I like it sometimes and I hate it other times. I live in Ventura, so I grew up surfing points with a lot of people. But down there it’s a little different. I struggle with the crowds in the peaks. But I do enjoy surfing it.
What are your favorite conditions for Lowers?
I like it a little overhead, like medium swell. When it gets a little bigger it’s tough. It runs off. Those swells that are a little smaller get really good on the inside. I was watching the webcast and it seems like the south swell angle was a little too steep early. It’s better now.
Lowers is referred to as the skatepark of waves because it’s just begging for high performance surfing. What are your thoughts on that?
I wouldn’t call it punchy, but it’s not a soft wave either. It’s that perfect combination that allows people to go crazy. You can get good speed. The right will stand up and the left will bowl at you.
It seems like the southwest swell machine just started firing on all cylinders at the start of September. Where did you surf last weekend?
I’ve been surfing Oxnard Shores and it’s been pretty good. On south swells there are peaks everywhere – left barrels. I surfed it a lot last winter and I just figured out how to properly get barreled backside. I’m a regularfoot, so I’m getting better at it. My Dad, I mean, all he wants to do is get barreled. I have a group of friends that I surf with here, but my Dad is on it. He gives me the report.
Do you still surf with him a lot?
It’s funny, he pushed me to surf, but when I was a kid, I hated surfing. I just wanted to skate. Then when I was about 12 and got a good board and a thick wetsuit, that’s when I really got into surfing.
Photo By Vans/Anthony Acosta
The forecast seems pretty solid for the event. Do you plan on going down to San Clemente at all this week?
I’m not sure. The Ventura forecast looks pretty good for the next couple of days, so I might just stay up here.
Pedro’s or Wahoo when you’re down there?
Who do you surf with down in San Clemente?
I surf with Ian Crane, Tanner Gudauskas, or Kolohe. I actually just watched Ian’s first heat. (Ian Crane got the wildcard spot for this event, which has traditionally gone to Dane Reynolds.)
Are you friends with any of the guys on tour?
I know a lot of surfers but probably Kolohe the best. We were riding for some of the same teams for a while. I’ll go stay at his house when I surf San Clemente. It’s cool. He gets up before the sun comes up every day. I’m not quite as motivated as him. We ride mountain bikes all the way to Lowers and he’ll be 100 feet ahead of me. I’m behind him, just struggling.
Of all those guys, who’s style are you most into?
I don’t analyze it too much, but Julian’s flow and style are amazing. That last edit he came out with was all time. He just looked like he knew exactly what he was going to do. John John is always fun to watch. His grabs are probably the most technical. I know Dane’s not in the event, but I’ve seen him land so perfectly back into the transition. I think that’s where surfing is going – sticking airs in the face and flowing into the next move, instead of landing so hard in the flats. It’s basically just like skating a quarterpipe; pretty unbelievable. I saw Dane do an air where he basically landed perfectly in the transition, then did a turn to another air-reverse.
So, you’re a bit of a webcast junkie?
Well, I watch them pretty regularly. My Dad claims he could be a judge. He’s pretty much on point with every score. I’m into watching Teahupo’o. I’d love to be in Hawaii to watch Pipe from the beach. Even Margaret River, when it moves to The Box, or really clean conditions at J-Bay that lend themselves to power surfing.
That’s great. You’re a skater who loves power surfing.
Yeah, big turns on big canvases. That’s how I like to try to surf myself.
You’ve skated the bowl plenty of times at the US Open. HB can be a little hectic. But overall, is there anything you like about surf events over skate events?
Overall, surf events are just so much more serious. Even at the X-Games skate events on live TV you have a guy flipping off the camera when they stick it in his face. On a surf webcast, if anyone cusses or anything, it turns into this gnarly ordeal. On one hand, surfing is about 15 years ahead of skating in professionalism, but everyone likes a little messing around. Skating has guys like Eric Koston who are personalities. I guess surfing has that with guys like Rob Machado who surf so well and are still pro, and they can be personalities.
Speaking of serious, there are a few guys gunning for the world title this year. Who’s your pick? Or do you have a favorite for Trestles?
I’m rooting for Julian. He’s sick. I’d like to see him win the title, for sure. And in this event, if Ian makes it through a couple rounds I’d be super pumped.