A spectacular finish to the FireWire E-Pro USA presented by Futures crowned San Clemente, California’s, Kei Kobayashi the inaugural event champion over Cole Houshmand. The all-San Clemente Final featured Lower Trestles submissions from both competitors and in the end it was Kobayashi’s stunning inverted aerial finish that solidified a flawless run through the event.
“It’s so insane to have won this event, said Kobayashi. “The format was really unique and I enjoyed it from start to finish. It was great to have Cole (Houshmand) in the Final and to get a win over him isn’t easy no matter the format, he’s such a good surfer so this means a lot.”
Houshmand’s Semifinal was arguably one of the most anticipated heats with Rob Kelly on the other side and his East Coast barrel clips wowing fans and judges alike. But he claimed a big win over Kelly and secured his spot alongside Kobayashi - falling just shy in the end.
“Big congrats to Kei (Kobayashi), he had so many bangers in this event,” Houshmand said. “I’m sure I’ll hear this one for awhile (laughs). Now I’ll start going into the archives and see what I can get done at the World Championships. It’s super exciting to be a part of.”