There’s a lure about Lower Trestles. Despite the long trek and congested lineup, visitors are enticed to the legendary cobblestone point-break time and time again. For the everyday surfer, it’s the promise of riding the best waves on the California coast. For others, it’s the chance to claim a sought-after contest win.
In 1977, Michael Ho won $6,000 for his win at the Sutherland Pro, the first ever civilian event held at Trestles. Five years later, Tom Curren won his pros debut at Lowers in the Stubbies Pro, with an incredible surfing display that foreshadowed America’s rising talent.
By the late 80s and early 90s Lower Trestles had become the home base of cutting edge high-performance, cultivating talent like Matt Archbold and Christian Fletcher, and crowning champions for years to come. Fletcher became synonymous with Lowers after refining his aerial attack there. At the 1989 BodyGlove Surf Bout, he was finally rewarded for his innovation and pocketed the win.
Following Fletcher’s lead, up-and-coming Kelly Slater made his professional debut at the same contest a year later in 1990. Kelly too has returned to the ideal lineup of Lowers to land impossible airs and further establish himself as the world’s best surfer. Seventeen years later at the Boost Mobile Pro, Kelly returned once again to set the record for career event wins.
Trestles has groomed locals like the Fletchers, Shane Beschen, Bill Hamilton, Jericho Poppler Matt Archbold, Chris Ward, and Kolohe Andino into the top performing surfers in the world. Beschen kept it local by winning the Surf Bout three times, and as event sponsor changed hands, other world-renowned champions exchanged the wins as well. Taylor Knox, Tom Curren, Andy Irons, C.J Hobgood, Rob Machado, Fredrick Pataccchia, Ben Bourgeois, Gabe King, and Miguel Pupo all left legacies on the famed break.
With a near-perfect final round, current world champion Gabriel Media was the last to take home the gold in the 2012 PRIME event. After a two-year hiatus, the Oakley Lowers Pro QS 10,000 event is back in action, with the most competitive surfers in the world vying for the $250,000 prize purse. The Oakley Lowers Pro remains one of the most high-performance competition in the continental U.S.