In the history of competitive surfing in California, there have been two key flashpoints at Lower Trestles. The first occurred in 1989 when a longhaired local named Christian Fletcher became the first person in history to win a contest based solely on aerial mastery. Sure, others had done airs in contests, but Fletcher proved that it was a viable way to surf. Twenty-two years later, if you don’t have an air reverse or an alley-oop in your repertoire you might as well not even show up at the beach. Fletcher’s antics caused quite a scene at the time, ruffling more than just the feathers of a conservative older guard, but, just like today, the kids loved it.

And then there was the coming out of Kelly Slater the following year in 1990. The wonder kid from Florida had gone full-steam ahead into a much-anticipated professional career. And there, as was documented in the now-historic Quiksilver flick, Kelly Slater in Black and White, a young Slater proceeded to destroy everyone in his path. Seventeen years later in 2007, the following year in 2008 at the Boost Mobile Pro, and back-to-back at the 2010 and 2011 Hurley Pro, Slater reasserted his dominance on what the majority of people call the highest-performance wave in the world.

2011 Nike Lowers Pro Champion: Miguel Pupo

For Californians, both Jeff Booth and local boy Shane Beschen have dominated Lowers over the course of their careers, each winning this event three times. Booth was California’s highest-rated surfer through most of the early ’90s, and Beschen, who is three years Booth’s junior, picked up where Booth left off, both at Lowers and on the world stage. Andy Irons, Rob Machado, Taylor Knox, Tim Curran, and CJ Hobgood are also past winners at Lowers, and their multitude of successes beyond the peak speaks for itself.

In more recent years, Benny Bourgeois registered a win at the Nike Lowers Pro in 2008 and Fred Patacchia took home the WQS Prime title in 2009. Gabe Kling won in 2010 and last year, Miguel Pupo took home the coveted gold spike.

Over the years, the Nike Lowers Pro at Lower Trestles has evolved into one of the most coveted prizes in mainland competitive surfing. There’s never been a shortage of talent at this PRIME showdown. With its wide-open faces, everyone turns it up a notch when they take off on a wave at Lowers. Thanks to the San Onofre State Park for helping us hold the event at this idyllic California setting, and rest assured, be it from behind a computer or down on the cobblestone shore, the world is watching and waiting for another surfer to make history.

As the Nike Lowers Pro is a PRIME event, you can expect to see the ASP’s top WQS and World Tour surfers show up, throw down, and create a new chapter in surfing’s history books.

1981 NA Buran, Joey Specialty Stubbies US Trials $6,200
1982 IPS Int’l Curren,Tom Specialty Stubbies US Trials $6,200
1983 IPS Int’l Lambresi, Mike Specialty Stubbies US Trials $6,200
1989 PSAA Fletcher, Christian NA Body Glove Surfbout II / Bud Surf Tour $85,000
1990 PSAA Slater, Kelly NA Body Glove Surfbout III / Bud Surf Tour $100,000
1991 PSAA Booth, Jeff NA Body Glove Surfbout IV / Bud Surf Tour $50,000
1992 ASP Beschen,Shane WQS 2 Star Body Glove Surfbout V / Bud Surf Tour $20,000
1993 ASP Beschen,Shane WQS 2 Star Body Glove Surfbout VI / Bud Surf Tour $20,000
1994 ASP Knox,Taylor WQS 2 Star Body Glove Surfbout VII $20,000
1995 ASP Booth,Jeff WQS 2 Star Body Glove Surfbout VIII $20,000
1996 ASP Beschen,Shane WQS 2 Star Body Glove Surfbout IX $20,000
1997 ASP Curran,Tim WQS 3 Star Body Glove Surfbout X $60,000
1998 ASP Machado,Rob WQS 3 Star Body Glove Surfbout XI $40,000
1999 ASP Curran,Tim WQS 3 Star Body Glove Surfbout XII $40,000
2000 ASP Hedge, Nathan WQS 4 Star MCD Defcon 4 $60,000
2001 ASP Curren,Tom WQS 1 Star Quiksilver Pro $10,000
2002 ASP Hobgood,C.J WQS 2 Star Foster’s Cup $20,000
2003 ASP Beschen,Shane WQS 3 Star Foster’s Cup $50,000
2004 ASP Irons,Andy WQS 2 Star Body Glove Surfbout pres by Adio footwear $25,000
2005 ASP Weare,David WQS 4 Star Body Glove Surfbout pres by Adio footwear $75,000
2006 ASP Cuizon,Dustin WQS 4 Star Body Glove Surfbout pres by Adio footwear $75,000
2007 ASP Hobgood,C.J WQS 4 Star Jeep Body Glove Surfbout $75,000
2008 ASP Bourgeois, Ben WQS 4 Star Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro $80,000
2009 ASP Fredrick Patacchia WQS 6 Star Prime Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro $145,000
2010 ASP Gabe Kling WQS 6 Star Prime Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro $145,000
2011 ASP Miguel Pupo Prime Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro $250,000
2012 ASP Gabriel Medina Prime Nike Lowers Pro $250,000