East Coast Takes Surf Gold in East Versus West Surfing Competition


Kelly Slater and the East Coast team won the first X Games surf contest, held in 2004 at Huntington Beach. More than 25,000 spectators lined the beach to watch an all-star lineup of East and West Coast surfers compete for coastal supremacy.

As a result of the small swell and glassy conditions, airs on the inside were the name of the game -- East Coast ripper Shea Lopez, frontside hanger.

To kick off The Game, surfing's first team event, the teams lined up in pre-game fashion for the playing of The National Anthem. The contest itself was structured much like a basketball game, with coaches, four quarters and a halftime.

In each quarter, four surfers from each team take to the water in 20-minute heats. The top two waves from each rider are added together for a team score. Each wave is worth a maximum of 10 points, for a total of 160 possible team points in each half.

At the end of nearly four hours of surfing, the first gold medals of X Games IX were awarded to the East Coast team, which won 209.06 to 188.20.

West Coast team rider Rob Machado snapped a backside cutback off the lip during Friday's practice heats.

The East Coast team led 100 points to the West's 92 at the end of the first half. Kelly Slater logged an 8.42, the highest score of the first half. In the second half, Dane Reynolds of the West Coast rode the best wave of the contest with a score of 9.7.

Surfing for the East Coast in the first and third quarters was Shea Lopez, Aaron Cormican, Damien Hobgood and Ben Bougeious. In quarters two and four, Kelly Slater, Shane Dorian, Taj Burrow and Cory Lopez rode for the East.

The West Coast lineup included Shane Beschen, Taylor Knox, Bobby Martinez and Dane Reynolds in the first and third quarters and Tim Curran, Rob Machado, Pat O'Connell and Kalani Robb in the second and fourth.