The Qualifying Series (QS) puts competitors to the test year in, and year out, and today's conditions at the WRV Outer Banks Pro pres. by Pacifico made them earn each score dealt.
One-foot swell pushed into Jennette's Pier lineup and the men's Round of 112 hunted down their moments to shine.
Women's competition was called OFF for the day with the next call set for 7:00 a.m. EDT.
The Costa Rican powered his way to a brilliant 13.44 heat total in a Round of 112 debut despite tough conditions.
Costa Rica's Tomas King found the day's best opportunities to start his campaign on the right path, delivering a 13.44 (out of a possible 20) heat total and 7.67 (out of a possible 10), both the day's best, with his dynamic forehand.
The 26-year-old is fresh off a brilliant, Semifinal finish at the Vans Pro QS 3000 and showed he's up to the task at hand in his Outer Banks debut.
"I just had a positive mindset coming into this event," said King. "You have to do the best with what there is. Hopefully by the end of the waiting period we'll have some fun waves, but until then you just have to make that heat."
Malakai Martinez found his redemption from Virgnia Beach moves into the Round of 96.- WSL / ANDREW NICHOLS
Fellow Costa Rican Malakai Martinez also delivered in his debut, posting a 7.17 in the process, after shaking off an early loss at the Vans Pro. Martinez has taken the time to prepare away from contests and now he looks to turn that into results.
"I was just trying to get a couple waves and get out of my heat," said Martinez. "I don't know how I got a few turns off, but I pulled it off. I'm super stoked to keep going and try to build off some momentum from here."
This may be Kepa Mendia's third QS event, but he's adapting quickly.- WSL / ELIZABETH FOWLER
East Coast competitor Kepa Mendia brought his knowledge of small-wave competing to the Outer Banks from his home in Florida and posted an impressive 6.83.
The QS newcomer is just beginning to scratch the surface of competitive surfing, but is utilizing his ability to adapt brilliantly and now finds himself into the Round of 96.
"It's so good to get that first heat out of the way, the waves were so tough but everyone is surfing the same thing," said Mendia. "I'm starting to figure it out and these are still the biggest events I've ever done. This was the first QS I did last year and Virginia Beach was my second so just getting into the groove."
Also notching critical Round of 112 heat wins, Rory Reep, Logan Radd, Alcides Lopes, Griffin Foy, and Dwight Pastrana are into the Round of 96 with plenty of steam.
A 7:00 a.m. EDT call will determine a likely 7:30 a.m. EDT start to competition.
The WRV Outer Banks Pro pres. by Pacifico will run August 31 - September 4 and feature a LIVE webcast when the event is on.