Conner Coffin wins junior pro title at U.S. Open

Santa Barbara’s Conner Coffin won the junior men’s pro championship at the Nike U.S. Open of Surfing on Saturday at the Huntington Beach Pier.

Coffin scored a two-wave total of 17.10 points to beat out Huntington Beach local Kanoa Igarashi (12.60), Australia’s Cooper Chapman (11.07) and defending champion Filipe Toledo of Brazil (3.03).

?I can?t even put this in to words,? Coffin told reporters. ?I?m just so happy. I?ve been doing this contest for a long time and it?s my sponsor?s event. I used to struggle out here and I?ve been working hard on that and I?m just glad that Final went my way.?

Speaking to the large crowd on the beach, Coffin, 19, said: “I just go out and catch good waves and surf to the best my ability.”

He credited his coach, Brad Gerlach, for helping him prepare for competitions and pushing him to surf to his potential.

Conner’s younger brother, Parker, also a standout surfer, commented on his brother’s title on the web site, Young Wise Tails:

“I?ve won surf contests before, and I?ve never been as stoked as I was carrying him up the beach. He?s come close a lot, but this time he did it. All the close calls and all the preparing he has done for this moment. It happened.”

Coffin’s victory marks the second straight year a Santa Barbara surfer has won at the U.S Open. Lakey Peterson claimed the junior women’s pro championship last summer. Peterson, a rookie on the World Championship Tour, is in the semifinals of this year’s women’s pro division.

Nikki Van Dijk, freshly crowned Women?s ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series Champion, made a charge in the back half of the junior women’s pro final and put together a powerful combination of turns to clinch the title.