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HIC Pro Starts Monday: Ezekiel Lau Set to Defend Title

Official Local Qualifier for $1M Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Series.

Posted 10/25/2012

It was this time last year, at the HIC Pro surfing tournament at Sunset Beach, that Honolulu high school senior Ezekiel Lau (Honolulu) captured a win that earned him a wildcard into the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Since then, Lau has turned 18, graduated from Kamehameha Schools, finished second in the ASP World Junior Championships last month, and is now preparing for a full-blown assault of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) world tour in 2013.

As defending champion of the 4-star rated, $95,000 HIC Pro, presented by Vans, Lau is looking to put the mental, physical, and competitive growth he has gained over the past 12 months to work. The HIC Pro officially starts on Monday, October 29, and will run on the best four days of surf through November 10. The HIC Pro offers critical points for surfers looking to elevate their international ranking, and is a local qualifier for the $1million Vans Triple Crown that will commence November 12.

"The HIC Pro helped jump start my career," said Lau of his 2011 win. "This is where I get to dust off my big boards, see what works and get ready for the Triple Crown events. I got a start in both Haleiwa and Sunset last year after winning the HIC wildcard. I got to surf against a lot of guys I look up to, so to experience that was great.

"The HIC supports all the guys here at home that can't travel so much, or are just getting started like I was.

"I grew up surfing the North Shore, so I'm pretty comfortable surfing out here. Not saying that I'm a crazy daredevil in huge surf, but I feel comfortable enough to go out there no matter what the size is.

"I'm not approaching (the HIC Pro) as defending champion. It's a brand new year, so it's time to start all fresh and do it all over again. But I'm comfortable at home, I'm feeling relaxed, and I'll just do what I have to do.

"I plan on going full time on the world tour next year with the goal to qualify (for the elite tour).

"I feel like I've grown a little more in my competition mind, in my body. I'm a little more confident so hopefully I won't be too nervous or excited when I get those big names in my heats. I'm full time surfing after graduating earlier this year and it feels great to focus on what I love to do."

With the second major batch of winter swell filling in today and persisting through the weekend, there is a high likelihood that the HIC Pro will get underway first thing Monday morning. Another swell is expected on its heels later next week.

The HIC PRO will be webcast live at www.vans.com/hicpro, and broadcast on Oceanic Time Warner Cable in Hawaii and on the US West Coast:
•Hawaii: Channels 250 & 1250HD - depending upon Coldwater Classic World Tour event broadcast priority. Full live coverage from 10/29/12 - 11/2/12, and tape delay coverage from 11/2/12 through 11/10/12.
•Los Angeles, San Diego, Desert Cities: delayed broadcast, sunday, 12/2/12
•Delayed broadcast on Time Warner Cable SportsNet (check local listings)

About HIC - Hawaiian Island Creations:
Hawaii's biggest and best selection of surf gear - since 1971 HIC has provided Hawaii with quality surfboards, skateboards, clothing and accessories - by surfers, for surfers. Locally owned and operated, the HIC retail chain includes eleven stores across Oahu, Maui and Hawaii and two in Japan. Through a commitment to quality, service and aloha spirit, the brand has built a reputation as an icon of Hawaiian surfing recognized throughout the world. Enjoy the ride!

Official HIC PRO event gear available at HIC stores in Hawaii and hicsurf.com

About Vans Surf:
Vans supports and promotes surfing and surfers through a full line of footwear and apparel and events such as the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the ASP 4-Star Vans Pier Classic at Huntington Beach and the ASP 6-Star Vans Pro and Vans Pro Junior at the East Coast Surfing Championships and the progressive longboard Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational contests. The Vans Surf team is led by a talented group of riders including Nathan Fletcher, John Florence, Joel Tudor, Dane Reynolds, Pat, Dane and Tanner Gudauskas, Ivan and Nathan Florence, Alex Knost, Andrew Doheny, Dylan Graves, Kalani Chapman, Wade Goodall and Leila Hurst. For more information on Vans' surf happenings, our team plus our footwear and apparel, visit vanssurf.com and follow us on Twitter @vanssurf.

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