5 x World Champion Philip Koster 🇩🇪 fully vindicated his multiple world champion status in Chile today by smashing out an ultra radical wave riding performance that took our breath away. Seeded #1 in this event, he was in the last of the first round heats, Heat #12. He was up against local young Chilean wild man Matias Vargas 🇨🇱 and Sweden’s Martin Lundgren 🇸🇪. Vargas put on an an impressive show to come second and advance to Round 3 with Koster, but it was the German powerhouse who dominated the heat and may have thrown down the performance of the day. Koster made it look easy when others were struggling to read the technical wave here at Matanzas. He punched out massive tweaked aerials shown on these shots, with laser precision and perfect form. This truly was a masterclass from the German champion. His was not the only standout performance of the day but this was definitely the biggest story: KOSTER RIPS on the Unified PWA IWT Wave Tour. This guy is one heck of a hard core RIDER.
Another great story of the day was that of the passionate Italian Federico Morisio 🇮🇹 winning his way into the Final 16. After so much training, injury, comeback and yes… PASSION! Fede comfortably secured a spot in the round of 32 (Round 3) but the next challenge was to push on to the elite 16 in Round 4. In this intense field, that was no small challenge. Riders need to get top 2 from 4 rider heats to advance. Fede had his work cut out with a stacked field of international and red hot local riders. He attacked with exceptional wave selection and brilliant surf style radical riding that hit all the critical sections and even a super critical under the lip giant air. He dominated to take 1st ahead of Frenchman and now Chilean local legend Killian du Couedic 🇫🇷. These two riders were in top form edging out international Belgium Star Dieter Van der Eyken 🇧🇪 into 3rd, eliminating the ripper and leaving him in a frustrating =17th place for the event. How far could this young Italian go?
Another big story of the day was the battle of the young Ishii brothers from Japan 🇯🇵. Youth rider Hayata Ishii 🇯🇵, who is gunning for the Youth World Title this year, made it into the Final 16, Round 4, with a second place in his heat behind Spain’s on form Marino Gil Gherardi 🇪🇸, while his older brother Takara Ishii 🇯🇵 was knocked out in the Round of 32 by wildly talented young Frenchman Baptiste Cloarec 🇫🇷 1st, and the powerful riding of German Leon Jamaer 🇩🇪 2nd. Takara Ishii 🇯🇵 put on a strong performance but he wasn’t quite at his best on the day. He’s now out of the competition with his 3rd behind those two great riders, leaving him in a disappointing =17th for the event. After a top 8 finish in Japan for him this will hurt. The competition here is so intense that only a riders’ very best performance is enough. It’s now harder than ever to climb to the top of this new very big unified pyramid.
Photos by @escobar_photos