During the last few weeks, all three venues of the 2020 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing have been seeing a flurry of professionals trying to nail the clips. Super sessions became a regular thing at Haleiwa, sunset and Pipe.
One of hardest working female surfers of the event has been Malia Manuel. She is out there and she is not holding back... Malia has a few submissions that will probably make a dent at the leaderboard. Is it going to be enough to grant her the first ever women's Digital VTC title?
We caught up with the Kauai native in between sessions at Ali'i Beach Park.
Malia Manuel: I think it’s a great opportunity, it’s wonderful to be a part of. There has been no shortage of swell, so it’s been really exciting to see all the girls and guys pushing themselves. I’m super excited to be a part of.
MM: I really don’t have a strategy, I’m just kind of surfing wherever is best. But now that the window is narrowing down, I’m looking more at swell direction and things like that. They’re all great, amazing places to surf, I love all three spots and I’ve been having a blast trying to get footage.
MM: There is less pressure, even though I still feel like there is pressure to get clips and get good waves, always bettering yourself. I think it’s a fun new way to get creative and support all the local filmers as well. I think that’s a really great opportunity for them. Yeah, I’m really loving it and I hope there’s more things like this in the future.
MM: There is not too much down side but, hunting down clips, if you are not as fortunate to have a personal filmer, it can be a difficult thing. There is first for everything and it’s going pretty smooth for it being our first run around, so again, super happy to be a part of it.
I have a few people, but my main filmer’s been a little bit busy so, for me it’s been hard to track down and find reliable people to film my waves.
MM: Number one would be Pipe and Backdoor. Just as far as crowd and swell, right now, it’s been pretty big.
Sunset would be second, it’s such a difficult wave. In our heads, it’s so easy to mind surf and think you will get on a wave, and then when you get out there, it’s a lot more challenging.
They are all difficult as well, I mean, Haleiwa gets really scary when it gets bigger. I get pretty worked at every spot so, some good challenges for sure!
It’s pretty difficult because you are competing and surfing with the guys too, and they are getting some good waves. But they have also been very supportive of the women.
So, it’s a fun, different challenge and yeah, we’ll see how it goes…