Taylor Knox (USA), 41, will be one elite name vying for the Rip Curl Pro Puerto Rico Title this year.
JOBOS, Isabella, Puerto Rico (Wednesday, February 6, 2013) – The Inaugural Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 4-Star Rip Curl Pro Puerto Rico is scheduled to unfold at Jobos Beach in Isabella, Puerto Rico from February 9 to 13, marking a return of ASP competition to ‘The Island of Enchantment’ for the first time since 2010.
Hosting a plethora of world-class waves, the Island’s powerful surf and tropical climate offer up the perfect platform for elite competitors to assert themselves on a global scale.
C.J. Hobgood (Melbourne, FL), 33, ASP WCT veteran, will lead the Rip Curl Pro Puerto Rico as the event’s top seed and the Flordian talent is looking forward to returning to the training grounds that helped shape his professional career.
“I always went down to Puerto Rico from Florida in January for the cold fronts as PR is the safest spot for a quick hit,” Hobgood said. “I think I’ve been going down there since I was 12 and I’m looking forward to going back this year.”
With the ASP WCT season just weeks away, Hobgood is capitalizing on the Rip Curl Pro Puerto Rico to rekindle his competitive spark to kick off his 2013 campaign.
“I think all the guys on tour look for a comp to get used to the jersey again, try boards and get the body ready,” Hobgood said. “Some guys are hitting Pipe, a lot of the boys are hitting the Burliegh comp and I decided to do PR.”
Taylor Knox (Carlsbad, CA), 41, who just capped off a twenty-year run on the ASP WCT, will be another top name in this year’s draw. Knox competed in the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico in 2010 and is excited to start off the new stage of his professional career with a return to an island with incredible waves and unique culture.
“I’m excited to get back to Puerto Rico because I have fond memories of the place starting from when I was 14,” Knox said. “I went back for The Search a few years ago and it’s just such a fun place. It’s warm and the people are nice. The vibe of the place is like a Caribbean Hawaii.”
While Knox has stepped back from full-time ASP WCT action, the iconic Californian is still heading to Puerto Rico with his eye on the crown.
“Winning the event would be super cool for me,” Knox said. “It’d be nice to go down there and hold up that trophy in front of old friends that I have down there and I’m excited to go back and create some new memories.”
While several international competitors are scheduled to compete, Alejando Moreda (San Juan, PR), 27, Rip Curl Pro Puerto Rico Wildcard, is one local standout hungry to put in a strong performance for the Puerto Rican crowd.
“For me, as a pro surfer from PR we have been waiting for this chance to have a ‘QS event in our home turf for over 10 years,” Moreda said. “The caliber of waves and surfers we have over here are world class. Its a dream come true to have an event like this come to our beautiful beaches and have all our friends that we travel with all year long to come experience our culture and island vibe. Thanks to Rip Curl for stepping up and making many Puerto Ricans’ dream come true by putting this event together.”
Moreda, who spends the year traveling in search of points for his ASP World Ranking, was quick to note the significance of having a high-caliber ASP event for locals to establish themselves on a global scale.
“It kind of seems surreal being able to come home and have all the local support at an event like this,” Moreda said. “For us, doing the tour is a really big hassle leaving home. It’s hard for many Puerto Rican surfers that don’t have a sponsor that surf insane to try and compete outside of PR and make a name for themselves. I think this event will help all of us to showcase what we have and what Puerto Rican surfers can do against the worlds best.”