September 14, 2011Event champion Owen Wright. Quite the crowd pleaser. Last week we were on scene in New York to hang at the biggest surf contest the east coast has ever seen. The Quiksilver Pro was held on the sands of Long Beach, directly in front of the Allegria hotel and for three days in a row Hurricane Katia blessed the contest with some of the best surf New York has seen in years. The atmosphere at this contest was unlike anything else we have ever encountered before. Many New Yorkers in fact had no idea that their small state even possessed quality surf, and when they made the trek from the city to the beach, their astonishment was noticed in the forms of outrageous cheers and a sense of pride that was overwhelming. Especially coming off an emotional week prior, when Hurricane Irene stormed through leaving heavy damage and flooding, the contest was cancelled, back on, cancelled again and then ultimately set back on all in the course of three days. New Yorker's are a very resilient bunch if you ask me... [gallery columns="4" orderby="ID"] The city was very much alive and with the contest coinciding with Fashion Week, there was always some sort of trouble one could get themselves into if they were looking. However, the main story was all about the young guns on tour who instead of showcasing traditional on-rail surfing, decided to take to the air for some high flying antics that left the older guys stunned in their tracks. The approach of the young guns also got the attention of the crowd, who were some of the loudest fans I have ever witnessed. I do have to admit that I felt rather sorry for some of the WCT tour veterans who were knocked off the circuit after years aboard-this contest being the mid year cutoff-and hopefully they can claw their way back soon. But, with the direction I'm seeing surfing headed I wouldn't hold my breath anytime soon. In the end, the contest finished up four days early due to the excellent swell and the organizers not needing to use the remaining days in the waiting period. That was bittersweet as this contest will surely be one that will be heavily talked about up until it comes back next year, and, hopefully the fans don't riot if there's no hurricane swell in the water. It seriously was one of the best weeks ever and not only was there insane surfing, but there were also tons of events going down in the city like the Art of Flight premiere and the Monster Children party which we will bring you shortly. In the meantime, please enjoy these photos. And, oh, by the way, did we mention that young buck Owen Wright ended up taking out Kelly Slater for the $300,000 first place prize? See, we told you the young-ins are coming up! Check out the official event highlights video below.