Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Surfing [Print without images]

Friday, August 2, 2013
Updated: August 9, 4:22 PM ET
Dane Reynolds earns Hurley Pro Wildcard

By Jon Coen

Well, it's official. Dane Reynolds is the wildcard for the 2013 Hurley Trestles Pro. And it has caused a bit of commotion in the surf world – nothing worth knocking over a porta-potty or looting a surf shop over, but some conjecture nonetheless.

The Hurley Trestles Pro starts on September 15 and is the seventh stop on the ASP World Tour.

The "trails" to decide one of two wildcard slots was a first of its kind online event where the fans got to choose their favorite surf clip. As you might imagine, this is going to come down to a popularity contest. And Dane Reynolds happens to be a pretty popular guy. He gets two keeper clips before he wakes up in the morning. But this is also the age of social networking like Friendster and MySpace (oh, wait…) 

Reynolds is possibly the most insane freesurfer on the planet and his clips spelled it out with powerful fin-free crushes, 360 no-grab airs, backside terror hacks and countless fishy slides at a Central California point. He beat Austin Ford Smith and Mason Ho in rounds one and two. In the final, he crushed Luke Davis' multi-power sweeps and a five-turn to air revo. But the backstory came when he barely beat Garden City Beach, S.C.'s Cam Richards in the semi.

Richards' semifinal submission included a frontside wave where he bashed an air reverse on his first turn, did one gouge in the pocket and ran down the line to loft a huge air-reverse. 

Of course, with the power of social media, those who throw their support behind you are a big deal in the outcome. Somehow, Cam Richards is friends with comedian Jamie Foxx and actor Jaden Smith because they both endorsed him via Twitter. 

"It's obviously been a bit of a media storm around here. This is a big break for Cam. He's been working his butt off since he was 10," said Meghan Whitney of Pawley's Island, S.C. Meghan and Jim Whitney are both photographers from the next beach town over and have been shooting Richards since he was building sand castles.

Cam Richards
Cam Richards went toe-to-toe with Dane in the semis with his powerful air reverse and his powerful social network.

A few East Coasters were chaffed that Florida native Kelly Slater threw his weight behind Quik teammate Dane Reynolds over fellow East Coaster Richards.

"I didn't really see it as a slight," said Whitney. "If Cam's name is being associated with Dane Reynolds, that can't be a bad thing. Someone commented that Dane Reynolds wasn't on Instagram until this week. Dane supposedly doesn't sweat anything and a 17-year-old kid from South Carolina made him care enough to start an account."

Joel Parkinson and Benny Bourgeois both backed Richards. They're good surfers but they weren't in "Booty Call" with Tommy Davidson.

In other news, Hurley held an actual surf contest last week at Trail Six that got little to no attention, when a group of surfers paddled out in front of live judges. Mitch Crews won the other wildcard slot.

Cam Richards will likely be at the Fosters Belmar Pro the week of the Hurley Trestles Pro where he made the finals of the Fins Pro Jr. last year and is a perennial standout -- or he'll be hanging out with his bud Jamie Foxx.