2017 Nelscott Reef Pro-Am Competitors Announced!

10 Barrel Brewing’s 2017 Nelscott Reef Pro Am

Holding Period Opens October 15th 2017

LINCOLN CITY, Oregon, September 25th, 2017, The premier big wave event at Nelscott Reef returns for the 2017/2018 big wave season as a Pro/Am event, presented by 10 Barrel Brewing. The Nelscott Pro/Am will bring some of the best big wave surfers from around the world, along with local big names in the field to compete in a single day’s competition.

Organizers are excited about this year, as the event has once again opened the invite list to include amateurs as well as professionals. After an overwhelming response to an initial call for interest, organizers, Adam Wagner and Gabe Smith decided to open the field to both. “I was a little surprised how many people wanted to be included this year. I knew it was going to be a good event this year, but we doubled the amount of interest from last year in just the first 24 hours of making the announcement. We are super excited with the diversity of the invite list”, said Gabe Smith.

Nelscott Reef was also the first big wave event to include women, which helped pave the way for other big wave events to open their doors as well, including the World Surf League’s Big Wave Tour. The women will be invited back for the third time to compete at Nelscott Reef for 2017.

“We are announcing the main invite list now for both the men and women. Due to the unprecedented interest in the event, we have decided to try something different with the alternates for this year. 10 Barrel Brewing’s 2017 Nelscott Reef Pro Am We will be holding a random drawing for the 10 alternates during our opening ceremony, which we will announce in the next coming days. We feel this is the best way to accommodate the additional 35+ qualified surfers who expressed interest in a fair, unbiased, and competitive manner”, said Wagner. In order to run the event, organizers are looking for 30’ or higher surf, with little to no wind and good visibility. Conditions like this are rare in the Pacific Northwest and only happen on a few days of the year, sometimes for just a few hours.

The event operates on a traffic light system, waiting for the right combination of weather and swell. Event Director, Adam Wagner, explains the system. “Red light means there is no potential swell in the near future. We will move to yellow if we see a developing system in the Pacific that looks like it will produce the right conditions. Then we will go to green with 72 hours notice to athletes and sponsors.

We have a great team of forecasters, including our sponsor, Surfline, that have been running the event at Nelscott for the past 12 years and know the fickle characteristics of Oregon’s fall weather.” said Wagner. The organizers take safety of the athletes very seriously, and have brought in Eric Akiskalian from Towsurfer.com to help lead the team. Eric brings 15 years of experience at Nelscott Reef and knows all of the unique and logistical challenges to this spot better than anyone.

“One of the biggest challenges we have is simply getting everyone out to the reef in a timely and safe manner. On big days, you just can’t paddle out thru the pounding beach break. You need a PWC assist, and even then, it takes a lot of jockeying around on a ski to punch through 20’ beach break.” said Akiskalian. “Once out there, we operate on a man on man basis, one ski for each surfer in the water. We have some of the best watermen in the world operating the skis, while constantly focusing on risk management and keeping everyone safe throughout the event.”

Nelscott Reef is the best big wave break in the Pacific Northwest, and its unique location 1/2 mile off the coast, makes it one of the most accessible. Athletes launch right from the beach and spectators can watch from the beach or on top of the cliffs in Lincoln City. For 10 Barrel Brewing’s 2017 Nelscott Reef Pro-Am those that can’t make it to Lincoln City on the day of the event, the team will be providing a live webcast.

We are thankful to each of our sponsors, as they make this event possible. This years sponsors include;

2017/18 Invite list includes Oregon crew, past years winners, and International competitors


Adam Wagner

COVER PHOTO:  Richard Hallman

History Of Nelscott Reef