Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, USA — June 4, 2012
Kicking off the Triple-S Invitational competition on Sunday, riders hit the water in the late afternoon yesterday as the wind came up.

During the 11 a.m. rider’s meeting at REAL Watersports’ four-acre waterfront compound, competitors drew placement in one of two heats. The three disciplines — Surf, Slicks and Sliders — will all feature alternating hour-long heats between the Black and White Heats throughout the week.

The Black Heat includes 16 riders: Billy Parker, Brandon Scheid, Brian Smith, Eric Rienstra, Evan Netsch, James Boulding, Joby Cook, Joe Ruscito, Josh Mulcoy, Niccolo Porcella, Rich Sabo, Sam Bell and Sam Medysky — plus female riders Kris Kinn, Paula Rosales, and Susi Mai.

The White Heat includes 17 riders: Alex Pastor, Teddy Lyons, Andre Phillip, Chris Burke, Craig Cunningham, Davey Blair, Jake Kelsick, Jason Slezak, Mark Miedama, Rick Jensen, Sam Light and Tom Court — plus female riders Colleen Carroll, Claire Lutz, Gisela Pulido, Lulu Vroman, and Sensi Graves.

Following the heat draw and a relaxing morning at REAL, where The Wilders played a live set, riders pumped up and organizers towed the five-piece, start-of-the-art slider park out into The Slick.

Between 4 and 7 p.m., competitors christened the freshly made obstacles in a frenzy of next-level, rail-riding madness, while spectators gathered at the end of the pier to watch up close. Faced with challenging up-and-down wind conditions, riders rose to the occasion, laying down some serious and stylish moves until the wind totally fizzled out. Rail hits ranged from backside boardslides to the super technical, involving 270’s on, locked-in low-stanced presses, rewinds, 270’s off, a high degree of individual style and a lot more.

Five days of the world’s best Surf, Slick and Slider riding remain.

The 2012 Triple-S Invitational is supported by REAL Watersports, John Wayne Cancer Foundation, Outer Beaches Realty, Stance, SBC, Liquid Force, Slingshot, Best Kiteboarding, BWS, Naish, Dakine, Arnette, Skullcandy, Rebootizer, Red Bull, Soloshot, Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, Watermen’s Retreat, MOJOs Sunset Cafe.

And a special thanks to the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau for sponsoring the 2012 Triple-S Session Reports.

Words: Brian Wheeler, Photos: Bryan Elkus