• subtitle: Knox Harris, Noah Schweizer, Bo Raynor, Kaleb Kirshenbaum, And Darsha Pigford Win Big At Volcom VQS Cooterfish Event

Written by  Jeff Myers
Thursday, 9/27/12

TURF: Volcom VQS Totally Crustaceous Cooterfish Surf Series; Hayman Street, Kill Devil Hills, NC; September 23rd, 2012.

ENERGY: There was no lack of energy for this year’s Cooterfish event, with gusty winds at sunrise, a strong current punishing all divisions with a brutal drift down yonder, and solid head-high surf. Add in some Muscle Milk on ice and free fruit-flavored caffeine sports performance chew pouches available by the dozens, and both the children and the sea were simply on fire all day long.

FIRST TIME AT FIGHT CLUB: This year’s Cooterfish event featured free entry complete with custom trophies, free lunch, and gracious goodies for all of the finalists. Not competing in the competition? No worries, as Volcom hands down provides some of the biggest swag giveaways in the game, so just about every beachgoer left the competition site with a souvenir.

But this year’s event followed Volcom’s new VQS format, with a youth focus requiring all competitors to be 20 years old or younger. Also, Veeco family members Billy Hume and Nick Rupp hosted an invite-only “Billy & Nick’s Dirty Pits” division for those above the 20-year-old age bracket, with the winner walking away with a cool $500 in cold, hard cash for the best tube, air, or butt squat. Volcom’s reason for the additional cash handout and unannounced surprise division? Because they freaking love you, that’s why.

SLIDE: With the top three finalists in each division, as well as the 1st-place winner in the beloved Squids division, receiving invites to compete in sunny California free of charge for the Volcom VQS National Championships, the competition was fierce this year. And since the Pro-Am division offers up $1,000 dollars in winner-take-all case, the top dudes and dudettes laid down a bloodbath of aerials, combos, Hail Mary floaters, precision pocket slicing, and a token barrel brought to you by eventual division winner Knox Harris.

With Knox coming off a win at the ASP 1-Star Fins Junior Pro in Belmar, NJ, and a clean sweep of the Junior Men’s and Open Shortboard divisions at ESA Easterns, he was certainly the man to beat. But Central Florida chap Chris Tucker did give Knox a very solid run for his money, surfing an incredibly close final. But it simply was not Knox’s day to be dethroned and he now has back-to-back-to-back competitive victories.

In the Juniors division, New Smyrna Beach’s young crown prince Noah Schweizer absolutely dominated right out of the gates with polished surfing well beyond his years. Noah mixed tailblows, airs, and combinations, linking all the way through from the outside to beach his final maneuvers on dry sand. Noah also pocketed the Electric Volt Thrower Award and a cool $100 bill for the event’s most progressive maneuver. All six finalists in the juniors division showed impressive surfing, but there was just no catching Schweizer from wave one.

The Groms division had their work cut out for them with the surf being well overhead on the little rascals. But all the kids charged the victory-at-sea conditions, and it was no surprise that Southern North Carolina’s Bo Raynor came out victorious as this little fella has been dominating events on the regular as of late. But the Squids may have impressed the most with a solid coed showdown going down in some pretty treacherous conditions. With a handful of assists in the first rounds by the likes of California pro Killian Garland, Volcom's very own Billy Hume, and Granger Clark to name a few, it was an awesome display of what these events are all about. North Florida’s Kaleb Kirshenbaum walked away with the 1st-place win as well as one of the coolest prizes I have ever seen awarded in a surfing competition, his very own banger remote control vehicle that pushes 60 mph on a full charge.

Meanwhile, Southern North Carolina’s Darsha Pigford dominated the girls division with a very impressive win in the challenging conditions, and as the west coast’s sole competitor, Killian Garland collected $500 in cash for the rogue invite-only “Billy & Nick’s Dirty Pits” division.

THE PAIN: Aside from sand and seashells in just about every orifice, subtle windburn, and some serious noodle arms from the very unforgiving drift and challenging victory-at-sea conditions, there really was no pain at Volcom’s Cooterfish event, but rather an environment filled with satisfaction and fulfillment from another job well done on everyone's behalf. Sure, Chris Tucker could have used the $1,000 dollars and media limelight over dear friend Knox Harris, and an opportunity to dethrone Noah Schweizer would of tasted oh so sweet for the other five Junior finalists. And I’m sure Barritt Grizzard could have gone without being beaten by his fellow Squids and girl competitor Codie Patterson. But at day’s end, everyone was awarded for a job well done.

THE MAN: A very special thanks to Daniel Terry for always being the man and dedicating his patience, love, and support to these events, truly making them what a surf competition should be all about. Without Daniel and the good folks at Volcom, our communities would not be able to participate in these incredible events. Also, a very special thanks to our sponsors: Muscle Milk, Electric Visual, Transworld Surf, Kicker, Chipotle, Globe Shoes, GoPro, Team Associated, Riviera Skateboards, Famous Wax, Clif Bar, Speck Products, Future Fins, and Buell Wetsuits.

YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB: “This was a very nice event. There were plenty of waves and I was fortunate enough to find a few little shoulders.” –Junior champion Noah Schweizer

“The Volcom contest was a fun one as always. The waves weren’t too great, but I had a close final with Chris Tucker and luckily found some good waves at the end of the heat. Volcom put on another sick event and gave us some great opportunities. Plus, I love Muscle Milk!” –Pro-Am winner Knox Harris on continuing his fall 2012 winning streak



1. Knox Harris $1,000

2. Chris Tucker

3. Pat Schmidt

4. Conner Lester

5. Brad Flora

6. Jesse Gugliemana


1. Noah Schweizer

2. Brandon Mitchell

3. Jake Raynor

4. Addison Miles

5. Tyler Faulkner

6. Cam Richards


1. Bo Raynor

2. Simon Hetrick

3. Nash Conner

4. Nohea Futrell

5. Ethan Oliviri

6. Noah Conner

1. Kaleb Kirschenbaum

2. Codie Patterson

3. Barritt Grizzard

4. Madeline Eckel

5. Matty Miller

6. Lagan Grizzard


1. Darsha Pigford

2. Jessica Kwiecinski

3. Kat Neff

4. Casey Kwiecinski

5. Carley Carter

6. Julia Eckel


Noah Schweizer, $100



Killian Garland, $500



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