The Nike 6.0 Lowers final on Saturday was the first time most of the surf world has seen Ben Bourgeois in quite some time. As promised, I've got an update on what he's been up to this year.
Benny B quietly walked away from the tour, and has been kind off of the map and off the radar these last few months but not off his game. Rather than me tell you what the man has going down or what new stamps he has on his passport here's this update that Ben wrote exclusively for ESPN Surfing:
The last few months have been some of the best times of my life. I have just been keeping an eye on swells and getting some good surf. I want to keep it going and get more good waves now. I'm fired up." CLICK BELOW TO READ MORE »
"Last year, I realized the tour wasn't what I wanted to do. It was insane to surf with the best guys in the world and to be around that level of talent, but I wasn't getting enough waves to keep myself satisfied. Since January, I've already done three trips to the Caribbean, two trips to Central America, Australia, and Micronesia.
"There was one point where Jessie Hines and I surfed a new wave in the Caribbean that was insane just he and I in the water for three days straight. I couldn't believe it. That trip went into my top three of all time. Then, as soon as I landed in Florida from that trip, I got a call from the guys at Reef to go down to Micronesia for a really good swell. I jumped on the plane that next morning and flew all the way to P-Pass. We scored two days of amazing right barrels. That has to be one of the best rights in the world!
"The whole thing really hit me when both The Caribbean trip and Micronesia were during the Oz leg of the tour. I was thinking about that the whole time. A year earlier, I was battling for a wave at Winki Pop with 60 guys! But on both of those trips, there was nowhere I would have rather been!
Check out Benny B in Costa, compliments of Travis Deitz at Black Coffee Visuals.
"There haven't been any major changes or crossroads in my life at all. I'm traveling just as much, if not more, then when I was on tour. For now, I'm just focusing on free surfing and going on as many trips as possible for my sponsors and the mags. I have a few other things in the works for down the road, but for now surfing good waves is on the top of my list."
Catch Benny B at the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro this week, as he defends his title. Though the top tier of competitive surfing may be checked off his 'To Do' list for good, don't be surprised if the Wonder of Wrightsville breaks a few hearts this year.