HONOLULU (KHON2) - Honolulu's Ezekiel Lau won the Vans World Cup of Surfing on Thursday; his first victory since winning the HIC Pro in 2017.
Lau is now a two-time Vans World Cup of Surfing winner, having first won the event in 2013. He now has seven career QS victories.
Surfers weathered heavy waves throughout the competition. Lau said he was starting to cramp at the end of his final heat. The 25-year-old would go on to win with a 12.66 final score.
"To have the opportunity to go out there and represent, it's what I live for," said Lau. "It's why I like to compete at home and do good at home. I kind of put a lot of pressure on myself to do good just because of that, but it's good pressure. Coming on the beach and all my friends are there, my family are there to greet me. The support is just amazing."
The Vans World Cup is a World Surf League qualifying series event and the second leg of the Vans Triple Crown, which consists of events that all take place on Oahu's North Shore.
Up next, Lau will compete in the Billabong Pipeline Masters, which runs from Dec. 8 through 20. It is the third Triple Crown event and the final competition on the World Surf League Championship Tour.
Lau is now in contention to win the Triple Crown. He is in third place heading into Pipeline.
"I'm just going to have fun," said Lau. "All the pressure's off. For me to be in contention for the Triple Crown is really exciting. It's something that I've looked forward to doing my whole life. I can't wait. I'm the most excited I've been for the Pipeline Masters, ever."
The Pipeline Masters would be Lau's first ever Championship Tour win.