We caught up with Volcom's Troy Eckert here on the Noi can rth Shore to rap about their first ASP sanctioned event and found out they picked someone who doesn't even ride for Volcom as one of their event wildcards.

After not being involved with ASP contests, what led to the decision for you guys to sponsor a 5* WQS event?

We have our two houses right there at Pipeline and after many years of developing our Hawaiian programs we felt it was the right time. The opportunity presented itself and it was too hard to pass on. We'd talked about it internally and decided that if there were ever an opportunity to get involved with the ASP it would definitely be at Pipeline. As far as the timing and everything, it just worked out perfectly and we're happy to be doing it and supporting Hawaiian surfing.

When you say "support Hawaiian surfing" what do you mean by that?

A big priority for us was to make sure we could have the local surfers involved with the contest. That was a concern with having a 5* WQS because we first thought that the main pipe guys wouldn't be able to do it due to not enough WQS points. It was great to see ASP Hawaii wanting to get all the right guys in the event as well. It's all worked out and we have a big field of Hawaiians in the event, which for us was an important thing to make happen.

Who did Volcom pick as their wildcards into the event? It must have been a tough decision.

Bruce Irons, Dean Morrison, Gavin Beschen, and Nathan Fletcher. That was one of the hardest things� picking the wildcards and figuring out whom we wanted to give the shot to.

Why did you guys pick a guy, Nathan Fletcher, who rides for another company?

Nathan is one of the most deserving Pipe guys no matter who he rides for. He has zero ASP points� yet everyone's respect� and all the boys are stoked to see him in the event. All of our main Pipe guys got voted in so he was kind of the next guy in line.

What are the main challenges to running such a big event like the Volcom Pipeline Pro?

There are plenty of challenges but the biggest thus far has been the Web cast. The effort that goes into producing that is incredible. From building the Web site, creating all the content that keeps people engaged, the graphics, commercials, etc... We're trying to step it up on our first go, so it's been a challenge.

So the top finishers get a seed into the Pipeline Masters this coming December?

Yeah the top placing guys get an invite into the Pipeline Masters where they'll be able to take on the Top 45 in their own backyard.

Is there a WCT event in Volcom's future?

At this point, no. We just want to focus on this event and make it the best one possible.

To watch the Volcom Pipeline Pro live log on to www.volcompipelinepro.com or watch it live right here on www.transworldsurf.com.

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