For Chapman, from North Narrabeen in Sydney, this is only his third time surfing on the North Shore of Oahu, and his first year competing in the Vans Triple Crown. But with legendary Australian surfer/shaper Simon Anderson on his team, making his equipment for the winter, he has an inside line on how to harness the Hawaiian power and turn it into results. Chapman reached the round of 32 at the Reef Hawaiian Pro last week and is now in the running for the JN Chevrolet Vans Triple Crown Rookie of the Year award.

"I had a good little sit down with (Simon) about a month before I came over," said Chapman. "We worked out some good boards and he just sort of gave me the run down on what made him so successful here.

"This is only my third time to the North Shore, so I'm just having a lot of fun, trying to feel out the waves. (Hawaii) kind of suits my surfing, so hopefully that works out for me over the years. It's just good to get a few heats under my belt in my first year.

"I'm siting in number 69 (ranking) after the last event which, considering I've only done half the year on the prime events, I'm really pleased with. I started with the smaller events and got a few really good results and built my way up. I'm competing with all the big guys. It's definitely a change but it's cool, you get to learn in every single heat. It's the lifestyle that I want to live, so I've got to give it my best shot and try to win heats."

Waves are expected to drop from today's 6-8 foot swell tomorrow, then rise again for serious surf in the large- to extra-large category on Friday. Please stay tuned to vanstriplecrownofsurfing.com to follow the competition.

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