In clean four-to-six-foot waves on the Mexican coastline, American Kurtz notched the highest single-wave score - an 8.83 - with a massive frontside air to safely progress into the next round.
"There were still a lot of fun waves out there and these conditions definitely suit my surfing," Kurtz said.
"On that air, I kind of knew I had to get going because it was a long wall. I just got lucky and was able to time that one section really well. I’m psyched."
The event in Acapulco was a late addition to the ASP North America calendar and with its four-star status, it presents an excellent opportunity for younger surfers to pick up world ranking points.
The action continues on Wednesday with the remaining round of 96 heats.
Round of 96 results:
Heat 1: Michael Powell (USA) 11.36, Anthony Segura (CRI) 8.70, Bobby Okvist (USA) 5.76, Mitchell Salazar (MEX) 2.83
Heat 2: Victor Done (USA) 9.90, Keala Naihe (HAW) 9.67, Roberto Salinas (BRA) 5.77, Adrian Ortiz (VEN) 2.80
Heat 3: Colin Moran (USA) 10.37, Kevin Schultz (USA) 8.17, Aaron Cormican (USA) 5.30, Agustin Bollini (ARG) ns
Heat 4: Oliver Kurtz (USA) 14.40, Tim Reyes (USA) 11.96, Raul Medina (MEX) 5.96, Alejandro Moreda (PRI) 3.16
Round of 112 results:
Heat 1: Anthony Segura (CRI) 11.50, Roberto Salinas (MEX) 6.80, Jhonny Corzo (MEX) 3.44
Heat 2: Kevin Schultz (USA) 10.76, Raul Medina (MEX) 7.44, Miguel Losey-Cobo (MEX) 4.63
Heat 3: Sasha Donnanno (MEX) 9.60, Michael Velasco (USA) 4.70
Heat 4: David Rutherford (MEX) 6.93, Blas Bacardo (MEX) 5.23, Nahum Corzo (MEX) 4.57, Alex Munoz (MEX) 3.17
Heat 5: Morgan Faulkner (HAW) 7.30, Quetzal Estrada (MEX) 6.73, Leonardo Mendez (MEX) 4.30, Florencio Vargas (MEX) 4.03
Heat 6: Colt Ward (USA) 10.17, Aidahir Cruz (MEX) 7.44, Rainel Bravo (MEX) 5.43, Jimel Corzo (MEX) ns
Heat 7: Danny Bishko (CRI) 6.80, Cesar Petroni (MEX) 6.34, Oscar Perez (MEX) 6.33
Heat 8: Abel Setopin (MEX) 8.13, Tazahui Poo (MEX) 5.37, Sixto Mendez (MEX) 2.90