The new Kai Otton takes the trophy and pushes the World Title conversation to Pipeline
Today, it was Kai who had the coolest head. This was the feel-good win of the season, and it consigned the world title to the back pages.
Julian Wilson throws an oop for the ages, and Mick Fanning is a heat closer to the 2013 World Title
Two champions might be crowned, and a contest that has been characterized for marginal surf might just have one last surprise left for us.
Notes from the competitor's area in Portugal, where Kelly Slater fell in Round 2
“Kelly only needs a four,” Damien Hardman offers, almost in hope of him finding it. I remind Dooma that last year in the corresponding heat Kelly only needed a three…a three he never found. Hardman is the contest director here in Portugal and lives up to his name when push comes to shove and his […]
The World Title race boils over in Round 1 at Supertubes
Cabbage is not a sexy vegetable, nor will this be a sexy surf contest, and there’s something very right about that. Peniche is not Trestles nor Rio. It’s unfashionable and rustic and there could be no more fitting location to play out a world title that needs to be hard earned.
The Billabong Pro champ reflects on his run through the final rounds at Teahupoo
Ace, that drop on your first wave in the Final. Was it won then and there? Maybe. I just wanted to leave it late, cause I wanted to get really deep. For a split second there I thought I’d left to too late and I was just freefalling, but luckily my fins caught and I […]
Perfect rides abound at Teahupoo for the second day of competition
Before we start cataloguing the other side of the ledger, let’s itemize the things that weren’t perfect about today. The Teahupoo school boat—there’s no road fit for a school bus here—was running five minutes late this morning (and no one seemed to care). At 11:37 a.m., the wind shifted from totally breathless to one knot onshore from the south (and stopped three minutes later). My coffee this morning could have been a little warmer. But apart from these and a litany of grievous First World problems (how long you got?) this was about as good a day as any surf fan was going to get.
Ian and Anthony Walsh take down top seeds in the opening rounds at Teahupoo
If the first round went to script, the handful of Round 2 heats that ran this afternoon deviated wildly. Walsh & Walsh sound more like lawyers or undertakers than mercenary surfers, and when Ian and Anthony Walsh paddled out for their sudden death heats this afternoon against their respective high-seed opponents—Taj Burrow and Nat Young—few gave them a sniff.
The unlikely story behind ZoSea's ASP World Tours
The pro surfing tour has just changed hands for the first time in three decades, been signed away for a song, and while the outgoing owners haven’t yet cleaned out their desks, the new owners haven’t moved in either. The whole show’s in limbo, and at this historic juncture everything and nothing is happening simultaneously. It’s been termed a “bridging year,” but a bridge to where exactly, no one is sure.
Kelly and John John fall in Round 5 as the swell builds into the final day at Keramas
Well, the PA was certainly working this morning. Yesterday’s silent debacle was long forgotten as today Adi had his shit together. The dawn serenity at Keramas was being exsanguinated by the guitar solo from Metallica’s “One”, sawing the heads of all present at 110dB. It also seemed to be flattening the surf, a pure heavy metal offshore, as the 6-foot sets of twilight yesterday were replaced this morning by weak, chest-high peelers. We sat and watched Mick Fanning surf it for half an hour with meager returns, and what had been forecast and billed as a certain day of quality surf seemed to be a complete and utter hoax. With only 12 guys left in the event, there seemed little chance they’d be thrown out there in waves best described as “cute.” CJ Hobgood, who’d just shown up, was a little more optimistic. “It’ll do its thing,” he drawled, waving a dismissive hand at the lineup. “Just wait.”
A powerful new swell carries Round 3 to completion in Bali
We’d rolled through the rice paddies just as the crown of Agung was being outlined against the dawn. The swell we’d waited patiently for had finally filled in overnight, the morning was breathless and sweet, and Keramas was suddenly right there in front of us, firing, as good as most of us have ever seen it. It was barreling from up there to down there and after four laydays the decision to surf heats today was a fait accompli.