Oh what a year 2013 was for the ASP World Tour! So much drama! So much action! Now that the season has concluded, lets relive the ten most entertaining heats of the year.
Quiksilver Pro Snapper Final: Kelly Slater (18.56) def. Joel Parkinson (17.47)
[Final begins at 1:11]
The first contest of the year ended with a bang as Slater, still feeling the pain from narrowly missing out on a possible 12th World Title to Parko only three months prior, edged out the crowd favorite in absolutely pumping Snapper Rocks conditions. If you had to sum up Parko’s year in one wave, it was in this heat when Slater utilized priority on a wave that would have likely given him the score he needed, leaving him in Slater’s spray. A good ol’ fashion flipping of the bird ensued. It sure wasn’t No. 12 for The Champ, but how’s that for payback?
Billabong Rio Pro Semifinal: Adriano de Souza (17.64) def. Gabriel Medina (17.5)
With national pride on the line, these two Brazilians faced off in wedgey Rio peaks that perfectly suited their strengths. Between the 22 waves ridden, an illegal use of the jet ski assist by Medina, and a last-second backside air-reverse that left the judges split, this heat made up for an otherwise lackluster event.
Volcom Fiji Pro Quarterfinal No.2: Kelly Slater (20.00) def. Sebastian Zietz (4.10)
Poor Seabass didn’t stand a chance. Slater opened with a perfect 10, then with about half the heat left, he dropped another one. Complete, utter domination in some of the best (and sketchiest) surf of the entire season. Perhaps evidence of Slater’s voodoo magic at Cloudbreak, Seabass had a chance to take off on Slater’s second perfect 10, but opted not to thinking that he was too deep. We imagine the hoots and hollers he heard from the channel still haunt him.
Volcom Fiji Pro Final: Kelly Slater (19.80) def. Mick Fanning (15.87)
[Final begins at 2:36]
Fanning kicked things off with a modest 9.20, leaving everyone thinking Slater may have peaked too soon. Clearly, Slater felt our doubt; on the next wave he pulled into what would have been a 15 out of 10 had he not been guillotined by the lip following a “with-arms-wide-open” claim in the monster-truck sized barrel. Eventually Slater dropped a 9.80 and, yes another, perfect 10, comboing Fanning, who, mind you, had a 9.20 in his scoreline.
Oakley Pro Bali Round 1, Heat 12: John John Florence (19.87) def. Sebastian Zietz (19.37) def. Miguel Pupo (13.60)
Somehow the last heat of a long day at Keramas in a no-losers round has ended up on the best of the year list. That somehow is John John’s “uber-oop,” an air so big it left Miguel Pupo white in the face. With time winding down, John John needed a 9.50 to take the lead from Seabass. The wave starts with an awkward takeoff and ends with what has been dubbed the biggest air ever pulled in competition. The instant claim shows that John John even surprised himself by pulling it.
Oakley Pro Bali Round 4, Heat 2: Josh Kerr (19.87) def. Kelly Slater (18.60) def. John John Florence (17.10)
This heat alone is proof enough that Keramas belongs on the World Tour. With six scores over 9 points, including a perfect 10 from Josh Kerr with less than a minute remaining, this was the perfect mix of star power, upset, and surf porn.
Oakley Pro Bali Round 5, Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (20.00) def. John John Florence (19.20)
After the first two exchanges, Parko had two rides over 9 points and John John had a near-perfect 9.73 and an 8.33. What happened next, no one could have foreseen. John John takes off on the first wave of the set, powers his way through the chandelier section at the end of a super-deep barrel, straight into two solid turns, and surfaces to the sight of Parko soul-arching out of what we thought was the wave of the day. The judges throw John John a 9.47 and Parko a perfect 10, bunching themselves up against a tight ceiling with no where to go. On the very next wave, Parko glides into a significantly better barrel, leaving the judges with no option but to throw another perfect 10.
Billabong Pro Tahiti Final: Ace Buchan (18.94) def. Kelly Slater (17.90)
[Final starts at 8:00]
Ace Buchan looked like a man possessed during this contest, posting no less than two nines in each heat from the Quarters on. The drop alone on his opening ride, a 9.67, was deserving of some sort of award. This heat was marred by some controversy when the judges made a questionable priority non-call. Regardless, both Ace and Kelly surfed like mad men over one of the most dangerous reefs in the world, leaving us, the fans, all winners.
Billabong Pipe Masters Quarter No.1: Mick Fanning (17.03) def. Yadin Nicol (16.9)
Life, limb, a World Tour career, and a World Title were all on the line for this one. Fanning, ever the pragmatist, knew he needed a semifinal finish to clinch his third World Title, especially given Slater’s aptitude in the death-defying pits at Pipeline. Yadin needed to win the entire contest to save his World Tour career. With time winding down, Fanning, needing a 9.57, drops in on a second-reef bomb, draws out his bottom turn, pulls in right as the wave hits first reef and gets a World Title-winning, 9.77 barrel. Every single person watching on the beach (except Slater) erupted when Fanning came out of the barrel. It was a moment of pure ecstasy and controversy that may have left the judges with a bit of a score hangover. It certainly left Fanning with a real hangover the next day.
Billabong Pipe Masters Semifinal No.1: John John Florence (18.30) def. Mick Fanning (4.76)
[Semifinal begins at 3:53]
This was a complete one-sided blow out that for most was overshadowed by Mick Fanning already clinching the World Title. For everyone else, we saw the face of the next generation put on a clinic at his homebreak. John John opened with a 9.20 for a barrel to backside blowtail reverse. Yes, a backside blowtail reverse in solid surf on a Pipe gun over about two feet of water. His next wave was a 9.10 that solidified his first Pipe Masters Final berth and his second Triple Crown Title, setting up a dream Final between him and Kelly Slater.