As a surf fan, I am extremely disappointed with the conditions in Portugal. What was hyped as the swell of the century has only given us two rounds of heats at Supertubos, in conditions that look like an average day on the Outer Banks. Oh well, that’s what happens when you buy into the hype and get your hopes up. Thankfully, the Top 34 adjusted their own expectations and put on a great show in Rounds 1 and 2.
It was frustrating to watch Andy Irons suffer through a restart and then lose by .37 at the buzzer after a pitiful heat for waves. I can only imagine how he feels after his third terrible result in a row after winning in Tahiti. That high has to be fading by now. Another surfer that has mirrored AI’s poor run is Adriano de Souza. His heat today was a simple case of getting out-surfed by Dean Morrison. Dingo got called back up to the World Tour as a replacement surfer for this event, and while he’s the low seed, he is more than capable of beating anyone on Tour. On a positive note, Bobby Martinez, who has struggled harder than anybody on Tour since leaving Australia, found himself in position (and ripping) on every good wave during his Round 1 heat. Sometimes having the waves come to you is all that’s required to get you back on a roll.
An example of this is Travis Logie, who currently sits in last place in the World Tour ratings. Today, one epic tube ride was enough for to dispatch Dane Reynolds. Now Dane, the surfer the webcaster called “The Messiah” before his heat, can finally breathe again since he’s no longer feeling the pressure of a word-title run. Dane is the best surfer in the world (for proof, watch the heats-on-demand to see the ridiculous tail-blow aerial thing he pulled off), however, the combination of the way he surfs and his preparation for competition may never see him become the best contest surfer in the world—which is a title he may not even care for anyway.
When the day was called at the completion of Round 2, I was left with a much better feeling than I had at the start of Round 1. Not because of the surf on offer (it only got worse through the day) but because of a few great tube rides, some big wins by the top seeds, and some even bigger wins by a few low seeds. And with only two events left after this one, it’s the low seeds that will be fighting for WT careers, one heat at a time.