Fantastic Four Shine at the Hurley Pro

| posted on September 17, 2010

Mick Fanning is the 2-time World Champ, he’s also copped the most shit for his surfing since Damien Hardman was a 2-Time World Champ. But if you’ve never seen Mick surf in person you should, because nobody on tour combines speed, power, and precision as well. What he was doing today was beyond what Dusty was capable of in Round 3, and the scores reflected the difference with Dusty leaving the water needing a combination of scores. Mick even finished one ride with a smooth alley-oop—hopefully a sign of things to come as he heads towards a potential world-title-factoring-clash with Kelly Salter. In that heat Mick will be pushed to higher limits than were necessary to win his last two world titles.

As the heats went along there were moments of excitement and excellent surfing, but when Kelly Slater stood up on his first wave the opening power carve brought the crowd to its feet for the very first time. With every set getting bigger through the event and losses by power surfers Andy Irons and Taylor Knox, Kelly will be the best surfer in the Hurley Pro tomorrow, provided the surfing stays on the wave face, which it wont.

Today, the best surfing was performed above-the-lip. First-up Jordy Smith showed how wave size or quality means nothing to him. When you can catch an inside wedge and perform back-to-back impossible maneuvers for a 9.67, you deserve to wear the jersey with the big number 1 on it. And it looks as if he’s not planning on giving it up without a fight.

Jordy . Photo: Van Swae

Jordy Smith working hard to keep possession of that number one jersey. Photo: Van Swae

As impressive as Mick, Kelly, and Jordy were this morning, what Dane was able to do in 30 minutes was game-changing. Even with hundred yard walls offering countless turns, it took only one unbelievably massive air by Dane to score a 9.33 (I would’ve given him a 10). He followed that up with an out-the-back 360 nose-pick to searing carve into a wipeout for a 9.17. And just like that Dane’s three moves accounted for the highest heat total of the event so far. Dangerous Dane will prove almost impossible to beat if he can stay on his board long enough to complete a few rides per heat.

Dane Reynolds' slob air may have been the biggest one ever pulled in competition. Photo; Van Swae

"I don't normally pull airs like that," said Dane Reynolds on his giant slob. Photo: Van Swae

The final surfer in the Fantastic Four to surf today was Taj Burrow. He’s always a threat in any conditions, and at perfect Lowers he surfs without hesitation. Today, he put up multiple excellent scores with his trademark speed and flair. When he gets put to the test further into the comp, we all know he can match anyone in the world.

The day finished with the new Round 4 in the best surf of the year. The performance level was unthinkable. But with nobody really losing, the drama just wasn’t there. I’m going surfing now and will be back at 8am tomorrow when a potentially historic day of competition kicks off.

  • Mik

    After Dane busted that massive air, the rest of the top ten looked robotic, even though they were all doing incredibly polished vertical wave attacks and full power round-houses. They all looked very much in the same league, except for Dane and Jordy. AND Jadson, a brilliant Brazilian who was grossly underscored for being a non-white professional surfer. Seriously. If any of the other top ten surfers had done the air reverse that Jadsen pulled, they would have won that heat. That is fucked up. Racism is a crippling mental disease, and the WTC Judges are an embarrassment to professional surfing, globally. Just sayin. They’ve done it before. Many times. The Brazillians should file a complaint.

  • http://Didin´tmentioncontroversialJadson´slowscoredaerials Fernando

    Dear Shea,

    I read some of your articles before and I am surprised that you missed to mention the most controversial point of this contest.

    Jadson´s low scored high risk maneuvers: a 4.6 for a huge aerial in a completely ridden wave??? Despite the ASP to define high risk maneuvers as a judging criteria?

    Let´s take a look at a few points:

    1) his aerial reverses seem too easy and repetiitve and deserve to be underscored: really??? So what to say of Kelly´s body english or Faning´s flashing moves? Don´t they make thing look easy? Dont they do it over and over? You were a professional surfer, so you know how difficult it is to do such moves and how much confident you have to be to do that.

    2) If D.Hobgood had made such huge aerial reverse would he get a 4,6?????? Please, be honest

    3) If Jadson isn´t surfing following the new criteria, so what?????

    4) It was so boring to watch D.Hobgood surfing so slowly ( ok, call it classic)

    5) If someone reading this , thinks i am wrong, please read the judging criteria in the ASP site.

    Best Regards.

  • bobbo


    What Controversy?

    The ASP is simply stating that they would rather see a good looking Calfornian,Aussie or maybe a non threatening Hawaiian throwin down those airs and not a Brazzo.

    Even if this 1 trick pony did decide to mix in a different air, he would probably soon be underscored as well. Guess that is just the way it is when the big $ wants what it wants.

  • RH

    Give it a rest, guys. They’d also rather see a good looking Brazilian (as in good looking on the wave) do a better looking version of those airs. Jadson’s style isn’t any worse, and often not as bad, as Owen Wright’s… but just because they don’t manage to penalize Owen for it does not mean it’s wrong to penalize Jadson. I would score that huge air (that he didn’t come close to riding out of) of Bede’s in the final much higher than any of the reverses Jadson pulled, had Bede made it… and I’m not normally a fan of Bede’s style. And Dane and Jordy showed how to make reverses radically technical and score . It was much more of a tragedy that Matt Wilkinson couldn’t get any scores out of the judges for his backside surfing against Taj. When Jadson starts really going off, and with style, (and I think he will), instead crutch resorting, he will get rewarded.

  • RH

    “instead of crutch resorting”, that is.

  • Fernando

    Mr RH,

    please read the ASP Judgment criteria in the ASP website before posting your comments.

    I don want sound unrespectful, but if they defined a new criteria, why they follow it for some and not for ohers???

    Do you understand that this inconsistency may ruin someone’s career???

    How many hours of practice do you need to get those air reverses that easily?

    Scoring old classic surfing and underscoring high risk maneuvers is the OPPOSITE of what is written in the ASP 2010 criteria.

    No other ASP surfer manages to do it like Jadson does and he connects it with other moves, what follows exactly the criteria.

    So you accept judges simply mistake, and it is ok? (but just because they don’t manage to penalize Owen for it does not mean it’s wrong to penalize Jadson.)

    This is not a serious game nor a serious circuit, obviously.

    Once again, i don mean to be unrespectful.but we have to compare surfing with other sports and we are far from a real professional criteria.

    Best regards.

  • SUPerior being


    jadson’s syle is ugly and lacks power. flapping down the line to set up the air reverse over and over is redundant. kid needs to put some meat on his bones and mix it up a bit with some power and flow, then he will be scored at the same level as dane jordy kelly mick et al

  • SUPerior being

    fernando, I meant.

  • mick

    agree with you both…

  • Gooey!

    someone Bronze statue that freeze-frame of Kelly I clicked on to get here. whata pic!

  • peak firstly

    Scoring overall is WAY too iffy on the tour. It’s sad to say as this should be our Formula One, US Open (tennis), World Cup level of accuracy in being able how to judge who’s “the Best” on a given day, contest, etc.
    I thought Dane and Kohele were a lot closer than the scored waves showed. I guess the old idea of “light weight” vs “adult size” could be a new handicap for judging rides?
    Then again, WHY have a Pro Tour if surfing is such an individual’s own perspective of how to do it right??? I guess that makes it more of an free market and thus one can sell ideas, brands and such to the masses and you then can “know” how one feels about surf, surfers, etc based on what posse’s label you’re buying. YEA, compartmentalize us all!!!!!