Article

Quiksilver Pro New York, Day 1

We're up and running in New York

| posted on September 06, 2011

CJ Hobgood sneaked through a tough heat to keep his world tour career alive. Photo: Ellis

“Well, we’re surfing in New York…”

Those were the first words uttered to me on the windswept sand this morning after a delayed red-eye flight, and an hour long wait for a Taxi at JFK. To be honest, it was an underwhelming scene, especially considering the forecasted swell. Then again, it’s Day 3 of the window period, it’s New York, and it was very contestable, so a realist would say that the Quiksilver Pro New York is off to a flying start.

Truth be told, the surfing was incredible despite the conditions, especially from Josh Kerr who is increasingly showing that he is one of the few surfers capable of challenging Slater for this year’s world title. He proved it last week in macking Tahiti and again today where he posted 4 of the top 6 wave scores of the first round. Witnessing his aerial shootout with Adriano de Souza today made the trip out to NYC worthwhile—and the swell hasn’t even arrived yet.

Earlier, CJ Hobgood kept his world tour dreams alive by advancing in the final seconds of his heat. Hobgood, who needs a 5th place finish here to ensure a top 32 ranking ahead of the “shuffle” will bypass the second round and live to fight another day.

Kelly Slater breezed past wildcard Balaram Stack and Daniel Ross in his opening heat. The Quiksilver Pro, New York—complete with thousands of surf-starved fans and tons of media attention—is precisely the sort of platform that brings out the best in Slater. And after back-to-back victories in Huntington and Teahupoo, only a fool would bet against him to take the win at this event too.

On the opposite end of the competitive spectrum, Dane Reynolds pulled out of the event mid-way through Round 1 and single-handedly ruined my Fantasy Surfer team. But he did grace the commentary booth for a brief stint with Snowboard pro Todd Richards.

And finally, a note on the commentary: Todd Richards is great as a guest commentator, but when you have knowledgeable personalities traipsing the contest site—surfers that have competed at an elite level and understand the nuances of professional surfing—it couldn’t hurt to pull them into the booth to anchor the broadcast and lend an air of credibility to the afternoon’s proceedings. This is, after all, a professional surfing event. And an important one at that.

Organizers will reconvene tomorrow to make a call on Round 2. With the swell forecast looking favorable for the rest of the week, an epic event could be in the books by Saturday.

Josh Kerr put on the performance of the day to defeat Adriano de Souza and Kai Otton in Round 1. Photo: Ellis

Julian Wilson navigated the higher tide and looked sharp on his way to to Round 3. Photo: Ellis

Joel Parkinson used the biggest wave of the heat to advance ahead of Brett Simpson and Travis Logie. Photo: Ellis

Small, clean conditions could turn epic later in the week when the swell is forecasted to hit. Photo Ellis

  • Dewey

    “surfers that have competed at an elite level and understand the nuances of professional surfing—it couldn’t hurt to pull them into the booth to anchor the broadcast and lend an air of credibility to the afternoon’s proceedings. This is, after all, a professional surfing event. And an important one at that. ”

    It is important which is why there should be professional announcers rather then the usual bro system that seems to be most prevalent. I can think of a few retired pro surfers who would fit the bill and do well with some training, but they are not getting used since the sponsors of every contest want their own guys in the booth and also making heats in the contest.

  • Mike

    AR for one…first time out of the gate at Chopes. Play by play was good, he knew when to shut it. Coherent, and funnier than s…! Plus he could still paddle out and win a heat. Announcer 1, any takers?!?

  • Michael

    Dane ruined my FS team also…. don’t know why I dropped parko for him, I think we all thought he would compete for Quik and that photo of him landing in new york on marinelayer was misleading. Who knows? maybe he really didn’t know he wasn’t competing until his heat was up (doubtful)

    I’ll quit my bitching, after all they are surfing and I’m landlocked at school checking heat scores.

  • craig clark

    Should have held it in Delray bch fl. last weekend WAS EPIC BEST IN TEN YEARS PALM BCH TO DEERFIELD BCH AWSOME CAN`T WAIT TILL MARIA ? Hope to see it again see ya in delray : }