Article

Randy Rarick Talks ASP

The Triple Crown frontman discusses the ASP's new deal

| posted on May 13, 2014
Kalani Chapman Photo: Ellis

With only two wildcards up for grabs now for the Pipe Masters, the ASP’s partnership with the Triple Crown will primarily effect the seeding of local Pipe specialists like Kalani Chapman. Photo: Ellis

Following the recent news that the ASP had acquired the Triple Crown, we spoke with the event’s founder Randy Rarick about what this deal means and what changes we can expect moving forward.

Can you break down what this new ASP acquisition will mean for the Triple Crown?

Sure. The ASP, as you know, is consolidating their presence across the board. They’ve brought the Big Wave Tour, the XXL Awards, and some other things under their umbrella. Recently, they approached Vans about taking over the licensing of the Triple Crown. It’d been in the works for about four months, but we just finalized the deal. Vans is still the title sponsor, but the license will now belong to the ASP.

What changes can we expect to see?

The ASP is pretty much gonna be running the show now. They’re taking over production and the prize money. All that stuff. Our Triple Crown crew over here will continue what we’re doing, but the ASP is going to enhance our capabilities. So it’ll mean more money and a higher quality webcast. The original event sponsors (Reef with Haleiwa, Vans with Sunset, and Billabong with Pipe Masters) will all remain in place. But they’re going to go ahead and market the Triple Crown as a whole more and bring in more advertisers and sponsors. Almost every one of our existing sponsors has signed back on, so it’ll essentially be enhancing what we’ve already done.

How long is the license?

We’re on a year-to-year deal right now. But the idea is that we expect to be with them for the next five years.

How much did the acquisition cost?

Unfortunately I can’t comment on that. It’s proprietary.

Can you walk me through the changes for the Pipe Trials event?

First, the ASP made it super clear to us that Hawaii had to fall under the same rules as everyone else. That basically means that the format for wildcards had to change. In the past four years, we’ve had eight local guys qualify for the Pipe Masters. The ASP has made it clear that all of the events had to be unison. So just two wildcards. So just two wildcards for every event. That’s it. So we had to figure out the best way to get the best solution for Hawaiian surfers. That’s where the idea for the Pipe Trials event came in. We wanted to get the maximum amount of guys in the spotlight to get a spot in the Pipe Masters. We told them that we needed to get $100,000 prize purse. The ASP, at first, wasn’t too keen on that. You don’t normally see a trials event with a $100,000 prize purse. But they saw the value of what the Pipe specialists offer and signed on.

Can you break down the prize money for the trials?

If you come in last place in your first heat, you get $2,000. The winner gets $10,000. Second place $8,000. The rest of the money is distributed out.

And how do you decide who gets into the trials?

It’ll be a 32-man format. At a minimum 26 Hawaiians will get into the event. The other six will come from Billabong and Vans. Four from Billabong and two from Vans. Some of those surfers could also be Hawaiians, if Billabong decides to put someone like Shane Dorian or Ian Gentil into the event.

And will the trialists who qualify for the Pipe Masters be paid the same as other World Tour surfers?

Over the last eight years we looked at the numbers, and only one or two of the trialists have made it past Round 3, where they would start getting paid. So the guys that qualified for the Pipe Masters had to go three rounds before they actually made any prize money. We wanted to change that. Now, the guys who qualify for the Pipe Masters get money right away, just for being in the contest. The fact that you had to get through three rounds to make money was wrong. In eight years, we only passed out $55,000 to the trialists in the Pipe Masters. Those two guys that get into the event should get paid from the beginning. And that’s what’s going to happen now.

Are the trials going to be run during the Pipe Masters?

Yes, the trials have to be run during the Pipe Masters event. We wanted our trialists to get as much exposure as possible. We wanted three things: more prize money, more exposure, and to get more surfers into the trials. We’re giving Hawaiians an unprecedented opportunity for them to show their stuff in front of the biggest audience we have. Inevitably, you’ll have some push back from some people who are irked about no longer having eight trialists in the event. But we think that, given the reality of the ASP’s position on only allowing two trialists into all World Tour events, this is the best thing for everybody.

How are the 26 Hawaiian surfers chosen?

It’s a combination of surfers qualifying from the Volcom Pipe Pro, the highest ranked Hawaiian QS surfers, the top ranked ASP Hawaii surfers off the local rankings, and the Triple Crown “front runners.”

Is there anything else we can expect?

We’re also doing a showcase event at Pipe for the women. We’re going to be taking the top-four finishers from the Women’s World Tour and four Hawaiian women specialists and we’re going to have an event at Pipe to highlight the women’s talent. This will be in conjunction with the men’s Pipe Masters. So there’s really a lot to look forward to all around.

  • Public Fair Use Commentary

    As a spectator to the ASP I’d like to extend a token of my appreciation for the support of competitve surfing and athletes. In the years I have had the privelege to surf and watch whether live streaming on-line or in person there has not been another tangible commidity like a live performance compared to any other arena sporting event. Randy does a bang-up job. Good luck securing the consecutive year contract paradigm with the current title [sponsprship].

  • whererusteve

    Thanks Randy for everything you have contributed to the sport, and to North Shore local’s piggybanks!

  • tony ty carson big island

    After just checking another website, they reported 32,000 viewers for the snapper rocks final, 25,000 for the margaret river final and 40,000 for the bells beach final. To quote the website- “for perpective, the global audience of the bells beach final was 1/60 of the domestic audience for the austalian open tennis final. It’s also 0.001% of the gobal surfer population as stated by the kelly slater wave company.” If these figures are correct, which they seem to be, the only thing that may keep zooatsea afloat, are the millions being given to zooatsea by Dirk ziff, the behind the scenes billionare investor. This no reflection on Randy, we know the new ASP is pretty much out of his hands.

    • Kevin

      “if these figures are correct, which they seem to be”
      They aren’t. At least one figure isn’t correct. 40 000 people = 0.001% of the global surfer population? That would mean that there are 4 billion surfers in the world.
      1% seems more accurate, maybe 0,1%.

      • tony ty carson big island

        OK 1% -or you can google –”swellnet ,the asp it on, whos watching”– and see the article and figures. Peace…

      • Audiosurfer

        he said .01%, not .001%, which makes a pretty big difference. can’t comment on the truth of the statement but wanted to point that out.

        anyways I’m interested to see how what the ASP is doing turns out. as someone who lives far from a surf scene and just wanted to see what competitive surfing is like, it’s cool to have easy access to livestreams of the events which I’d otherwise have no way to get access to.

  • http://www.shenzhenphotos.com/ middleWave

    Does this mean that the trials will run during the same 13 day waiting period as the Pipe Masters? What if there isn’t enough swell to go around for two contests…?

  • perfect 10

    pro surfing is 75% luck…who gets the best wave. Trying to make it a competitive sport with judging will always be insane.

  • Barney Haole

    Is there a shrine we can worship in honor of the Hawaiian surfers in the meantime?

  • Casey Cruciano

    ASP is correct in that Pipe should have the same format as the other 10-11 contests. That being said, I actually like the Pipe format of overlapping heats and more wildcards – I wish they could do that at every WT event.

  • Wadeinthewater

    The Triple Crown is a tour within a tour and the Pipe contest is the Indy 500 of our sport. Without Randy it never would have existed in it’s present form, many a Hawaiian pro has had a career thanks to the Triple Crown and mixing the local seeds into the Pipe contest always makes it interesting. What they came up with is totally fair, for the contest to stay legitimate it should fall under the same ASP rules as the rest of the tour. It also still creates huge opportunity for the Hawaiian surfers surfing the Triple Crown. I hope the Hawaiian pros and pipe specialists realize how many have enjoyed a professional surfing career thanks to the Triple Crown and the work Randy has done over the years.

  • terence loose

    I’m not into every move the new and “improved” ASP makes, but as a haole who cheers for Hawaiian surfers this sure seems like a good move. A few sentences stick out: “At a minimum 26 Hawaiians will get into the event.” (That’s more than before) “Yes, the trials have to be run during the Pipe Masters event. We wanted our trialists to get as much exposure as possible.” and “We told them that we needed to get $100,000 prize purse [for the trials].”
    For me, it means seeing more of my favorite Hawaiian surfers do what they do best – get barreled at Pipe. So I say it’s a win-win.

  • terence loose

    I’m not into every move the new and
    “improved” ASP makes, but as a haole who cheers for Hawaiian surfers
    this sure seems like a good move. A few sentences stick out: “At a minimum
    26 Hawaiians will get into the event.” (That’s more than before)
    “Yes, the trials have to be run during the Pipe Masters event. We wanted
    our trialists to get as much exposure as possible.” and “We told them
    that we needed to get $100,000 prize purse [for the trials].”

    For me, it means seeing more of my favorite Hawaiian surfers do what they do
    best – get barreled at Pipe. So I say it’s a win-win.