Shea Lopez's Round 1 Recap
Who says men can’t multi-task?
Just now, I simultaneously watched my grass grow, a fresh coat of paint
dry on the garage door, water boil to make some Easter eggs, and Round
1 of the Rip Curl Pro at Bells. All four events now finished for the
day and I’m left with but only a few highlights bouncing around in my
head. Actually, bouncing and hopping are very appropriate words for
this Easter weekend. Every WT surfer did so much hopping around you
would of thought Peter Rabbit was out in the water.
Amidst the confusion and slop out in the line-up a few events were
Andy Irons showed that after a couple weeks of self-realization, he can and
will be able to beat anyone, in any conditions on tour.
Dusty Payne has a deep committed bottom turn even in junk Bells. He
also won his heat coming from behind with no time left, this should be
a great confidence booster for the rookie.
Freddy P. put on display a precise backhand attack that sent Owen
Wright to the 2nd round and a possible 33rd for boy wonder.
Kelly, Taj, Mick, Joel, and Adriano (in certain conditions) leave
little hope of a win for their competitors.
Pat Gudauskas on one wave today showed what textbook contest surfing is in
2010. Recap of the ride; flying into the first section, Pat threw a
large tail-high air landing backwards with the lip, with no loss of
speed or any body jerks proceeded to lay down a fin-out gaff, followed
by a smooth wrapping slash into a Swiss-watch one-motion air. Based on
the judging criteria, Pat’s wave had every element of a perfect ride
and deserved a 10. If you compare that ride to similar scores
throughout round 1, Pat deserved a 12 for such a fine display of
Round 2 is next and we’ll have 16 surfers that get sent home screaming
Hell’s Bells with a big, fat 33rd and a distinct possibility of missing
the top 32 cut at mid-season. These are the real pressure heats on
tour, the ones nobody looks forward to, and the one’s the most sleep is
lost over. –Shea Lopez