Article

Writing on the Wall

Shea Lopez on the perceptions vs. the realities of competition at Lower Trestles

| posted on September 20, 2012

The Champ's signature carve, serving him well on his way to his 50th event win. Photo: Ellis

I’ve been immersed in the Hurley Pro webcast all week but my immersion deepened when Barton Lynch entered the booth and brought a breath of fresh air and relevance as few others in his position have. He presented irrefutable evidence that with passion and knowledge a commentator can give us a well-informed opinion on what excellent surfing is. Barton let everyone know how a surfer should see things—from the smallest details to the largest flaws in the system. This former World Champ showed class, respect, and honesty in deciphering the tangled mess that is the reality of a surf contest. Only Barton and a few others get a pass to really call it like they see it.

For me, the biggest issue all competitors face is knowing one thing to be true, and then having to forget it in an attempt to think from a judge’s perspective. Here are a few cases of this alternate reality:

1. Kelly Slater receiving an interference against Julian Wilson when every surfer in the world knew it was Kelly’s wave. Now, every newbie in the world who was watching thinks it’s your wave when you paddle underneath and into someone’s way. Great.

2. Kelly losing priority vs. Flores when the wave clearly broke on their heads.

3. Jordy Smith’s loss in the quarters. Poor Jordy. Nobody can do powerful of turns like that. What Jordy did in his heat against Parko was possibly the best on-the-face surfing to be done in competition at Lowers. And it was impossible for any other surfer in the event to match it. Not even T-Knox in his prime turned with that amount of fervor and precision. Turn after turn, wave after wave, Jordy gave it all he’s got. All he got in return were lower scores than Parko received for his pretty slices that he released before completion in order to blend them into more of the same all the way down the line.

Now back to our winner and his struggle through the early rounds of the Hurley Pro. For a world title contender, there is a very real push from the judges that becomes obvious to fellow competitors. Kelly actually appears to be experiencing the push—only this time, the push is against him. My guess is it’s an attempt to prevent another year where he gets too far ahead in the title race and coasts into a ho-hum world title.

In Kelly’s case, he fought through the challenges presented him, never allowed the drama around him to drain his energy, while slowly streamlining his equipment and improving his performance every heat. By the final he was the one in harmony with his surroundings in a wave-starved heat—always in the position he needed to be in. It is a good thing Kelly didn’t win Bells or the writing would be on the wall.

Maybe it already is.

  • mike lambresi

    Very well put Shea. Barton is by far the most articulate commentator pro surfing has ever had. His ability to explain what is happening in any given moment and heat while weaving it in to the big picture and how it will play out in the end result is second to none. Rabbit is also very good…I too thought Jordy got underscored as his carves were the best I have seen in ages and he does them with a new school flair. Nothing against Parko as he was surfing brilliantly but Jordy should have won that heat. All in all another great event put on by the boys at Hurley. Hats off to Bob and the crew for continuing to take surfing comps to the next level. Oh I almost forgot…thanks Kelly for another display of inspiring surfing. It never gets old or boring to watch.

  • Johnny

    I will tell you one thing Shea. The disc never changed priority when the wave broke on jeremy and KS’s head. I was on the beach and watched that clearly. Maybe u were watching on the webcast. Contrasting article to your previous one

  • Haley Yergens

    Once again Shea has nailed it!! Thanks for exposing some ugly truths about ASP judging and politics. You have sliced through the bullshit in overwhelmingly precise fashion and with substance to back it up. Shea has to be one of the best analysis and breakdown of the “Dream Tour”, that any mere mortal or otherwise out of the loop surfer could hope to interpret. Cheers Shea Lopez, your critique is as good as your surfing. Epic my man!! Thank You

  • James

    Agree with everything Shea. Jordy killed it in that heat. I too dug Barton and his honesty. And when (or if) Kelly retires I think that the best thing for webcast tour events would be to have Kelly and Barton as full-time commentators.

  • prospect

    Shea you are such a negative dude. So many incredible performances and all you can do write this shit. I think the judging was good and the event was amazing. I loved it

  • Phillips

    Over under on the title being decided before pipe? Steamer lane?

  • Phil

    No doubt Barton Lynch is the best commentator we’ve heard in a while. So honest and so amped. Bring him back!

  • http://seawellmass.tumblr.com robot

    shea’s spot-on here. barton was great, his enthusiasm mixed well with his knowledge, credibility and honesty. the interference/priority calls were strange. . .almost as strange as the defense of them by the head judge. so aggro in their defense. great contest overall, the surfers were impressive in their attack of the wave. trestles delivered. jordy should’ve won, though parko was surfing great as well. mick might be able to give kelly a run this year, but it’ll be tough. bring on france!

  • oderus

    whoa..way to call out the judges. hell yeah. You should do a big article about the politics and inner workings of the asp since you have the inside track and years of experience dealing with it. It has to be so frustrating for a competitor to know that he surfed the better heat but got fucked by the judges over some bullshit politics. Anyway, good job Shea I like your style.

  • Ben

    I actually thought Parko winning the heat was fair, though I have immense respect for Jordy’s power turns. To me, Parko’s elegant linkages are unique among surfers, and frankly I’d much prefer that he, as opposed to Mick, be the chosen Coolie kid for two world titles. I do agree that Kelly was crueled by the judges a few times, but the ability to overcome the flawed system is just another one of Kelly’s remarkable traits. Only AI could defeat Kelly in his current mindspace; how quickly we forget.

  • Shooter Jakowski

    Kelly gets over-scored every contest and it’s very clear that the judges actually want to see him win another world title, not loose one. They have pushed him through the past seven world titles. He even got over-scored in this contest, Jeremy Flores won his heat any day of the week in my book. Anyone with eyes can see that Kelly gets over-scored and thats a fact.

  • nick

    parko’s been getting pushed all year. judges stole at least 3 heats for him in Tahiti. good to see jordy back though. 2013 title is his for the taking.

  • Mike

    That was the wwuuuuurrrsst judging in years!!!! Lame!! Right outcome in the end, but on the way, just the worst. The crew should be fired…

  • Nav

    Great article (again) Shea! I really enjoy and appreciate your articles/analysis because you do in writing what Barton Lynch does in webcast commentary which is bring out unbiased, thoughtful, fair, knowledgable, insightful, meaningful, enjoyable comments about surfing! You nailed it on all the points you brought up. It was a great event ’cause Hurley team is a class act, mother nature delivered, surfers were brilliant as were BL and Rabbit B in the webcast booth. The only tarnish on this event was the judging, it left a bad taste! These people should be ashamed of themselves! I feel so bad for Jordy that I am going buy Oneill products and not touch Billabong for the next few years. These idiot ASP judges pulled similar stunt with Jeremy F in heat with Parko at Teahupoo. There are several other examples. It is simply disgusting. There can only be two reasons for it, incompetence and/or bigotry, in my view it is a mix of both.

  • Steve Wimer

    Parko got a six for one turn on a closeout, and Ace got less than five for a backside tube. Barton was right to point out the Parko/Jordy judging fiasco. He’s a refreshing change from the endless positive pump from the other sell outs.

  • Lane

    Why was there no trials before the event for the local surfers, someone like Nate Yeomans? Dane or Tanner Gudang? Doesn’t every other event have one?

    And Jordy definately surfed so good and was very unlucky, and Owen Wright’s 10 was insane! in the Bud Light thing

  • Dirt

    I Can”t beleive what i just read. Barton is an absolute moron. Whats with the stupid sounds he was making??? He always calls it Kellys way.
    I’m with the judges on points 1 and 3. The commentary crew that first saw it called it the same way the judges did. It may not seem fair in this case, but it was the correct call.

    Btw. I thought Parko beat Jordy. For me personally, I thought jordy pushed a bit too much on those turns in question, it caused him to slow down after each one. Parko maintained his speed and flow better (its not just about power).

    I also believe that the judging needs to start down scoreing errors. I think its crap how a surfer (usually a Brazzo) can bog rail, mis time turns, bounce all over the wave flapping his arms around then pull one big move and get a score. They should be penalized for the uglyness. If they judged in this way Parko would have 10 world titles by now.

  • North Shore

    Right on Shea.
    Also, I wish Barton Lynch could commentate more often.
    He does a really good job.

  • Arne von Delft

    Well written Shea and I agree: Barton Lynch was a breath of fresh air, Kelly had to work hard to earn no 50 (the Legend grows!) and Jordy was robbed. Parko surfed extremely well, but nobody can match Jordy on the rail when he is in that kind of mood. I hope he sticks with it and the judging adapts rather than him pandering to what they like. Well done for the way he handled it afterwards – very mature and graceful, a real role model!

  • Bryan Fisher

    About the Jordy & Parko heat. The judges aren’t even following their own criteria anymore and just giving away points based on wave selection and how it’s ridden. Go to the ASP website and look at the judging criteria yourself! Judges shall score a surfer in these major elements: Commitment and degree of difficulty (equal), Innovative and Progressive Maneuvers (Jordy hands-down), Combination of Major Maneuvers (equal), Variety of Maneuvers (Jordy), Speed Power and Flow (Jordy on power, Parko on Flow). I know it’s a hard decision, but come on…Jordy definitely won that heat. And I don’t even want commit on the poor judging the rest of the event which was also quite poor and unprofessional.

  • Michael

    HAHAHA Barton Lynch was so annoying!! ZAAAAA. ZIUUUUUUU IAAAAAAa!

    Shea, is your compliment meant to be ironic? Even his voice is irritating.

    My reaction was sound off everytime he spoke which meant almost all the time. He doesn’t shut up.

  • Leosurf

    It’s hard to say as a lifetime Parko fan. Jordy was robbed.
    In fairness, judging a wave like Lowers is the most challenging location on tour. Still; If Judges had honestly judged that quarterfinal the 9.33 opening ride wouldn’t have been GIVEN to Joel in the first exchange of that quarterfinal. Awarding Joel with a 9.33 unanimously declared who the had been chosen as the winner.
    Replay it as Mr. Lopez suggests… despite Joels smooth and stylish approach, his turns lacked variety and difficulty. Surfing like Parko at epic Bells or J-Bay is impossible, surfing like Parko at mediocre lowers is In my assessment; a lot easier. Despite Parkos effortlessly smooth style this is Lower Trestles. The proverbial “skate park of surf spots.” Jordy was surfing like a modern day Pottz. Reckless, radical, and gnarly.

  • renato

    I igree with you shea. I just want to add this: that second 9,13 parkos against ADS was the pathetic thing i ever seen on surfs world. If that one little move was 9,13, then Jordis waves supposedly to value 30 points each one!

  • GARY RADNICH

    Ok, consider this: Jordy did some of the gnarliest turns ever at lowers against Joel – we all saw that and frothed. But tell me you didn’t cringe when Jordy threw up those half-assed indecisive finishing turns. Yeah the “damage was done” on the outside but the judges seemed as though they were sticking to the criteria (seamless surfing from start to finish) they set when Julian undeservedly (imo) beat Jadson in round three or whatever… This event had a ton of drama, which is a welcome contrast to the often times vanilla performances/personalities that are prevalent during contests held in sub par wave conditions. Good times

  • SharkBoy

    Spot on Mr. Lopez, as usual.

    I liked that Lynch spoke his mind about the Jordy fiasco, and I did not understand the interference rules at all, they didn’t make any sense.

    In the first round, when Medina was paddling aggressive, why didn’t they call an interference on him? He didn’t drop in on CJ, but he was far enough in the wave that he forced CJ to readjust his line and miss out on the very best section of that wave

  • Passage

    Well written Shea. I don’t agree with everything you say, but Barton is respected and was completely mind boggled with the Parko/ Jordy heat. He summed it up at one point saying no matter what Jordy does he’s not going to get the score. Yes, Joel surfed pretty, but I will bet 100K if Kelly, Parko, Mick or John John surfed like Jordy did that heat there would have been a 10 and high 9. Joel should have been in combo land. I would have loved to see a Jordy vs Slater final. Kelly would have brought his A + plus game and it would have been interesting.

  • The Surf Coach

    Um………Shea, and Barton for that matter,

    I know it has been a while since you’ve been on tour so I could grant you a pass. Some things have changed. Some haven’t.

    But when you stand in a supposed position of knowledge and start calling things out incorrectly, it makes you look pretty stupid.

    Ya’ll need to crack open a rulebook and read. Kelly went right on a superior left. Julian has gotten bit by the same call twice at Lowers. He studied the rule and was on the correct side of it this time. There is no “further out the back” or “It was his turn” in the rulebook. Shea and Burton, before you go calling people out, know what you are talking about.

  • Marcelo

    I like Barton, b ut got to say that the most articulate commentator pro surfing has ever had is BY FAR Ronnie Blakey, does not let go through emotions and makes every comment with great precision…

    Kelly is a freak and still the best style on open face

    Parko lost to jordy, but jordy should have finished those close out turns…

  • Dale Herd

    You saw Parko get schooled. Slater IMMEDIATELY puts points on the board. Purpose, to get Parko tight. Which happens, he misplays the big opportunity early. It isn’t about the surfing. It’s about the surfing when the pressure is on. It’s no wonder one guy has 11 world titles, the other guy 0.

  • Rick Wilson

    I love Parko’s surfing, but it’s clear the 9.33 was WAY over-scored.

  • ButtHoleSurfer

    Opinions, Judges, Surfers, Rip-offs in heats, Jersey’s, Annoying Commentators, Titles, Trestles, trophies, Scaffolding, and much much more……. ALL OF IT BECAUSE OF MONEY…………… Just go surf already and LIVE.

  • Roberta

    Jordy’s hacks were really unbelievable. That kid has really grown on me. The ASP clearly needs a Parko world title. Credibility aside, Barton Lynch is definitely one of the more annoying commentators I’ve heard. We need Pottz on every comp.

  • dgb

    Waves that would otherwise be 8 or above scores end up being six or abouts if the wave isn’t finished with the presenters favorite ‘exclamation point’. Yet, a looking for a flip, looking for a flip, looking for a flip, one move flip ride can still garner an 8 point score. (I’m so glad to see the reduction from the till now common instant 10)

    I hope for surfings sake the reduction trend for single move flips continues. If a skater or a snowboarder dropped in and did one, regardless of how innovative, flip and rode out with a hands held high claim, he would be a laughing stock.

    What does that make surfing?

  • darren vanBruun

    The interference was a joke , the left was a one turn fat burger and all Kelly needed to do was pump a quick high line takeoff and he would have had the whole wave in front but was forced to go to the flats as Julian come in underneath.
    Jordy v Parko was cringe worthy . Jordy displayed more power, more rail critical surfing and tighter execution on not one but two of his rides which both deserved to be higher scoring waves than Pusho’s first ride.
    But it’s all nothing new , happens every contest . Someone is always the flavour of the month and someone is not .
    Stick a balaclava on every ones head and I guarantee there would be different outcomes that favor the surfing and not the identity.

  • Zano

    Thank you Shea for creating this forum.

    Barton though his breakdown opened my eyes , to realize that slip, slide and glide can never match , carve , gauge and flow.

    Hopefully the judges will get the message their mistakes are on clear view for all to see.

    We need more opinionated and informative commentary , and better judging.

  • RH

    Ahh, Barton’s no better than Jodie C. or Rosie H. …So yeah, he speaks his mind a lot better than most. The problem is, the judges are kooks… but of course they’d be even more reviled if they were not. And I’m sick of hearing how stylish Parko supposedly is… he gets crossed up (front arm lagging stringer-line) on off-the-lips more than almost anyone but Adriano, and should go to school on Mick and Melling’s body torque off-the-lips. Another one that gets unfathomably overscored is Ace. I’m sick of him doing one footed, half-railed backside bottom turns and the subsequent butt-up off-the-lips they generate, and it being called shinola. Bourez looked to be blazing though, for the first time in ages earlier in the contest, and I thought even Caliboy Connor looked (except to the judges) considerably more projective than Parko’s rug surfing. I wish Joel would surf his four fins in contests, cuz that would probably eliminate the rug-surfing-style in his snapbacks. But basically, the problem is the majority are rug-surfing kooks in the water, and the judging just reflects that.

  • 1000 FATHOMS

    Here it is, 1000 Fathoms Power Rankings for the Hurley Pro (as far as commentators go:)

    Ronnie Blakey – A+ Gets it right just about 100% of the time. Doesn’t Lose it
    emotionally if an Aussie loses a heat. This is a big deal with other commentators (i.e Sean Doherty) plus RB’s velvet voice is the best in the biz.

    Mike Parsons – A. Mike gets its from a coach and contest director stand point as well as a former CT surfer. He never gets to emotional calls it pretty fair
    and with interesting comments and NEVER says stupid shit.

    Rob Machado A. This guy is classic in and out of the water, funny and smart
    and takes a cruise-E style, less is more with Machado. And he still is a competitive animal when you get right down to it. Shaun Tomson said as the
    webcast were just getting stated ‘ Hire the pro’s not the bro’s”, we’ll in Mob’s case you get both!

    Dino Andino- B+. Give him an A+++ just for not going over board on his son. He handles that with grace. And that must be hard. Even when his son smoked Heitor and lost. We get a little lost with his inverted 360 air to slob talk, but I guess if someone has to know what the moves are called and it should be Dino.

    Barton Lynch – C-. While BL has lots of insight he does have a bit of diarrhea of the mouth that gets pretty annoying. Gets a bit aussie centric for my taste.
    Let’s face it, he might have a world title but he wouldn’t even place in a QS in this day and age. Plus the odd racy comments about the brazilians gets old after a while.

    Joe Turpell. B. Now this is a hard one. Because you do need a guy to be the ‘play by play guy. It seems that he’s crossing over from Bong to Hurley events
    with ease these days. But Joe is TOO smooth.. Always ending a statement with a ‘name’ for additional comments, which is they way they do it in football but only this time it’s to another old pro who fumbles the ball or doesn’t even pick up on the fact that he’s just been prompted to speak. Joe has the facts but needs a bit more emotion, or he’s going to be the David Stanfeild of his generation.

    Mark Fewell – D-. This guy shouldn’t even get close to a mic. He has a hard time pronouncing names if it has any spanish in it all all. Ask Alejo or even Bobby Martinez from back in the day. For a guy that has spent a fair bit of time in So. Cal. He just doesn’t translate to a web audience. Give him the hook. That whiny tinny trebly annoying voice, enough already please.
    When BL Fewelly and Bugs are in the box, just hit mute!

    Saxon Boucher – B+. Understated, but never says stupid stuff. And for a So. Cal guy his experience does translate! He makes smart comments but doesn’t froth for the yanks in a heat. Smooth voice doesn’t grate on you.

    Pete King F+. If there is one guy that could make GT look good it might be PK.
    Everything is an inside joke that just makes a post heat interview look down right stupid. It’s cringe worthy sometimes. This is a case where you DO NOT hire the ‘bro’s’ you need a pro. Sorry PK, you and GT should have an annoying contest, the first one to get punched out by a pro wins!

    Jody Nelson A. Straight up. Sweet velvet voice of Jody Nelson, never says any thing stupid but could use a few other question besides “what are you riding” or “what was your game plan going into that heat”. But all in all Jody is a fresh face when the boys get out of the water, and treats the athletes with respect.

    Bugs C. Give Rabbit the respect he deserves but he’s a bit to insider for me on a webcast. Loves Joel and the Aussie crew so much it oozes out of the mic. The one thing I have to say in the last twelve years, no matter how you slice it only Mick Fanning has got the job done for the team down under. Other that that it’s been team KS and team AI, dont forget CJ! You can have all the pro junior titles from the freestones and whoever but the only one that matters is the ASP world title winner. Period. I think the aussies collectively forget that. And bugs, BTW Julian is a fucking cry babyand Owen will never do it! Period.

    I think thats the principles for this contest. if I missed anyone they fit in between Ronnie and Jody!

  • Slow Jim

    Jordy surfed rad but seemed to ignore the wave, I think if he had shown more flow, he would have won that heat against Joel.
    I’ve become a Joel fan because he is doing it all in all areas of life and has a great attitude.

  • Dirt

    @1000 Fathoms. The fact that Kelly Slater has won 11 world titles and is without doubt the best surfer ever and is an American means that and that only.
    It doesn’t make you a better person.
    It doesn’t make you a better surfer.
    It doesn’t make you any more of an authority on surfing.
    It doesn’t mean all Aussies are hopeless.
    It doesn’t mean that Americans are generally better people than Aussies.
    And it sure doesn’t mean that Americans are better surfers than Aussies.
    You need to remember that! Pull ya head in ya dick!!

  • jbinsb

    The interference rule is simple and the judge described it after the heat. You can’t backdoor a peak in a heat. That’s what Kelly did. The judges all agreed because it wasn’t a subjective call. He and Julian were both to the left of the peak with Julian having inside position for that left, and Kelly went right. Same rule obviously doesn’t hold for us earthlings in our normal rotation at our spot, but that’s the rule. And for the guy who’s worried that all the noobs will now think it’s ok to do that, don’t worry; they didn’t even know what was happening. Agree that Jordy got screwed v. Parko. So much more commitment in Jordy’s turns. But yeah, he did kind of blow it by not finishing his last moves. Still, on one wave, they gave Parko and 8 something and Jordy a 6 somethiing, which was pretty strikingly unfair. Parko went into the contest (this IS 2012) with the “goal” of “doing an air” (an, as in at least one). His surfing has not progressed with others, including Kelly, who has thrown huge airs to win contests as the second oldest guy on the tour. That creep on the beach who does the interviews is just the worst. And will you guys please learn a bit of Portuguese. The “ou” in Adriano de Souza is pronounced like “o” in “nope,” not like “oo” in “booze.” The guy’s too polite to say something. I finally heard someone say it right (apparently Adriano had explained it to him and it was offered up as one of those stupid fun facts we get from time to time), but then everyone just went right on mispronouncing it.

  • Jason M

    I was not a fan of Barton Lynch the pro surfer, but thoroughly enjoy every heat he commentates on the World Tour! What I like about him is that he doesn’t try so hard to fit into the aussie mold; he’s different than the rest.

    As far as the the issues go, Parko was clearly overscored on the 9.33. The judges seemed to revert back a couple of years at times in this event. They often scored the wave more than the ride. I actually didn’t mind Kelly getting all riled up, it made for some good drama. Surfing needs more hunger, not less.

  • Mitchelling

    Well, unfortunately (because I’m an Aussie) I find Barton a little too hyped in his commentary – overstating, over enthusiastic, bit like a salesman. World champ status not withstanding I’d prefer he calms down a little. Occy is my fav I gotta say – particularly when he’s had a few beers.

  • b mac

    No trials usually, they are only for the indiginous folk (non caucasion).

  • Badinskas

    Barton might not be a professional commentator, but at least he’s not afraid of calling it like he sees. Very refreshing! All of the other commentators when surprised by the judges (blatant) favoritism, quickly backtrack, afraid of losing their jobs or something else they have on the line.

    Parko: always overscored. (a lot of people want to give him the world title); should have gotten an interference against Jordy even before Jordy smoked him;
    Ace: Overscored;
    Julian Wilson: Overscored; If he got the interference call for him, Parko should have had the same call against him, or vice-versa;
    Fanning: Overscored;
    Kai: Overscored; Boring surf, was smoked by Tiago but got just the score he needed with safety turns;

    What do they all have in common? Aussies! Same as Richie “interference any day (except against Parkinson)” Porta!!!!!!

    Oh and how shameful was that 9 of Heitor against Chloe Andino just to leave the door open for the recovery? Should’ve been a 10! Would have been a 10 if performed by JJ, KS, JW, PG or any other media darling… Best aerial since Kellys at Bells… ‘nough said!

  • andy

    shooter jakowski—i don’t think u pay attention too well…Slater surfed w/ a cape on and usually has too to win…nice try –but slater hating is so yesterday…

  • Daniel

    Well done Shea! Nailed it. Jordy destroyed Parko to the point of embarrassment. Destroyed. Parko was looking for his shorts afterwards. Should never have been in the semis or finals. Tragic. That head judge sounded like a pretender when he explained the interference. Barton, very honest and objective called it.
    Interferences were a joke. Are we entering the FIFA arena of ……..? Parko, destroyed mate.

  • andrew

    event takeaway:
    *i think every event someone gets burnt. in this case it was jordy. it was as if the judges were still high off parko’s previous heats where he surfed remarkably well.
    *slater vs. julian – watching from the webcast the right was a closeout. unless it was clear that slater would have made that section then it was the right call. i think to argue this one you need to be able to see that right further down the line and see the scoring potential but from the couch it looked like julian got burnt.
    *i don’t think there is some conspiracy to keep the race close. sometimes we give the judges too much credit when usually the heats generally have a decisive winner.

    commentary takeaway:
    *having a pro surfing in the booth is a MUST (read machado, slater, dorian). they provide real insight, especially CURRENT competitive insight.
    *play-by-play is obviously important as well but these guys need to know when to take a breath. joel turpel case-in-point. frankly, joe needs to be replaced. i don’t understand how people can deal with the high-pitched voice. sal is good for filling this position. i almost would rather have the female australian who was in the booth a few years back at the rip curl pro.
    *snips, dino, saxon, blakey all get the job done. barton lynch’s over-hyped enthusiasm can also go. i’m all for exclamation points when they’re due but throwing out expressions like MASSIVE as frequently as he does is so corny.

    i do want to say that the coverage in general is a huge step up from the previous years. we are so spoiled with the amount of camera angles, replays, highlights, and heats on demand. that said, i think the next step is getting some commentators on contract to work the entire tour instead of just throwing industry buddies in there.

  • Kelly NZ

    I thought Parko won that heat against Jordy, just. Speed, power and flow against just power and some unfinished business at the end of some rides leave an untidy impression at a critical point for the judges. The judges should not be criticized so harshly. Too many armchair, ill qualified, conspiracy theorists out there. Not good for the sport. Mello out a little and enjoy the surfing brothers!

  • Brie

    Parko won that heat because he completed his waves and surfed with speed, power and flow. Jordy surfed great with power failing to complete some rides cleanly. Bit like gymnastics.

  • http://www.surfermag.com Hi

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  • Canadian Shane

    was I watching a different contest? I don’t think Jordy outsurfed Parko in that heat….granted, his turns were more complete…more aggressive…more stylish…but he fell at the end of all those waves! I’m not a Parko fan…but I think he actually won the heat.

    It must be a difficult job to score these heats….surfing is so subjective…the judges take a lot of flack from the viewers….but you’ll never make everyone happy when your scoring a sport like surfing….similar to scoring olympic diving / gymnastics / arial skiing…one man’s “10″ is another mans “7″….just sayin..

  • Rick

    Kelly Slater for president, Barton Lynch for VP, Shea Lopez Sec of state…

  • pierre

    the push is against Slater??? watch the HOD against Ace Buchan: Kelly got a 6.9 for a bottom turn and an incomplete turn

  • Wazza

    Just a quick thought…when someone threads a huge pipe barrel and comes out and tries to finish with, lets say a carve and falls…how do the judges usually score it? When someone lays down some massive carves and rips the walls apart and at the small end section tries to pop an air….how should the judges score that? Dont the first moves on the largest and most critical part of the waves count the most?

  • Alex

    The judging this year has been terrible, the Hurley pro icing the cake. I’ve been watching pro surfing for almost 2 decades, and I didn’t agree with most of the heats result until the semis. What is true for some is not for others. I’m old and enjoy watching airs as much as mean carves, but It’s not even a question of old school versus new school. It’s almost like criteria don’t exist anymore. The bias are way to obvious and the sport in general ends up looking bad. I don’t think Parko should be where he is right now. His surfing has been way better in the past. And Kelly, although still great, is still benefiting from a bias in his favor. For the first time in a long time I absolutely do not care to know who’s going to win the world championship.

    Oh, And you forgot to mention Kolohe Andino’s loss against Heitor. That was absolutely BS.

    Barton was great. I wasn’t a fan of him when he was competing, but I was too young I think. I’ve seen him surfing recently and he rips. And he was great in the booth. The ASP should put him on the payroll, but they never will because He’ll call it like he sees it and the ASP will have a harder time hiding their judges shortcoming. The ASP needs YES men.

  • henrique

    PARKO “pretty slices” always overscored…

    its not a beuty contest. Its a surfing contest.

  • dash

    Lots of people commenting and lots of opinions…the article definitely succeeded in generating a discussion! I mostly agree with Shea, but as other people have pointed out Barton makes the weirdest loud noises anytime someone does a maneuver. “Zaaaah”. Stay away from the play-by-play, but keep giving those strong opinions.
    Jordy got shafted, the difficulty and power of those turns were unmatched (though J Flores surprised with some insane commitment in his surfing). Parko was surfing great all event but it seemed more like 2002 style than 2012, take more chances and mix it up he’d deserve those wins.
    (@1000 fathoms gets the win for best comment on this thread)

  • http://none steve briggs

    This is the best topic ever. Look at the comments. All over the place some stupid and some on point. Everyone on here NEEDS TO READ “1000 Fathoms” and then comment after you have read his post. Nailed everything. I have to say Joe Turpel is lame. Sounds like the morning radio DJ trying to be a morning DJ. Who is the decision maker that picks the webcast teams? That person should have to answer to the critics. But they won’t due to the Bro Bra hire the Bro nature of the “Surf Industry”. The only place where a High School dropout goes on to Management and Vice President status in Million dollar companies. Pathetic. They can’t be fired because their ass is so far up the bosses ass. Look to Peter King for that example. What does he do at Hurley again? Somehow they got rid of Paul Gomez so hope is there that PK will go the same way.

  • post mark

    Great read Shea. I enjoyed B.L. as well and thought over all it was a tremendous event.

    Jordy v Parko interests me because they are my 2 favorite surfers. I was SCREAMING as the scores dropped for both of Jordy’s rides and was in sync with Barton in that it was a fuckin robbery. HOWEVER I can also see the logic in the fact that completing a ride does have an impact on how a judge drops a score especially in the heat of the moment when emotions run high.

    Also to the guy who compared it to someone getting a massive barrel at Pipe then not completing the ride properly I say unfair comparison. Jordy’s turns WERE quite superior but perhaps not QUITE enough to rule out the the LAZY finish to both his rides.

    Hey Jordy if you want to win a title you need to develop a little of the Fanning Fire and take this shit more seriously. Sure your chick is hot but not hot enough to repplace the thrill of a title that you deserve. Joel is smooth but you have the GRUNT that made us all fall for Dane so do me a favor and ditch the broad for a couple of events. Might win one for a change ( that isn’t gifted to you in your home country ).

  • http://www.yankuas.com Mik

    Parko’s first scoring wave should have been a 5.7, max. Jordy doesn’t deserve that bullshit. He’s a great competitor, and keeps his rage in check when he should.
    I dig Parko, and I know that he can lay down heavy tracks as well, but that heat was Jordy’s via power carve after power carve. Easily. Hurley doesn’t deserve having his epic event marred by bad calls either. Still, Kelly KO’d the entire WCT, yet again. Wow.