The round 1 heat with Kelly, Kai, and Mitch was mind-bending, for some good and bad reasons. It started with a mental backhand off-the-lip by Kelly… Kai Otton then surfed one of the best heats of his career, only to be scalded by the judging biases that continue to plague the WCT. If you ignore Kelly’s glow, and Mitch’s fist-pumps, I think Kai Otton won that heat, based on a wicked combo of great tube riding, AND multiple radical carves. Let me put it this way: if Kelly had surfed that heat the way that Kai did, I am absolutely certain that he would have beaten Mitch… And as far as Kelly beating Kai in that heat? No. Not even close. Kai was burned, badly. It is sad to see this kind of favoritism. Surfers in the middle like Kai etc. need to be scored using the same point system as the top… Otherwise, please, do not call it a “contest”. Call it an exhibition, and don’t give out any World Champion trophies.
Mik, u are so wrong, you are prob not a good surfer.
Wow, 2 replies to this post, I guess the vast majority of surfers would rather be catching waves themselves, than sitting on their butts and watching some one else surf, or maybe, they are finally sick and tired of all the B. S. from all these big surf companies, who use contest to exploit suring to the masses for their own personal gain.
Gabriel’s 10 was simply unreal.
Jesus Christ, is Owen on the juice? He’s put on like 40 pounds of muscle in the last year.
Kai easy beat Kelly, but Mitch won the heat for sure. They had to give Kelly second so he would face the fijian qualifyer in round two. We can’t have Kelly going out early now can we, who would they give the world title to?
@Rob: ? OK… Compare Kelly’s second scoring wave in Heat 2, which was a 8+ score, a not very deep tube ride with one completed turn, to Kai’s 4+ , or any of his scoring waves in Heat 1. Kai’s surfing was as good or better AND he completed more turns. BTW: I was at one time ranked #3 in the NSSA Northern Division, shortboards, the only year I competed, and during that year I won an event at The Lane. But yeah, compared to the WTC, I’m a kook, admittedly. Regardless, I have been to, helped promote, and have watched years of contests, and I am absolutely certain that if Kelly had performed on Kai’s waves the way Kai did, he wins that Heat. And that’s wrong. Kai Otton deserves to be judged by the same scoring system, as does everyone else deserve the same. And I am a total fan of Kelly’s surfing.
Joel’s barrel style in his round 1 heat was pure magic.
The Big Island fucking sucks…
Props to Volcom, and all the surfers in this event. The final rounds should be unreal.
Can We see some highlights of the waves at Cloudbreak on the biggest day?
Were getting head high plus here at Olowalu Maui.