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Redemption Song: Bobby Martinez Wins Billabong Pro Tahiti

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Entering the 2009 year on the ASP World Tour sans a major sponsor probably isn’t something Bobby Martinez ever anticipated taking place. However, when a well-publicized contract dispute with longtime sponsor Reef sent the two their separate ways, that’s exactly where the Santa Barbara, Ca. surfer found himself. Driven to once again prove himself as one of the top all-around surfers in the world, sponsored or not, Bobby Martinez claimed another WCT victory at Teahupo’o yesterday by beating out Taj Burrow to win the 2009 Billabong Pro Tahiti.

bobby martinez billabong pro

The win is the second for Martinez at Teahupo’o and his fourth world tour victory overall. From start to finish, Bobby surfed with as much poise, patience, style and confidence as I’ve seen him surf a ‘CT event in quite some time. While Taj was relentless in the final heat, Bobby Martinez was just way too in sync with the wave at Teahupo’o for Burrows to even have a shot. Even with the dominant performance, Martinez’ humble nature shined through in his post-victory comments. “I got lucky finding the good waves and things just seemed to work out for me today,” said Martinez. When GT asked him about the hefty cardboard check that was heading his way, Martinez was quick to let him know that today’s win at Teahupo’o was about much more than the financial reward. “I didn’t start surfing to make money. It’s about the feeling the feeling I feel right now. The money could never overcome the experience of having this feeling.”

A huge congratulations goes out to Bobby Martinez- winner of the 2009 Billabong Pro Tahiti.

*On a side note- I’d also like to thank Billabong for pairing up Joel Parkinson and Andy Irons in the commentary booth, even if it was for just one heat. The combo of A.I. and Parko was classic and made for some truly golden exchanges.

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Back On: Plenty of Action in Tahiti During Billabong Pro’s Downtime

Monday, May 18th, 2009

If it seems like it’s been forever since the Billabong Pro Tahiti first got underway…it pretty much has been. Between tricky winds and a crossed up swell pattern, Billabong’s contest director Luke Egan has had a hell of a time making the decision to pull the trigger on Rd. 2. Considering he had Billabong’s cash crop surfers Joel Parkinson and Andy Irons scheduled to surf the second and third heats once the call was made, you have to imagine Egan has had all the input he could possibly want or need. Nonetheless, the event is finally back on. Conditions at Teahupo’o aren’t exactly what we’ve come to expect from the Tahitian beast, however they are expected to improve as the day goes on.

billabong pro 2009

While Mother Nature’s fickleness has wreaked havoc on the Billabong Pro, Tahiti itself hasn’t been without excitement. The crew at Surfline has some smooth, visually stimulating footage available of super-sessions that have taken place in the downtime. The clip of Kelly Slater and Manoa Drollet’s session at a dream-like right has already reached legendary status. That’s been folllowed up with footage of A.I., Parko, Occy, and Slater blowing up a left not far from the contest site at Teahupo’o. This includes a shot of Kelly dropping in and getting covered up while surfing goofy-footed.

The beauty of what was taking place in the water and the majesty of Tahiti was accompanied with a bit of drama on land. Apparently a semi-secret meeting was held between the ASP and top 45. A few of the guys on tour aren’t thrilled with the new format and wanted to share their feelings regarding this issue. A post on The Extreme Scene summed up that situation quite well.

Having said all that, the Billabong Pro Tahiti is indeed back up and running at Teahupo’o. If you can’t make it to the water yourself, it’s always entertaining to watch a few of the world’s best go to work. You can see all of the live action here

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Joel Parkinson: 2 World: 0…Shades of 2008?

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

joel parkinson rip curl bells beach 2009

Just two events into the 2009 ASP World Tour and it’s already starting to feel a bit like the 2008 version. Playing the role of Kelly Slater ‘08, Joel Parkinson appears to be on a mission to quickly eliminate any semblance of a world-title race. Parko completed the Aussie two-step yesterday, dominating local wildcard surfer Adam Robertson in the final heat of the 2009 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. It’s the second time in Parkinson’s career that he’s found himself ringing the prestigious bell, and from the time the opening horn sounded there didn’t seem to be much doubt that the trophy would eventually be his. To put it mildly, Parko’s firing right now.

There are very few surfers as visually pleasing to watch as Joel Parkinson, his style is something that surfers throughout the world, including most of the fellas on tour only dream of. And much like the Slater of last year, Parko seems to be 100% in sync with everything the ocean sends his way. There’s still a long way to go, Parko will be the first to tell you that, but so far all signs appear to be pointing in the direction of a Joel Parkinson world championship.

joel parkinson

With that in mind, right about now is when the Dream Tour could really use someone in the form of an Andy Irons; someone to rattle some cages and shake shit up a little bit, someone to let everyone know it’s not quite time to bust out the champagne. It’s one thing that most of media has already handed Parko the title but you also get the feeling many on the Top 45 are actually pretty stoked on that idea as well. Hopefully someone rises up to challenge Parko soon or the ASP may just find themselves with another yawner second-half of the year. No one likes to watch a surf competition that’s sans the top surfers, and last year proved that mysterious illnesses and injuries tends to reach epidemic status right about the time the world title becomes out of reach.

Congratulations Joel Parkinson, winner of the 2009 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach!

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Joel Parkinson Blows Up, Wins at Thrilling Quiksilver Pro

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

joel parkinson wins quiksilver pro

Everyone on the ASP World Tour might want to take notice….Joel Parkinson is a man on a mission. Following an impressive performance at the 2008 version of the Billabong Pipeline Masters, one that saw Parko seal his first ever Triple Crown of Surfing, it’s been reported that Parkinson has been pushing himself to the brink, driven by a roaring hunger to finally win an ASP World Championship. With that being the goal, Parko is off to one hell of a start for 2009 as he surfed almost flawlessly enroute to victory at a thrilling Quiksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks. While it’s just the first event of the year, Parko surfed with an added edge and confidence to his game. Couple that with the fact that the last 3 winners of the inaugural tour stop have gone on to win the overall crown, the rest of the WCT, including Kelly Slater, already has a monumental hill to climb if Joel Parkinson continues to bring what he brought to the Quiksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks.

Here are some of the goods brought to us by the 2009 Quiksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks:

Jordy, Dane, Adriano, and Julian Wilson- You hear it all the time….the WCT is just not going to be that exciting once Slater retires, right? Not even…The young crew of up and comers are bringing an added level of excitement to the ‘CT with an explosive, go for broke approach to the contests that was as exciting as I’ve ever witnessed. Julian boldly dethroned Slater, Dane got swiped of what should have been a huge win over Taj Burrow, and Adriano de Souza went balls to the wall the whole event, culminating in an impressive finals stand against the man to beat, Joel Parkinson. If these guys end up staying on the WCT throughout the upcoming years….

Mick Fanning V. Joel Parkinson- Everyone knew it when these two were paired up in the semifinal…the eventual winner would go on to win it all. With that in mind, the two Coolangatta surfers went on to put up one of the all-time heats as they went head to head in said semifinal, Parko just simply wouldn’t be denied. If you have a few minutes, use a little bit of Google magic and find highlights of this head to head match-up. To use a term that doesn’t get used very often in the world of surfing, it was simply epic.

Is it the size that matters, or the motion in the ocean?- We all like to tell ourselves that size doesn’t really matter, but it looks like the judges agree with the chicks…bigger is better. While Kelly Slater struggled in his rd. 3 loss to Julian WIlson, it appeared throughout the contest that the judges were none to impressed with his self-made 5′4″. He was constantly underscored throughout the event. Are the ASP judges sending Slater a message for the rest of the year? Will Mr. 9-time continue to ride his little creations at Bells? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

The Kirra Effect- The man upstairs might be sending us a message- Bring Kirra Back! In a year that is being dedicated to the restoration of the famed break at Kirra, how crazy is it that the stars aligned and allowed the final rounds of the event to be showcased at it’s current form. It was the first time an ASP World Tour event had been held at the iconic right-hand point break in 12 years, and allowed a perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the battle going on to bring Kirra back to what it once was.

Congratulations Joel Parkinson, winner of the 2009 Quiksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks

QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) def. Mick Fanning (AUS)
SF 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) def. Taj Burrow (AUS)

QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.00 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 4.37
QF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.53 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.00
QF 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 17.86 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 6.77
QF 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.40 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.00

QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 17.24 def. Jihad Khodr (BRA) 16.43
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.90 def. Chris Davidson (AUS) 10.90
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.90 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.40
Heat 4: Damien Hobgood (USA) 16.30 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.50
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 17.16 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.93
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 17.10 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 11.00
Heat 7: Taj Burrow (AUS) 17.00 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 16.23
Heat 8: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.33 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 11.33

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WCT Set To Kick-Off With Quik Pro at Snapper Rocks

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

And so it begins….If it seems like forever since we’ve had a competitive world championship race to keep tabs on, it’s because we pretty much have. Between Kelly Slater making the 2008 WCT his personal whipping boy and the later than usual start to the 2009 tour, there hasn’t been a whole lot of interest generated by the ‘CT over the past 8 or so months. That’s all about to change.

kelly slater

As the holding period for the the 2009 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast at Snapper Rocks opens today, the 2009 ASP World Tour also gets underway with everyone starting equally at ground zero. To pretend that anything other than Slater’s run for #10 will be the dominating storyline would be asinine. With that in mind, it appears that most have deemed Joel Parkinson as the chosen one to put a wrinkle in King Slater’s plans. Parko’s had a couple of solid runs and 2nd place finishes, but so far just hasn’t quite been able to make it over the hump. With the WCT once again starting off at his home break, Joel Parkinson is fired up and ready to start his 2009 campaign for a world championship.

“I can’t wait. I’m excited for another good year and hopefully we get really good waves. It’s such a bonus to start the season here at home where I’m familiar with everything and know the banks really well. I’m really excited. I’ve just been surfing a lot and training a lot. Just trying to get everything sorted before the season starts. In regards to Kelly, I haven’t really figured that one out yet. You just have to be bigger, stronger, faster and more determined. I’m hungry this season though.”

And in regards to Kelly…who knows what he has in store for this year’s version of the WCT. Word is that he’ll likely be surfing a big gun at Snapper, something in the 5′4″-5′6″ range. Whatever he ends up pulling out of his quiver may not really matter though. With a 10th world championship so close that he can almost taste it, Slater already has the competition sized up and is ready to let loose at the Quiksilver Pro.

“I’m not sure whether Dane and Jordy will pull straight up to that level to start this year or not, but I know that Parko’s always hungry and Mick goes without saying. C.J. got a taste of it last year again and will come out firing for sure. Taj will be hungry, but I wonder how his focus will be after a couple of really great seasons and not quite the results that his surfing shows all the time – he’s always one of the best at Snapper. Bede will quietly execute more people and Bobby is going to be the hungriest, starting the year without a main sponsor.”

The holding period for the 2009 Quiksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks runs February 28 through March 11, 2009.

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A Highly Deserving Joel Parkinson Wins the 2008 Vans Triple Crown

Friday, December 12th, 2008

joel parkinson

If ever anyone deserved to have the cards fall their way, it’s the 2008 version of Joel Parkinson. At the end of what’s been a very successful, yet very disappointing year in competitive surfing for the Coolie Kid, Parko sealed his first ever Vans Triple Crown of Surfing victory the moment Kelly Slater put the finishing touches on his own Pipe Masters win.

After seeing good friend Mick Fanning win the world championship last year, Parko’s been a man possessed. Many expected Parko to break looses this year and follow in Mick’s footseps. He said himself that Fanning’s win lit a fire and made a world championship appear possible. Unfortunately he chose the wrong year to have what is ending up as one of his best years.

Between a psychotic Kelly Slater and a few tough breaks along the way, and even though he surfed out of his mind all year, he just could not seem to find his way to the victory podium…..until now. He had to sweat it out until the very last second of the year, but the moment Ward went down to Slater, and as a result of 5th, 5th, and 9th place finishes at Haleiwa, Sunset, and Pipeline, Joel Parkinson became the 2008 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing winner for the first time in his career.

Congratulations Joel Parkinson, winner of the 2008 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

Joel Parkinson just joined this group of legends below-

(more…)

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Parko’s Perfection

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

joel parkinson pipeline masters perfect 10

19 yr. old Dusty Payne was doing a fine job of making this year’s Vans Triple Crown of Surfing his coming out party. If you had yet to hear of the young ripper from Maui, you have now. Heading into his Round 3 heat at the Pipeline Masters yesterday, there was loads of hype surrounding the possibility of Dusty becoming the youngest Triple Crown winner ever. Payne unleashed stellar performances at Haleiwa and Sunset, he surfed the early rounds at Pipe in a way that left many calling him a young Bruce Irons….and then Parko happened.

To say Joel Parkinson came into their Round 3 match-up under the radar would be an overstatement. It would be impossible for a surfer with the resume of Parko to do so. But this being the end of, by Joel’s own standards, a disappointing 2008, it seemed possible that the smoking Payne could continue his run all the way to Triple Crown glory. Not very far into their heat, Parko slammed the door shut by coming out of a “there’s no way in hell he’s making it out of this one” Backdoor barrel. The second he slipped out from under the wave, everyone knew it, perfect 10. A few minutes later he did what only Kelly Slater and Shane Beschen had done before him, he smoked another Backdoor pit for a second 10 and essentially closed the door on the young Hawaii upstart. “I couldn’t have done anything,”said Dusty,”It’s hard to get 11s.” While Joel was obviously stoked beyond belief, he was quick to put it all in perspective, “I never thought I would get two perfect 10s,” Parkinson said. “It’s not something you hear about every day, so I’d never really thought about doing it. I definitely claimed it like I had won an event for a second, but then I had to settle down and tell myself, ‘All you did was make a heat!’ The next heat I paddle out for, I’ll have to remember that.”

To this day, Slater talks about his perfect 10’s at Teahupoo in ‘05 as a turning point for him as he was making his way back to the top. Will it be the same for Parko? Who knows, but yesterdays performance at Backdoor by Joel Parkinson was a site to behold, and one that will remain in the record books for years to come.

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Pipe Masters Update: Pipe Passed Today, Possible Friday Finale (VIDEO)

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

andy irons pipeline masters

As expected, the rain and Kona winds have kept the 2008 Billabong Pipeline Masters from running it’s final day of action today. Conditions at Pipe are a sloppy, wind-blown 2-3 ft; nothing even close to being worthy of crowning a champion for the prestigious event.

Fresh off chasing swell in the Caroline Islands, 9x world champion Kelly Slater showed up just in time for his 3rd Round heat against wildcard Ezra Sitt. He promptly busted out his 5′10″ and proceeded to cruise to an easy heat win. A victory at Pipeline for a record 6th time would be icing on the cake for Slater, but he doesn’t appear to be too concerned about the event, and that could be trouble for the rest of the Pipe Masters hopefuls. “A win at Pipe would be great, but to be honest with you, it doesn’t really matter at this point,” Slater said. “Not that Pipe doesn’t matter, but I’m just enjoying not having the constant contest stress. If I win it is definitely a huge bonus, but in a way, I’d like to see somebody else win, someone who hasn’t won it before. I’ve got a couple, Andy’s got a couple, Bede won one last year. Maybe it’s Parko’s year or maybe Brucey will pull off another win here to finish his year off.”

The Brucey that Slater referred to would be the one and only Bruce Irons. Bruce looked completely in form in his first heat, but lost a very close heat to Tom Whitaker in Round 3. While he won’t be leaving full-time tour duties on a winning note, he has made it clear he’ll be back to compete soon enough. “I’m sick of people saying this is going to be my last event. I’m not going to be on tour officially, but I am still going to surf the Tahiti and Pipe events. You can’t get rid of me that easy.”

With only one full day needed to crown a champion, Randy Rarrick is hoping for a classic Pipeline finish. The swell forecast is showing a possible swell for Friday and another for early next week. Stay tuned to 5ones updates, and check out the vids below for some of the top 2008 Pipeline Masters footage so far.

Billabong Pipeline Masters Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Marcus Hickman (HAW) 14.56 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.83
Heat 2: Luke Stedman (AUS) 7.34 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 5.50
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 20.00 def. Dusty Payne (USA) 15.16
Heat 4: Tim Reyes (USA) 14.83 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 10.56
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.77 def. Ezra Sitt (HAW) 7.90
Heat 6: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 14.83 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 10.50
Heat 7: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 11.50 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 6.60
Heat 8: Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 16.50 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.86
Heat 9: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 18.26 def. Daniel Wills (AUS) 17.94
Heat 10: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.83 def. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 12.16
Heat 11: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 16.24 def. Bruce Irons (HAW) 16.10
Heat 12: Kamalei Alexander (HAW) 12.56 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 9.00
Heat 13: Chris Ward (USA) 17.27 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 13.83
Heat 14: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.93 def. Shane Dorian (HAW) 12.63
Heat 15: Evan Valiere (HAW) 18.13 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 16.60
Heat 16: Andy Irons (HAW) 14.37 def. Dean Morrison (AUS) 13.17

Billabong Pipeline Masters Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Marcus Hickman (HAW) vs. Luke Stedman (AUS)
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Tim Reyes (USA)
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 4: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) vs. Jamie O’Brien (HAW)
Heat 5: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Tom Whitaker (AUS)
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Kamalei Alexander (HAW)
Heat 7: Chris Ward (USA) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Heat 8: Evan Valiere (HAW) vs. Andy Irons (HAW)

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CJ Hobgood Wins O’Neill World Cup of Surfing at Sunset

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Sunset Beach put it’s best face forward for nearly the entire second leg of the Vans Triple Crown, so much so that many are calling this one of the all-time great events ever held at Sunset. As amazing as the conditions were throughout, the performances unleashed by the competitors were even more remarkable. And while guys like Jordy Smith, Dusty Payne, Tom Whitaker, and Joel Parkinson surfed the burly right-hander with as much style, power, and grace as humanly possible, it was the performance of goofy-foot surfer C.J. Hobgood that ended up standing above all as the 2001 ASP world champion pulled out an unexpected victory yesterday on his way to winning the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing.

cj hobgood oneill world cup of surfing

With the win, Hobgood became the first goofy-footer in 11 years to win at Sunset Beach. It goes without saying, C.J. was through the roof following his performance at a firing Sunset. “It’s perfect size and really clean. There was probably one or two sets a heat that were too big,” Hobgood said. “Just some macking nuts waves out there. “My usual experience out at Sunset is just getting worked pretty much. This ranks up there with my WCT wins and everything else because I never totally pictured myself winning this contest so it ranks that much higher.”

With O’Neill’s own Jordy Smith just completely blowing up throughout much of the final day, no one really saw C.J. coming. Jordy surfed at such an amazingly high level throughout that it almost seemed pointless to run the final. But what Sunset giveth, it taketh away. Jordy injured his leg and snapped his board in the final heat; Hobgood pounced on the opportunity to take over.”That just shows you what Sunset can do. You just roll the dice, go out and sometimes Mother Nature is good to you and other times it just beats you down. “There’s four guys out there, but you never really see your competitors the whole time. It’s Man versus Nature out there and that’s what makes Sunset so challenging and appealing.”

marcus hickman

Congratulation’s C.J. Hobgood, winner of the 2008 O’Neill World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach!

FINAL:
1st- CJ Hobgood (US) 15.00 (8.5 and 6.5) $15, 000
2nd- Tom Whitaker (Aus) 12.67 (7.67 and 5.00) $7,500
3rd- Marcus Hickman (HI) 8.33 (6.33 and 2.00) $4,500
4th- Jordy Smith (Zaf) 2.86 (1.73 and 1.13) $4,400

SEMIFINALS:
H1: CJ Hobgood (US), Marcus Hickman (HI), Dusty Payne (HI), Mick Fanning (Aus)
H2: Jordy Smith (Zaf), Tom Whitaker (Aus), Joel Parkinson (Aus), Ian Walsh (HI)

QUARTERFINALS:
H1: CJ Hobgood (US), Dusty Payne (HI), Yadin Nicol (Aus), Rhys Bombaci (Aus)
H2: Mick Fanning (Aus), Marcus Hickman (HI), David Weare (SAf), Torrey Meister (HI)
H3: Jordy Smith (SAf), Joel Parkinson (Aus), Kamalei Alexander (HI), Bede Durbidge (Aus)
H4: Tom Whitaker (Aus), Ian Walsh (HI), Greg Emslie (SAf), Dion Atkinson (Aus)

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Reef Hawaiian Pro Rolling, Carissa Moore Top Female at Haleiwa

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

bede durbidge reef hawaiian pro

The list of surfers vying for a win in opening leg of the Van’s Triple Crown of Surfing is being whittled down. At the moment, the Reef Hawaiian Pro is currently in the 4th round of action in a pretty fun looking 3-4 ft. swell at Haleiwa. For the most part the top surfers coming into the event have held their ground.

Taj Burrow, Joel Parkinson, and Bede Durbidge are the remaining surfers from the WCT Top 10. Both Mick Fanning and C.J. Hobgood got clipped early on in the 4th. Defending champion Roy Powers is on top of his game again at Haleiwa and looking like he intends on going back to back. With the first jewel in the Triple Crown and end of season WQS points on the line, the competition is sure to intensify as the event winds down. Be sure to catch the webcast as we get into the business end of the competition.

On another note, we just want to throw a huge congratulations out to Carissa Moore. Carissa killed it at Haleiea today, taking out living-legend Layne Beachley on her way to winning the women’s side of the event. With news of Carissa’s big new deal with Red Bull and Nike 6.0 recently breaking, The 16 yr. old Carissa has had herself a pretty smooth past couple of weeks

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