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Kelly Slater Passing the Torch

Monday, November 17th, 2008

“Dane Reynolds is the best surfer in the world right now by a mile. If he doesn’t win this thing for the next 20 years, there’s something wrong I think.” – Kelly Slater

dane reynolds

Kelly Slater has never been shy about his thoughts on the potential possessed by Dane Reynolds to usher in the next revolution for surfing. For years now, Kelly has been generous and unrelenting in heaping praise on his Quiksilver counterpart. More so than any other world champion, as far as I can remember, Slater has gone out his way to pass the torch to Dane, and never was this more evident than at the most recent edition of the Surfer Poll awards where Kelly not only won his unprecedented 14th Surfer Poll, but also witnessed Dane finish third overall in the Surfer Mag poll. The list of surfers finishing behind Dane was pretty impressive, including the likes of Joel Parkinson, Andy Irons, Bruce Irons, Taj Burrow and others considered to be among the worlds best.

And Dane’s response to all of the respect being thrown this way and being considered the new revolution?

“I don’t know if I’ve really arrived, I’m only young…Everything I do is just a tiny notch toward…I don’t know what. A baby step toward something. I’m just a surf bum, really.”

Classic Dane, and part of the reason why Kelly’s prophecy of Dane’s greatness is likely to be fulfilled. Contest results, hype, awards and everything else don’t really seem to phase Dane much. He just loves to ride and is one of the most progressive, talented guys out there doing it.

Kelly speaks on the future of Dane…

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C.J. Hobgood Wins Billabong Pro Mundaka

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

cj hobgood wins billabong pro

C.J. Hobgood kept the party for Florida surfers rolling today with a last-minute victory over Joel Parkinson, a victory that saw him become the 2008 Billabong Pro Mundaka champion.

Although Dream Tour events in which an overall world champion is crowned early on sometimes end up with a funky, anti-climatic feel to them, the remaining contestants didn´t appear to be affected by all of the Slater-hoopla and put on quite a show at Mundaka. Mundaka itself held up rather well and, although spotty and inconsistent at times, made it´s case for remaining on the European leg of the 2009 world tour.

It´s been one of those years for Parko. It looked like he was on his way to ending his two-year victory drought before C.J. picked up a barrel-induced, buzzer-beating 8.57 to claim the victory in Spain. Having seen his good friend Mick Fanning win the ´07 world title, an inspired Parko came into the 2008 year chomping at the bit. Although coming close several times, the Gold Coast surfer has just been unable to lock down a win on tour this year. Just seconds away from ending his dry-spell, Parkinson took off on the first wave of the final set at Mundaka and left C.J. all alone to grab the winning wave.

Following the event, Parko praised Hobgood for grabbing the win and graciously gave him all the credit for the come from behind win. Hobgood deserved every bit of it, and with the win the former world champion now sits at #6 in the overall ASP standings, just a shade behind Adriano de Souza.
Congratulations C.J. Hobgood… winner of the 2008 Billabong Pro Mundaka

Billabong Pro Mundaka Final Results:
Final: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 18.50 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.83

Billabong Pro Mundaka Semifinal Heat Results:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.80 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.50
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 14.66 def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 6.70

Billabong Pro Mundaka Quarterfinal Heat Results:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.34 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 6.17
Heat 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.83 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 7.40
Heat 3: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.34 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 8.10
Heat 4: Luke Stedman (AUS) 13.16 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 10.24

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Quiksilver Pro France: Fanning, Parko Make Early Exits

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

quiksilver pro france

It was a fairly brutal day for most of the usual suspects as action got underway at the ‘08 Quiksilver Pro France today. The call was made to run the event this morning as the approaching swell began filling in overnight. Wave size was in the 2-4 ft. range with absolutely beautiful weather conditions (in the morning anyways) in Hossegor.

Although both needed to make it at least to the semifinal round in order to guarantee that Kelly Slater has no chance of clinching the world championship in France, Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning find themselves on the outside looking in following surprising Rd. 2 losses.

After falling to rookie-phenom Dane Reynolds in Rd. 1, current world no.4 Joel Parkinson was sent out of the event for good at the hands of Tahitian wildcard surfer Michel Bourez. This took place just moments after seeing fellow Coolie-kid and reigning world champ Mick Fanning be eliminated by injury replacement surfer Gabe Kling in the previous heat. “Mick has been one of my favorite surfers and I can’t really believe that happened,” Kling said. “It was so hard out there and him needing that small of score… I just got lucky but I’ll take it. I’m stoked to win though, he’s a reigning world champion.”

Andy Irons finds himself in a do-or-die Rd. 2 match-up against Brazil’s Jihad Khodr once action resumes tomorrow. It’s still super hard to tell what is going on with the 3x champ from Hawaii. Although the conditions were shifty and inconsistent, the 3x winner of this event threw up a meager 2.34 in a first round heat that saw Jordy Smith make his way to Rd. 3. I’m not gonna lie, A.I. is far and away one of my all-time favorite surfers to watch and is honestly just too damn good of a surfer to perform that way. Maybe he’s ready to go the way of his brother Bruce and resign from full-time WCT status, perhaps there’s an injury or something else going on, but here’s to hoping the only surfer to put fear into the mind of Kelly Slater can get back to the surfing that has made him one of the all-time greats to ever set foot on a board.

Speaking of Slater… he struggled at the beginning as well today, as he went down in his 1st round heat to wildcard contestant Joan Duru. His Rd. 2 match-up versus U.S. Open runner-up Tim Boal saw Slater battling from behind for most of the round. However with a late 9.0 score, Slater moved on to Rd. 3 and kept his hope of clinching #9 in France alive and strong. “This is a tough place for a contest,” Slater said. “It’s really amazing that Andy won this contest three times and got a second the year before that because the waves change so much and it really is the luck of the draw out in those heats. The guy who gets the best waves is going to win and it happens a lot here at this contest.”

And don’t think for a second Kelly doesn’t know right where the race for the world championship stands. Even he admitted the thought of clinching may have been creeping into the back of his mind. “It probably just has my head a little bit – thinking about it,” Slater said. “It’s hard to get that monkey off your back, thinking you had the chance to do something like that. I guess I have been thinking about it a little bit over the last week and I just haven’t gotten in sync so far. That heat I felt pretty good, still not great, but I got a couple of good scores – those lefts panned out for me and allowed me to get a couple big moves.”

With the swell expected to continue increasing, Rd. 2 is likely to resume tomorrow morning. The official call on competition status will be made tomorrow morning at 7:30. You can peep the action HERE.

Here are the rest of today’s results from the Quiksilver Pro France…

Quiksilver Pro France Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.67 def. Tim Boal (FRA) 15.00
Heat 2: Gabe Kling (USA) 12.07 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.00
Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.00 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.67
Heat 4: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.00 def. Nic Muscroft (AUS) 9.44

Quiksilver Pro France Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Ben Dunn (AUS) 12.84, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.06, Leonardo Neves (BRA) 8.6
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 17.13, Jay Thompson (AUS) 15.2, Daniel Ross (AUS) 10.1
Heat 3: Roy Powers (HAW) 13.6, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.56, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 11.9
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.97, Jihad Khodr (BRA) 6.63, Andy Irons (HAW) 2.34
Heat 5: Taylor Knox (USA) 13.67, Bobby Martinez (USA) 13.40, Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 5.83
Heat 6: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 15.50, Nic Muscroft (AUS) 13.84, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.50
Heat 7: Dane Reynolds (USA) 15.16, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.60, Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.30
Heat 8: Joan Duru (FRA) 10.50, Kelly Slater (USA) 9.94, Chris Ward (USA) 9.90
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.67, Tim Reyes (USA) 11.50, Tim Boal (FRA) 5.77
Heat 10: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 15.00, Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.40, Gabe Kling (USA) 13.5
Heat 11: Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.94, Kai Otton (AUS) 10.67, Mikael Picon (FRA) 10.34
Heat 12: Daniel Wills (AUS) 16.17, Heitor Alves (BRA) 4.74, Bruce Irons (HAW) 2.77
Heat 13: Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 13.80, Luke Stedman (AUS) 12.83, Damien Hobgood (USA) 12.10
Heat 14: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.16, Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.63, Mick Campbell (AUS) 12.10
Heat 15: Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 14.50, Ben Bourgeois (USA) 14.30, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 9.44
Heat 16: Dayyan Neve (AUS) 15.66, Royden Bryson (ZAF) 13.34, Luke Munro (AUS) 7.76

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Possible Saturday Start for Quik Pro, Great Match-Ups for Rd. 1

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

quik pro france

The holding period for the 2008 Quiksilver Pro France officially opened today, however the Atlantic Ocean just wasn’t giving up any love for the French leg of the ASP World Tour. Conditions at Hossegor were about as weak as it possibly gets today. The call for a lay-day was a pretty easy one to make for the event organizers, especially with a solid swell making it’s way there as early as tomorrow. With the possible 3-5 ft. swell on tap for Saturday, last year’s rookie of the year, as well as one of the hometown favorites Jeremy Flores could very well be taking to the water to lead off what is a fantastic 1st round of match-ups scheduled for the Quiksilver Pro.

Kelly Slater will get his march to #9 going in the 8th eat of Rd. 1 as he comes up against San Clemente, Ca. surfer Chris Ward and wild-card contestant Joan Duru from France. Kelly is obviously very aware of what needs to take place in order for him to move onto Mundaka with his 9th world championship in hand. “I know I have to win the event to clinch the title and a second won’t be enough, that’s the math,” Slater said. His past experience and lack of typical Slater success in France makes this an even tougher task for Slater. Slater has only one French ASP World Tour win to his credit 14 years into his career. “It is a great event but I got third place four years in a row which is pretty frustrating,” Slater said. “The first and only time I won here was in 1996, 12 years ago.”

This years U.S. Open of Surfing runner-up, as well as likely full-timer on the ‘09 Dream Tour Tim Boal, also from France, won the Komunity Trials to join Joan Duru and Michel Bourez as the final wildcard into the event. Boal will surf in another heat likely to produce epic surfing when he hoes up against Trestle’s runner-up and current world no.2 Taj Burrow and Huntington Beach phenom Timmy Reyes once action gets underway. Other top heats include Heat 4, featuring Andy Irons and Dane Reynolds, and Heat 7, which features Joel Parkinson and Dane Reynolds.

The official call for the beginning of the ‘08 Quik Pro France will be made tomorrow at 8am local time, stay tuned!

Quiksilver Pro France Heat Draw:
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Ben Dunn (AUS), Leonardo Neves (BRA)
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA), Jay Thompson (AUS), Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Roy Powers (HAW), Aritz Aranburu (EUK)
Heat 4: Andy Irons (HAW), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Jihad Khodr (BRA)
Heat 5: Bobby Martinez (USA), Taylor Knox (USA), Ricky Basnett (ZAF)
Heat 6: Bede Durbidge (AUS), Tom Whitaker (AUS), Nic Muscroft (AUS)
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Dane Reynolds (USA), Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA), Chris Ward (USA), Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS), Tim Reyes (USA), Tim Boal (FRA)
Heat 10: Mick Fanning (AUS), Kieren Perrow (AUS), Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 11: Kai Otton (AUS), Mikael Picon (FRA), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 12: Bruce Irons (HAW), Heitor Alves (BRA), Daniel Wills (AUS)
Heat 13: Luke Stedman (AUS), Damien Hobgood (USA), Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA)
Heat 14: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Tiago Pires (PRT), Mick Campbell (AUS)
Heat 15: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Pancho Sullivan (HAW), Ben Bourgeois (USA)
Heat 16: Dayyan Neve (AUS), Royden Bryson (ZAF), Luke Munro (AUS)

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Dream Tour: It’s all but Over

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

ASP World Tour logoThere’s always the battle for which Aussie will end 2008 in the no. 2 spot. You can keep an eye on who will finish in the top 27 and guarantee themselves a spot on the 2009 Dream Tour. Will A.I. finish his less than spectacular year in the Top 10? How will Bruce Irons finish off ‘08 before he heads off to blow minds all over the world? While there are still these, as well as many other story-lines to keep an eye on as the ASP World Tour moves through Europe, Brazil, and then onto it’s year-ending stop at the Pipeline Masters, the crowning of Kelly Slater as the eventual 2009 ASP World Champion is but a mere formality at this point.

Kelly’s narrow victory over Taj Burrow at Trestle’s this week has basically placed King Slater in a position where he pretty much just needs to show-up at the remaining events of the 2008 year in order to lay claim to his 9th world championship. If Slater wins at the next tour stop in France and Taj, Bede Durbidge, Mick Fanning, and Joel Parkinson fail to make it to at least the semi’s, the hype for Kelly going for no. 10 can officially begin before the following event at Mundaka even takes place. However, regardless of whether France is the site of his victory celebration or not, Kelly Slater’s ongoing legend continues to grow as it’s only a matter of time until SL8R becomes SL9R.

ASP World Tour Ratings after event No. 7 of 11 – the Boost Mobile Pro pres. by Hurley.
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 6820 points
2. Taj Burrow (AUS) 5402 points
3. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 5258 points
4. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 5148 points
5. Mick Fanning (AUS) 5085 points
6. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 4550 points
7. Bobby Martinez (USA) 4360 points
8. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 4280 points
9. Andy Irons (HAW) 4163 points
10. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 3997 points

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Boost Mobile Pro Running at Trestles, Andy Irons Makes Early Exit

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

joel parkinson

The 2008 Boost Mobile Pro presented by Hurley is well underway and to this point has been full of spectacular surfing in the 3-5 ft. summer swell at Trestles. The last two days have seen the completion of Rounds 1,2, and the first four heats of Round 3. The current swell is expected to hold tight and build throughout the week. The competition at Lowers is likely to ensue Wednesday morning.

3-x world champion Andy Irons continues his less than stellar year with a surprising Rd. 2 loss to Yadin Nicol. Andy came into the event at Trestles ranked 7th in the current ASP standings but will obviously be taking a slide with this early exit. Andy has had runs of classic A.I. surfing this year but has yet been able to put it together for a whole event.

Joel Parkinson, Dane Reynolds, and Bede Durbidge are among those already making their way into the 4th round. Round 3 still holds several interesting match-up as current 8x, as well as eventual 9x world champion, Kelly Slater meets up with former world champ Sunny Garcia in the 8th heat. Sunny has been battling his way through the WQS this year in hopes of making it back onto the WCT full-time in 2009. Sunny vowed to make Slater’s year on tour a living hell next year if succeeds in his goal to get back on the Dream Tour. Although the words were given somewhat in jest, it doesn’t take much to get Kelly motivated to go for the kill.

UPCOMING ROUND 3 HEATS for 9/10/08:
Heat 5: Bobby Martinez (USA), Ben Bourgeois (USA)
Heat 6: Kai Otton (AUS), Luke Munro (AUS)
Heat 7: Roy Powers (HAW), Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA), Sunny Garcia (HAW)
Heat 9: Mick Fanning (AUS), Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 10: Tim Reyes (USA), Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 11: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA)
Heat 12: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Royden Bryson (ZAF)
Heat 13: Taj Burrow (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 14: Chris Ward (USA), Jordy Smith (ZAF)
Heat 15: CJ Hobgood (USA), Heitor Alves (BRA)
Heat 16: Bruce Irons (HAW), Jay Thompson (AUS)

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2008 Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay: Update

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Billabong Pro Jeffreys BayRounds 1 and 2 of the 2008 Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay have come and gone. The second straight lay day has been called and surfers and event organizers alike are licking their lips with the forthcoming swell said to be on its way by forecasters. While the opening rounds of the Dream Tour events may at times lack the drama and story-lines of the later rounds, Jeffreys Bay showed once again why it is one of the premier waves in the world. Watching some of the worlds best on one of the worlds best in the opening rounds has been incredible to see. The surfing that has taken place to this point is only a sign of things to come as the event moves into the business rounds.

The opening round performance of Taylor Knox was a site to behold. The 37 yr. old out of Carlsbad, Ca. looked as youthful as ever and appeared to be in complete harmony with J-Bay. Knox’s speed and synergy with the wave netted him the highest combined heat score in Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay history with an almost perfect 19.70. World No. 2 Joel Parkinson did his best to match the level that Knox was performing at, thus providing the South African crowd, as well as all the webcast junkies watching at home, one of the classic 1st round performances of all time. “It’s really enjoyable to be in a heat like that, it was unreal.” Knox said. “It was exciting, because Parko got the first wave and I could see that it was such a good wave and I knew that once it went by me it would barrel. Right then I saw a big one out the back and just thought, ‘I’m going to get barreled.’”

Round 1 also saw the unusual opening round match-up of Bruce and Andy Irons in the same heat. With Bruce set to leave the WCT following the year, there’s a high probability that this is one of the final time the Irons brothers will go head to head in a ‘CT event. The match-up saw Bruce narrowly edge out his big brother and move onto Rd. 3. However the 3x world champion Andy took out his Hawaiian counterpart Granger Larsen on his way to a 3rd round meeting with Brazil’s Heitor Alves.

Stay tuned for the call on rounds 3 and beyond of the 2008 Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay.

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Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Upon Us

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

jeffreys bayThere are few breaks in the world that contain the prestige and history of South Africa’s Jeffreys Bay. Its a wave unlike any other that has been known to bring out the best in many of the greatest surfers to ever step foot on a board. Tomson, Curren, Occy, Slater, and so many other surf legends have seen J-Bay be the site of some of their most impressive and inspired performances. And now with the arrival of the 2008 Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay upon us this week, we have another opportunity to witness a few of the worlds best on one of its greatest waves.

The holding period for the Billabong Pro J-Bay, the fifth of 11 events on the 2008 ASP World Tour, is set to open on July 10. While for us it means a chance to see the top 44 and others do work at Jeffreys Bay , for everyone taking part in the tour it only means one thing – possibly the last hope to putting an end to Kelly Slater cruising through to his 9th world championship.

Current world No. 2, Joel Parkinson knows this better than anyone, and is even hoping for the Aussie legend Mark Occhilupo to help stop the damage that Slater has been inflicting. “When it comes down to perfect 6 foot J-Bay, you know Occy has still got it. He is in the trials, so hopefully he gets into the main event and helps the rest of us by taking Kelly out early,” said Parko. Parkinson himself is extremely well suited for the long burly right, and Slater knows that he will be one of his biggest obstacles standing in front of his 4th win at J-Bay, as well as his fourth victory on the ‘08 tour. “JBay has been one of my best events,” Slater said. “I’ve had three wins out there, but it’s obviously a good event for Taj, a good event for Parko, a good event for Andy and it suits Bede really well.”

The stop at Jeffreys Bay has solidified itself years ago as one of the truly special events of each year. The chance to see another round of memorable performances is something that shouldn’t be passed up. Even those who aren’t huge WCT followers can appreciate the magic of seeing these guys carve up the endless walls that J-Bay is known and loved for.

You can give it a peep for yourself as the 2008 Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay will be webcast live on aspworldtour.com as well as billabongpro.com

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Trilogy: On The Fast Track to “Classic” Status

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

One of the common denominators of any book, song, or movie that I have ever considered to be a classic is the ability to experience it over and over and find something new each time. For any production to be labeled great and timeless, it needs to be able to grab the attention of its audience with something fresh time and time again. Taylor Steele’s Trilogy does just that.
I could probably sit and write a never-ending post about everything that makes this movie one of the all-time classics that it is, but the only way to really find out is to get cozy, set yourself up with something to munch, and watch it yourself.

The soundtrack, the cinematography, and so many of the little nuances that are found in all of Steele’s productions have made this my current go-to flick. I’m always ready to throw it in whenever I feel like charging up my session batteries or just pumping out an incredibly solid and varied set of tunes to listen to while I take care of business around the office.

The combination of A.I., Parko, and Taj Burrow works perfectly and gives the viewer the opportunity to watch three of surfings best absolutely kill it, each with their individual touch of style and creativity. Whether it’s Parko’s fluidity, Andy’s knack for unleashing on beastly, throaty barrels, or the picture perfect head movement of Taj as he sets up his third and fourth moves down the line, there is a limitless amount of visual love to take with you every time you get a chance to pop this little slice of goodness in.

On a side note, writing this post reminds me that as much as I’ve taken to this film, it’s probably time to return it to the friend that loaned it to me about a month ago. I guess my delinquency in returning the movie is just another testament to the greatness that is Taylor Steele’s “Trilogy”.

trilogyandy ironstaj burrowjoel parkinson

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