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Get Ready for the Eddie Aikau: Video

Monday, December 1st, 2008

eddie aikauThe “Eddie”….the sound of those two words alone carry with them a mystique and level of respect that few other surfing competitions throughout the world come even close to matching. Otherwise known as the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau contest, the Eddie is still, as it has been since it’s inception, the premier big-wave riding event in surfing. And it is now officially open to run whenever Mother Nature decides to cooperate.

The call to run the Eddie hasn’t been made since 2004. That was the year Bruce Irons shocked the surfing world and claimed victory with an incredible winning wave at Waimea Bay. The standards for the Eddie are as high as any with one day of at least 20-foot surf needed for the call to be made. With all of the early swell activity seen on the North Shore already this year, hopes are high that the revered event will end it’s 4-year hiatus.

The names of those invited to participate are listed below. One that stands out is South Africa’s Grant “Twiggy” Baker. Twiggy added his 2008 Red Bull Big Wave Africa victory earlier this year to his stunning win at Mavericks in 2006. A win at Waimea Bay would be huge in securing his spot as one of, if not the premier big-wave surfer in the world right now.

Regardless, there is so much more to the Eddie than just a big-wave surf contest and I strongly recommend those who are unfamiliar with the story of Eddie Aikau to make an effort and seek out as much knowledge as possible regarding one of surfing’s greatest stories.

2008 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Invitees:

1. Andy Irons (Hawaii)
2. Brian Keaulana (Hawaii)
3. Brock Little (Hawaii)
4. Bruce Irons (Hawaii)
5. Carlos Burle (Brazil)
6. Clyde Aikau (Hawaii)
7. Darryl Virostko (California)
8. Grant “Twiggy” Baker (South Africa)
9. Greg Long (California)
10. Ian Walsh (Hawaii)
11. Ibon Amatriain (Spain)
12. Jamie O’Brien (Hawaii)
13. Jamie Sterling (Hawaii)
14. Kelly Slater (Florida)
15. Keone Downing (Hawaii)
16. Makua Rothman (Hawaii)
17. Mark Healey (Hawaii)
18. Michael Ho (Hawaii)
19. Noah Johnson (Hawaii)
20. Peter Mel (California)
21. Ramon Navarro (Chili)
22. Ross Clarke-Jones (Australia)
23. Rusty Keaulana (Hawaii)
24. Shane Dorian (Hawaii)
25. Sunny Garcia (Hawaii)
26. Takayuki Wakita (Japan)
27. Tom Carroll (Australia)
28. Titus Kinimaka (Hawaii

Previous Winners:
1985 – Denton Miyamura (Hawaii)
1986 – Clyde Aikau (Hawaii) – Eddie Aikau’s younger brother
1990 – Keone Downing (Hawaii)
1999 – Noah Johnson (Hawaii)
2000 – Ross Clarke-Jones (Australia)
2002 – Kelly Slater (Florida, USA)
2004 – Bruce Irons (Hawaii, USA)

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Tahiti’s Michel Bourez wins Reef Hawaiian Pro

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

michel bourez wins reef hawaiian pro

In 2005, Tahiti’s Michel Bourez won a small surfing contest that was held in the Canary Islands. Until Saturday, that victory has served as Bourez’ best result to date. By putting on an absolutely stellar display of surfing at Haleiwa, the 22 yr. old Bourez can now lay claim to winning the first leg of the Vans Triple Crown, the 2008 Reef Hawaiian Pro.

While conditions at Haleiwa weren’t quite up to the standard set in earlier rounds of the event, the final day of action still saw plenty of opportunities for some of the world’s best surfers to let loose. And that’s exactly what Bourez did. In doing so, Bourez not only took home $15,000, bragging rights, and an early lead on the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing series ratings, he also took a no. 2 ranking in the WQS standings and a guaranteed spot on the 2009 ASP World Tour. “It means a lot to just qualify for the World Tour. I’ve been dreaming about this my whole life since I started to surf. I’ve been watching all the best surfers, like Kelly Slater and Rob Machado, all those guys. And, right now I can surf with them. It’s a good opportunity for me and all the Tahitian surfers. I’m stoked for Tahiti.”

dusty payne reef hawaiian pro

The final day at Haleiwa offered up a good number of deep barrels for the surfers, something Haleiwa is not generally known for. I don’t really think you’ll find any of the riders complaining about this though, everyone looked like they were just really digging the opportunity to get shacked at one of the world’s most prestigious events. Bourez especially looked right at home from the semi-final on. “That semi was maybe the best heat of my life,” said Bourez. “Everybody was getting barreled I was screaming my head off. It was so sick. I was having so much fun out there and that’s what I call a good contest.” In the process of screaming and having as much fun as he was, Bourez posted the highest wave and heat scores of the entire event: 18.96 points out of 20 for the heat, and 9.93 out of 10 for his top tube ride.

Congratulations Michel Bourez, winner of the 2008 Reef Hawaiian Pro!

FINAL RESULTS

MEN’S FINAL
1st. Michel Bourez (Tahiti) – 16.77 out of 20 (9.77 & 7.0) – $15,000
2nd. Jihad Khodr (Brazil) – 16.5 (8.5 & 8.0)- $7,500
3rd. Kekoa Bacalso (Hawaii) 15.83 (9.0 & 6.83) – $4,500
4th. Dusty Payne (Hawaii) 4.67 (2.67 & 2.0) – $4,400

MEN’S SEMI-FINALS:
H1: Michel Bourez (PYF), Kekoa Bacalso (HI), Nic Muscroft (Aus), Brett Simpson (CA)
H2: Jihad Khodr (Brz), Dusty Payne (HI), Joel Parkinson (Aus), Bede Durbidge (Aus)

MEN’S QUARTER FINALS:
H1: Kekoa Bacalso (HI), Michel Bourez (PYF), Evan Valiere (HI), Greg Emslie (SAf)
H2: Nic Muscroft (Aus), Brett Simpson (CA), Sunny Garcia (HI), Kieren Perrow (Aus)
H3: Bede Durbidge (Aus), Dusty Payne (HI), Chris Ward (CA), Dayyan Neve (Aus)
H4: Jihad Khodr (Brz), Joel Parkinson (Aus), Dustin Barca (HI), Tim Reyes (CA)

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Kelly Slater Confirmed for ‘09 Quiksilver Pro…Already

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

kelly slater

For a man who’s made an art form out of keeping everyone guessing, committing to an event that is still 4 months out is pretty… un-Slateresque. None the less, amidst a hectic promotion schedule for his new book ‘For the Love’, Kelly Slater has made it be known that he will be throwing his name into the hat for the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast in March of next year.

This is quite a departure from his 2008 ‘maybe, maybe not’ approach for each event. However with an unprecedented 10th world championship acting as the carrot in front of his nose, the decision to show up at Snapper was likely not a difficult one. “The Quiksilver Pro and the Gold Coast are two things very special to Kelly,” said event spokesman Johnathan Jenkins. “He has always claimed the waves of the Gold Coast are among his favourites in the world.”

Kelly’s 2008 victory at Snapper Rocks, one which saw him out defending champ Mick Fanning in front of thousands of screaming Gold Coasters, served as a catalyst for Slater’s unreal run to his 9th world championship. Another win at Snapper in March would be a massive way to start his run to #10.

Knowing this, commiting to Snapper at this point makes complete sense for Kelly Slater. “His non-committal reputation is pretty legendary among the surfing community,” said Jenkins. “But his competitiveness always seems to get the better of him. If I was a betting man I would be putting my money on him going for 10 titles.”

I think I speak for most when I say we all look forward to witnessing the magical run for 10.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

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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Kelly and Laird Release Books

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

kelly slater for the loveAny chance to soak up information from living legends, whatever the field may be, should be looked at as a killer opportunity to learn from the best. To be able to see how they do it, to see what makes them tick, to get a feel for what it might be like to walk a day in their slippahs…There really is so much you can learn when reading what the guys on top are putting out.

Laird Hamilton and Kelly Slater. To call these guys legends would be an understatement. Each has ascended to the top of the surfing world and essentially revolutionized the sport in a way that few others have, and each have books making their way to the masses that open up a window into their worlds.

Laird’s book, Force of Nature: Mind, Body, Soul and, of Course, Surfing just came out yesterday. Force of Nature is what he calls a map of the choices he’s made along the way that have led him to reach the levels he has reached throughout all aspects of his life. “It’s about quality over quantity and being true to your physical, mental, and spiritual roots. Not only is it possible to thrive in the modern world without adopting its harmful habits: it’s essential” he says. Gabrielle Reece and Dave Kalama, as well as various food and health gurus have all helped contribute to Force of Nature.

‘Kelly Slater: For the Love’ is the 9x world champion’s soon to be newest release. As Kelly has progressed in his surfing career to levels never before imagined, he has put on hats such as professional surfer, world-class athlete, environmental and social activist, musician and worldwide celebrity. I’ve always found Kelly to be one of the more fascinating individuals in the world. Even more intriguing in Mr. Slater’s latest are the people interviewed for the book. They range from Jack Johnson, Eddie Vedder, and Shaun Thomson all the way to the one and only Pamela Anderson. Should be stellar! Chronicle Books will be releasing Kelly Slater: For the Love on Nov. 17

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Quote of the Day: Taj Burrow

Monday, October 27th, 2008

taj burrow“It’s part of the tour and it’s an event that is there for taking. Winning contests is the most amazing feeling so why would I miss that opportunity. I can’t wait.” – Taj Burrow

It’s always cool to see when a professional surfer ‘gets it’. When he realizes that this small window he has to surf for a living is something special, something that was made possible by the hard work of many before him, and takes full advantage of it. When he realizes that there are thousands of fans, the very people who make this dream job possible, who look forward to watching him perform at each event whether it be live at the beach or via webcast.

The Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro will be starting tomorrow. For reasons varying from injuries and illnesses to personal matters and burnout, the event will be without 11 of the Top 45 ASP World Tour surfers, 4 of which are currently sitting in the Top 10. If there is anyone who has reason to be legitimately frustrated at this point of the year, it’s Taj Burrow. Taj has had arguably his best year on tour, yet he is destined to once again finish as runner-up. Had Kelly Slater not decided to go mental on the ‘08 Dream Tour, Taj would most likely be on his way to his 1st world championship, something he has been working his ass off for this year. Knowing that goal is now out of reach, Taj still recognizes, as Bobby Martinez did before Spain, the incredible opportunity this is for him and everyone else on tour. One that won’t be around forever.

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

A Few Good Kelly Clips (Video)

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Kelly Slater

It’s good to be king. The surfing world is all things Slater right now, and for good reason. Since winning his 9th world championship last week in Mundaka there has been an absolute whirlwind of fresh press popping up regarding Kelly’s run. The chatter surrounding Quiksilver’s offering Kelly Slater a $10,000,000 bonus for winning #10 started long before he took to the water for the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast to kick-off his campaign for #9.

Kelly accomplishing that remarkable feat in Spain last week has eliminated the variable from the issue and turned speculation into a legitimate question. While it’s still officially unknown whether or not Quiksilver has thrown out such an offer, the mere fact that this is even a consideration is unreal. I would be through the roof if someone was even considering paying me $10 to surf the best waves around the world for a year, let alone $10 million.

Surfer Mag’s Chris Mauro penned a solid Kelly piece that sheds some light into just where Kelly is at in his career and puts into perspective the fact that he has reached a point of dominance at 36 yrs. of age. Will a 36-year-old Andy Irons have it in him to win a title in 2014? Will a 36-year-old Mick Fanning have it in him to win another one in 2017? Will Jordy perhaps stand a chance in 2024? I guess anything is possible, but the chances of it being their 9th world championship for any of the surfers mentioned by Mauro are, at best, very slim. Especially given Irons apparent disinterest in the tour at the moment.

Surfing guru and WQS Tour Manager Al Hunt brought up an interesting comparison between Slater and his reign and Lance Armstrong’s 7 Tour de France victories. Over the past few weeks that have led up to Slater’s #9, stories of Armstrong’s return to cycling and the drama surrounding that have far outnumbered any mentions of Slater’s utter dominance in competitive surfing. It’s never really bothered me that networks like ESPN don’t as much of a mention in respect to Slater. I’ve just never really understood the rationale behind it.

Apparently there is more of an interest is an MMA brawler named Kimbo Slice getting knocked cold in 14 seconds then Kelly Slater winning his 9th world championship in a 16 year span. It’s too bad, but for whatever the reason the vast majority of news/sports networks would rather cover some big dude get pummeled for a few seconds over the brilliant performance that took place in Kelly’s title-clinching heat (pay attention to the 00:45 second mark, how he pulls off that floater is still beyond me)

Regardless of how the rest of the world regards Kelly Slater and what he is accomplishing, the surfing community is well aware of just how incredible what we are witnessing Slater do really is.

It’s definitely good to be king, but right now, it’s even better to be Kelly Slater.

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

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

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Kelly Slater Wins 9th World Championship

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

kelly slater 9th world championship

Kelly Slater defeated surfer Eneko Acero today in Rd. 3 of the Billabong Pro Mundaka to once again take his spot atop the surfing world. 16 years after becoming the youngest ever to win a world title at just 20 years of age, the 36 yr. old out of Cocoa Beach, Florida became the oldest ASP World Champion ever with his unprecedented 9th world championship.

Congratulations Kelly Slater… The 2008 ASP World Champion!

Stay tuned to 5ones for more info on all the action at the Billabong Pro Mundaka!

ASP Records Held by Kelly Slater:
Most ASP World Titles: Nine (2008, 2006, 2005, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1992)
Most ASP World Tour Victories: 39
Oldest ASP World Champion: 36-years-old (2008)
Youngest ASP World Champion: 20-year-old (1992)
Highest Heat Total: Only perfect 20 out of 20 ever earned (Tahiti – 2005)
Most Event Wins in a Season: Seven in 1996

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Quote of the Day: Bobby Martinez

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

bobby martinez“For me it’s different, I am still pretty new to this tour – I am not going to give up, I’m not going to quit just because Kelly is going to win the title. I still want to do my best. People where I come from don’t get the opportunity to do this kind of stuff and I have, so I’m going to take it and run with it as far as I can. As much as people are over it after watching Kelly win all the time, I look at it like there are kids where I come from who have nothing and this is something big for me.” -Bobby Martinez

Kind of puts things into perspective with all the talk going on about guys on tour who are “over it”. It’s rad to see guys like Bobby, Taj, and everyone else take advantage of their situations as pro-surfers and continue to work their asses off in the water, even if Slater has #9 essentially wrapped up. I guess that’s why they are called professionals in the first place.

Thanks for shedding a little bit of perspective on this Bobby. There are thousands upon thousands of kids, all over the world, and from all walks of life who only dream of getting paid to surf. I’m always stoked to see these guys appreciate the opportunity and privilege they have of being a professional surfer.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

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