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“Money-Hungry Pig Idiots”: Da Hui Rips Billabong, ASP

Friday, April 24th, 2009

For those who have yet to witness, Da Hui has taken to YouTube to share their feelings regarding Billabong and the ASP. Their point of conflict lies with a trials format that only allows 1 local surfer into the main event of the Billabong Pro Tahiti; a far cry from the 16 spots allotted by the Pipeline Masters. In the letter addressed to “Tahitian surfers of the Tahitian Surfing Federation and all it may concern”, a spokesman for Da Hui eloquently refers to the ASP and Billabong as “money-hungry pig idiots” and informed the Tahitians that “its time to stick out your chests, not your asses.”

I’m not going to pretend to know the inner-workings of the ASP and Billabong’s arrangement with Tahiti or their apparent monopoly of Teahupo’o. And no one would argue that there isn’t more than just 1 local surfer capable of hanging with and beating anyone on the Dream Tour. All you need to do is look at Manoa Drollet’s brilliant 2008 performance as evidence of how talented and dialed in the native surfers are when it comes to their wave. Over the years, Billabong has no doubt reaped a hefty reward from the natural wonder that is Teahupo’o. Opening the door for a few more local surfers to prove themselves under the bright lights of the ASP World Tour would certainly go a long way to further show their appreciation.

Where the stance taken by Da Hui gets confusing is their citing of the 16 wildcard spots allowed at the Pipeline Masters. They say that “all Polynesians should be allowed to have their talent shine and not have it blemished by foreigners”. Yet if you look at the list of the 14 wildcards who have already been confirmed for the 2009 event, it would be a stretch to say that even 50% would qualify as native Hawaiians or Polynesians. Considering it’s a system that’s left out past Pipeline Masters Rob Machado and Bruce Irons for this year’s event, it might not be a bad idea to re-evaluate the format being used at Pipeline as well. The ‘peer poll’ method used to select 6 of the final 16 especially leaves a lot to be desired. When Jamie O’Brien barely squeaks in at number 6 for the Pipe Masters, it might be time to go back to the drawing board.

While there’s no question changes could be made to allow more of the top native talent into the main event at Teahupo’o, I’m not exactly sure the Pipeline Masters has proven itself to be the gold standard on this matter.

Posted in Surfing | 3 Comments »

Kelly Slater Giving Surf Travel Tips

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Surf Travel

With the recent price gouging by most major airlines for checking surfboards, surf travel has been a hot topic lately. But usually those topics are focused on which airlines you should boycott and which still play friendly to us surfers. Despite the ridiculous fees, sometimes as much $300 per board each way (Delta), unless your content surfing your 1-2 foot sloppy beachbreak, getting away to score epic waves is still a must. And who better to give us the 411 on the best surf destinations then Kelly Slater?

Unlike other travelers, surfers are interested in surfer-friendly places to crash, snagging the best airline rates for surfboards and where to hang out.

Here’s Slater’s list of five great surfing meccas along with some hints about how to fully enjoy your search for the proverbial endless summer.

CNN, with the help of Slater, just published an article on 5 of the top surf spots in the world. These include; Pipeline, Cloudbreak, Teahupoo, Snapper Rocks, and Hossegor France. Included with each break are tips on where to stay, eat, hang out, how to get there, best time to go, and what the vibe is like. Oh, and each of them includes a couple nice little quotes from Kelly on what he likes about them.

And what would a surfing article from the mainstream press be without a little cheeseyness throw on top? Yes, the even include a helpful little table of surf slang so all those tourists can finally understand why everyone in Hawaii keeps calling them a Haole. These include; Bro-down, Gnarly, Goofy foot, Grom, Haole, Kook, Shredder, Sniveler, and sponger.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Jamie O’Brien: The Deion Sanders of Surfing

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

One of the world’s best freesurfers is expanding his game. When news of Jamie O’Brien’s participation in the Turbo Bodyboards Pipeline Pro first broke, it sounded like a one-time foray by O’brien into the world of competitive sponging….a simple demonstration of his nearly unmatched knowledge, ability, and style on the wave sitting outside of his back door.

After bowing out of the event with a 3rd in his very 1st heat, O’Brien made it known that he’s not quite done with the sport of legend Mike Stewart. “I’ll be back bigger and better next year,” said J.O.B. after his valiant effort fell short.

jaime obrien bodyboard

In fact, in a post by our friends at EXPN, O’Brien went on to prophecy great things for next years event- “We’re all riding waves and I was stoked that they respected that. Who knows? Next year I want to make the finals. That’s my goal.”

Why not? I dig O’Brien’s venture into competitive bodyboarding and look forward to seeing what he can do if he puts a little more time in, especially with the event being held at Pipeline.

Even if you no longer partake of the sponge with any frequency, chances are you cut your surfing teeth on a Morey and have a a soft spot in your heart for riding waves in the prone position. If O’Brien brings the same mentality to bodyboarding that he does to surfing….Spongers beware.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Da Hui Backdoor Shootout: More Pipe Magic On The Way

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

da hui logoAlthough the 2008 Pipeline Masters ended up looking like a Backdoor Shootout with all of the rights that were taken, the official Backdoor Shootout is just a couple of days away from unleashing it’s magic on the world of surfing. The holding period for the 2009 Da Hui Backdoor Shootout opens this Monday and will run through Jan. 15. The opening ceremony for the seventh annual Shootout will be held Sunday morning at Ehukai Beach Park for anyone one interested in attending.

The Backdoor Shootout is doing a solid job at setting itself up as one of the premier independent surf competitions in the world. Any competition at Backdoor Pipeline is obviously going to generate all kinds of hype and excitement. Mixing in a world class line-up of surfers such as 2008 winner Jaime O’Brien, Makua Rothman, Mark Healey, Danny Fuller, Bruce Irons and many more only adds to that. On top of it all, Da Hui offers up a very healthy prize purse, as Jamie O’Brien took home $50,000 for his efforts last year. Bruce Irons, the ‘08 Shootout runner-up, pulled in $25,000 for his efforts. That 2nd place total stands just a few G’s short of the typical amount seen by winners of ASP World Tour events.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the event will be webcast, which is kind of a downer. There was a staggering amount of web traffic for the Pipe Masters and I’m sure many of those same fans would love to get another Pipeline fix. Hopefully this is something we can look forward to for future Backdoor Shootouts. For those who live on the islands and those visiting over the next 10 or so days, catching a glimpse of this classic event is something that will definitely be worth your time, so be sure to check it out.

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Kelly Slater Wins 2008 Billabong Pipeline Masters: Who Else?

Friday, December 12th, 2008

kelly slater wins pipeline masters

What more can you say? Kelly Slater continued his re-writing of the record books with an unheard of 6th Pipeline Masters victory today at the Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii. Slater took out San Clemente, Ca. surfer Chris Ward in a rainy and slow final heat on his way to another incredible victory.

With the final being prefaced with an expression session that included Gerry Lopez, Rory Russell, Bonga Perkins, and Garrett McNamara, it was only fitting that the celebrations of legendary surfers continued with Slater taking home another win at Pipeline.

Congratulations Kelly Slater, winner of the 2008 Billabong Pipeline Masters.

Check back for a full Pipe Masters Recap-

Winners of the Pipeline Masters
2008 Kelly Slater 2007 Bede Durbidge 2006 Andy Irons 2005 Andy Irons 2004 Jamie O’Brien 2003 Andy Irons Hawaii 2002 Andy Irons Hawaii 2001 Bruce Irons Hawaii 2000 Rob Machado California 1999 Kelly Slater Florida 1998 Jake Paterson Australia 1997 John Gomes Hawaii 1996 Kelly Slater Florida 1995 Kelly Slater Florida 1994 Kelly Slater Florida 1993 Derek Ho Hawaii 1992 Kelly Slater Florida 1991 Tom Carroll Australia 1990 Tom Carroll Australia 1989 Gary Elkerton Australia 1988 Robby Page Australia 1987 Tom Carroll Australia 1986 Derek Ho Hawaii 1985 Mark Occhilupo Australia 1984 Joey Buran USA 1983 Dane Kealoha Hawaii 1982 Michael Ho Hawaii 1981 Simon Anderson Australia 1980 Mark Richards Australia 1979 Larry Blair Australia 1978 Larry Blair Australia 1977 Rory Russel Hawaii 1976 Rory Russel Hawaii 1975 Shaun Tomson South Africa 1974 Jeff Crawford USA 1973 Gerry Lopez Hawaii 1972 Gerry Lopez Hawaii 1971 Jeff Hakman Hawaii

Posted in Surfing | 4 Comments »

Final Day for Pipeline Masters: On and Looking Good

Friday, December 12th, 2008

joel parkinson pipeline masters

The call for the final day of competition has been made at the 2008 Billabong Pipeline Masters. Kelly Slater is going for his 6th Pipeline Masters win, Andy Irons is right behind him with 4 and shooting for #5. Bede Durbidge and Jamie O’Brien are both shooting for their 2nd. The rest of the final 16 surfers would become a Pipeline Master for the very first time, enscribing their names into surfing’s history books forever.

A massive rainstorm pounded Oahu and left various parts of the North Shore under water. The storm has since passed, and in it’s wake left a building 6-8 ft WNW swell @14 seconds with wind out of the south/southeast. The weather in Oahu should be clear, leaving us with a beautiful day to complete the 2008 Billabong Pipeline Masters. Go to http://triplecrownofsurfing.com/ for all of the action.

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)

Winners of the Pipeline Masters
2008- ? 2007 Bede Durbidge 2006 Andy Irons 2005 Andy Irons 2004 Jamie O’Brien 2003 Andy Irons Hawaii 2002 Andy Irons Hawaii 2001 Bruce Irons Hawaii 2000 Rob Machado California 1999 Kelly Slater Florida 1998 Jake Paterson Australia 1997 John Gomes Hawaii 1996 Kelly Slater Florida 1995 Kelly Slater Florida 1994 Kelly Slater Florida 1993 Derek Ho Hawaii 1992 Kelly Slater Florida 1991 Tom Carroll Australia 1990 Tom Carroll Australia 1989 Gary Elkerton Australia 1988 Robby Page Australia 1987 Tom Carroll Australia 1986 Derek Ho Hawaii 1985 Mark Occhilupo Australia 1984 Joey Buran USA 1983 Dane Kealoha Hawaii 1982 Michael Ho Hawaii 1981 Simon Anderson Australia 1980 Mark Richards Australia 1979 Larry Blair Australia 1978 Larry Blair Australia 1977 Rory Russel Hawaii 1976 Rory Russel Hawaii 1975 Shaun Tomson South Africa 1974 Jeff Crawford USA 1973 Gerry Lopez Hawaii 1972 Gerry Lopez Hawaii 1971 Jeff Hakman Hawaii

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

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.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

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)

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Andy Irons Returns at Pipeline Masters

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

pipeline masters

The 2008 Billabong Pipeline Masters became complete with the late entry of Hawaii’s own Andy Irons into the event. The 3x world champion is returning from a couple months off of competition and will be going strong after his 5th Pipe Masters’ crown. “I took a break for about a month and came back to the North Shore to train and get my rhythm back,” Andy Irons said. “The Pipe event has been in the back of my head for over a month now, and these past couple weeks of surfing and training have brought my confidence back to where it needs to be. I’m ready. I know I can win out here.”

There has been a lot of spectulation about Andy’s personal life and his decision to take a break mid-tour. None of that matters, Andy Irons is one of the best ever to surf the legendary left and his presence in this years event makes an already epic surf contest that much more exciting. Kelly Slater with his 5 Pipe Master’s titles is the only person ahead of Andy at Pipe. If Irons can clinch the title in 2008, he and Slater will share the record for the most victories at Pipeline. That alone will have Andy chomping at the bit to get in the water.

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Pipeline Masters is Underway

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

billabong pipeline masters

The greatest of all surf contests is officially underway. As expected, Daniel Ross and Kamalei Alexander took to the water at Pipe this morning at 8 a.m. Hawaii time; kicking off the 2008 Billabong Pipeline Masters.

As with the previous two events in this year’s Vans Triple Crown, our friends at Wetsand will be handling the webcast duties. Especially with some of the webcast adventures we’ve experienced this year, Wetsand is doing a hell of a job enhancing our viewing pleasure.

The Billabong Pipeline Masters will utilize the ASP Dual Heats Format from Round 1 through the Quarterfinals. It will be man-on-man from the Semis onwards. Surfers are seeded into the first three rounds, with top seeds not competing until Round 3.

Billabong Pipeline Masters Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Royden Bryson (ZAF) vs. Shane Dorian (HAW)
Heat 2: Mark Occhilupo (AUS) vs. Daniel Jones (HAW)
Heat 3: T.J Barron (HAW) vs. Nathan Carroll (HAW)
Heat 4: Daniel Wills (AUS) vs. Kamalei Alexander (HAW)
Heat 5: Jihad Khodr (BRA) vs. David Wassell (HAW)
Heat 6: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 7: Dustin Barca (HAW) vs. Ian Walsh (HAW)
Heat 8: Jay Thompson (AUS) vs. Torrey Meister (HAW)
Heat 9: Ben Bourgeois (USA) vs. Laurie Towner (AUS)
Heat 10: Makuakai Rothman (HAW) vs. Ola Eleogram (HAW)
Heat 11: Luke Munro (AUS) vs. Kalani Chapman (HAW)
Heat 12: Ricky Basnett (ZAF) vs. Marcus Hickman (HAW)
Heat 13: Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) vs. Tory Barron (HAW)
Heat 14: Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) vs. Jamie O’Brien (HAW)
Heat 15: Daniel Ross (AUS) vs. Mark Healey (HAW)
Heat 16: Manoa Drollet (PYF) vs. Jesse Merle-Jones (HAW)

Round 2 Seeds;
1 Mikael Picon (Fra)
2 Dean Morrison (Aus)
3 Mick Cambpell (Aus)
4 Chris Ward (EUA)
5 Damien Hobgood (EUA)
6 Heitor Alves (Bra)
7 Pancho Sullivan (Haw)
8 Dayyan Neve (Aus)
9 Kieren Perrow (Aus)
10 Tiago Pires (Por)
11 Tim Reyes (EUA)
12 Jordy Smith (Afr)
13 Ben Bourgeois (EUA)
14 Roy Powers (Haw)
15 Dane Reynolds (EUA)
16 Ben Dunn (Aus)

Round 3 Seeds
1 Mick Fanning (Aus)
2 Luke Stedman (Aus)
3 Fred Patacchia (Haw)
4 Joel Parkinson (Aus)
5 Jeremy Flores (Fra)
6 Bobby Martinez (EUA)
7 Taylor Knox (EUA)
8 Kelly Slater (EUA)
9 Taj Burrow (Aus)
10 Tom Whitaker (Aus)
11 Adriano de Souza (Bra)
12 Adrian Buchan (Aus)
13 Bede Durbidge (Aus)
14 Kai Otton (Aus)
15 CJ Hobgood (EUA)
16 Andy Irons (Haw)

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