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New Format on Tap for 2009 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

“It’s the best trophy you can win in surfing” -Kelly Slater

It’s a great change that’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here. With the Rd. 1 call at the 2009 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach about to be made, we finally get to watch a webcast without having to sit through the typically unexciting and anti-climatic loser’s round that has been Rd. 2. The Bells Beach event will be the first ASP World Tour event to switch to the new format, essential eliminating a full day’s worth of competition and keeping the opening round of momentum rolling on with less chance of interruption. The top 16 surfers from last year’s final rankings won’t surf until the new Rd. 2, and from there it goes Rd. 3 and on to the quarterfinals, semi’s, and finals.

2009 rip curl pro bells beach

Good on Rip Curl for making the choice to implement the new format. “I think the new format will be a great addition to the Dream Tour,” said current world no. 2 Adriano de Souza. “It allows us to capitalize on three-day swell cycles and allows us to compete in the best possible conditions. I’m stoked to be seeded into Round 2 all season, but it could have its positives and negatives. I won’t have to worry about finishing in last place, but I won’t get a warm-up round to surf in. Everything is serious from the start.”

In the grand scheme of things, the historic event at Bells serves as a good barometer for what’s likely to take place on tour for the rest of the year. While the Quiksilver Pro at Snapper is a solid place for a surfer to launch a run for a world title, following up a stellar result on the Gold Coast with a poor showing at Bells kind of puts you back at square 1. Quik Pro. winner Joel Parkinson knows this, and following his 2 day long celebration of his win at Snapper, Parko got back to his ‘man on a mission’ surfing regimen. “After the Quik Pro, I spent two days partying with my family and friends, then got straight in to training the following week and for the last week or so I have been surfing non stop,” Parkinson said.

Following Kelly Slater’s 17th at the Quiksilver Pro, a lot of the talk has surrounded his choice of equipment. His self-made 5′4″, for whatever reason, just didn’t get him the scores that he is used to. Heading into Bells, and in true Slater fashion, Kelly remained noncommittal when asked about his potenetial board of choice for the event. “I’m not sure what my choice is until I hit the water,” Slater said. “I like trying new things but I also like to win heats when I travel halfway around the world. You also have to stick with directions that you choose to go if they have potential for something. I’m still working things out. I’m not altogether unhappy with my performance on the Gold Coast, just the result.”

Rd. 1 of the 2009 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach is on it’s way, you can catch all of the action HERE.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Rip Curl H-Bomb Wetsuit: Is it Really Worth a Cool Grand?

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

Apparent yes, or at least says Surfing Mag’s Editor Evan Slater, who just put up a review of Rip Curl’s battery powered wetsuit.

“The button on your leg gives you three heating options: low, high or “boost.” For the really frigid stuff. But just to be a wimp, I kept it on “boost” the whole time. The carbon-fiber coils in my back roared to life, I stayed warm and loose (like I had a little campfire in my suit) and – even though the surf sucked – I kept telling myself “one more.”"

rip curl h bomb

Ok, so as expected, the suit works. And it’s easy for Evan to love it, considering he didn’t have to plunk down the cash for it. I think the bigger question is- is it really worth it to spend over a grand on a wetsuit? I guess that comes down to the individual. For me personally, the answer is no. But I don’t have an extra G burning a hole in my pocket either. I’m a wuss when it comes to cold water too, and I admit that I would be nice to have a wetsuit that I could just turn up the dial on every time I get a little chilly. But for now, my 4/3 seems to be doing just fine on those really cold days.

It probably wasn’t the best time for Rip Curl to be dropping the H-Bomb, considering the economy and all. But I suppose that’s not something they could have predicted.

While I won’t be rushing out to buy an H-Bomb anytime soon. If you guys over at Rip Curl want to send me one, I’ll be more than happy to review it.

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

H-Bomb Set to Drop at Rip Curl Hossegor (Video)

Friday, September 19th, 2008

rip curl h-bomb westsuitThe long waited arrival of the opportunity to get your mits on the world’s first powerheated wetsuit is almost over. Just days before the Quiksilver Pro France holding period is set to open, Rip Curl is officially launching their highly anticipated H-Bomb wetsuit in Hossegor at the Rip Curl Pro Store.

The H-Bomb has been in the works and has undergone heavy amounts of testing for quite some time now. It was actually slated to first drop in stores last fall but was put on hold in order for Rip Curl to make sure they had it just right. Rip Curl is using their revolutionary E3 neoprene for the suits which will have three different temperature settings that can be adjusted with a button located on its outer surface. The idea for the H-Bomb is simple; keep you warm and maintain flexibility even when surfing in the nastiest of cold-water conditions.

As is the case with most revolutionary products when first released, anyone wanting to snag one of these bad-boys in time for winter is looking at a pretty hefty price tag. The coming-out price for the H-Bomb is currently set at roughly $1400. It will definitely be interesting to see just how well these sell with such a large asking price from Rip Curl. I guess for some who have the money and regularly surf in bitter-cold conditions it might be worth it. I think for now though I’ll be sticking to my natural heater whenever I need that little burst of warmth.

Posted in Surfing | 2 Comments »

Bruce Irons Wins Rip Curl Pro Search

Monday, August 4th, 2008

Bruce Irons Rip Curl Pro Winner

In what was a spectacular event that was as full of surprises as it was epic surfing, Bruce Irons took down his Hawaiian counterpart Fred Patacchia to win the 2008 Rip Curl Pro Search ‘Somewhere in Indonesia.’ The victory is the first for Irons on the WCT, and undoubtedly extra rewarding for the surfer many consider to be the ‘best freesurfer on the planet,’ as he plans to step away from full-time participation on the Dream Tour next year. “One of my goals when I joined the Tour was to win an event and I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen since I’ll be stepping away after this season,” Irons said. “But the waves pumped this event! This is what the Dream Tour should be like all the time. I’m definitely stepping away from the ASP Tour at the end of this year, but I’m not retiring. I’m still planning on competing at Pipeline and Teahupoo and at venues that I can get into.”

Aside from Bruce heading home with a huge win under his belt, the Rip Curl Pro Search saw all of the top seeds fail to take advantage of Kelly Slater’s Rd. 3 upset loss to Tiago Pires. Andy Irons, Bede Durbidge, Mick Fanning, and Joel Parkinson all let golden opportunities to make up ground in the world title race slip through their hands, all suffering losses in the 4th round. The only other surfer on tour with even an outside chance of catching Slater, Taj Burrow, did make it through the gauntlet that was Rd. 4. However his run would end in the quarterfinals as an absolutely firing Chris Ward sent the Aussie title hopeful packing, and essentially ending any hope Taj had of winning it all this year.

All other title contenders aside, Irons winning is the story of the event. There has been so much made about his stepping away following the year that it was refreshing to see him put out a performance that everyone knew he was capable of. You even got the sense that his fellow competitors were pumped on Bruce winning one before he steps aside. “It feels great to come back after a slow start to the year,” Patacchia said. “The waves were so good for this event and I’m bummed I didn’t win, but to have Bruce there and since he’s stepping away, it feels good that we kept the title within Hawaii.”

Congratulations Bruce Irons, the 2008 Rip Curl Pro Search ‘Somewhere in Indonesia’ Champion!

1 – Bruce Irons (HAW) 17.66
2 – Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 11.16

SF 1: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 10.16 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 8.50
SF 2: Bruce Irons (HAW) 13.70 def. Chris Ward (USA) 13.50

QF 1: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 16.50 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 14.17
QF 2: Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.00 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 11.34
QF 3: Bruce Irons (HAW) 19.40 def. Ben Dunn (AUS) 9.67
QF 4: Chris Ward (USA) 16.34 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.90

Heat 1: Kai Otton (AUS) 11.67 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 10.67
Heat 2: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 19.50 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.40
Heat 3: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 10.00 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 6.30
Heat 4: Tiago Pires (PRT) 13.77 def. Dayyan Neve (AUS) 5.06
Heat 5: Bruce Irons (HAW) 10.84 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 10.83
Heat 6: Ben Dunn (AUS) 15.97 def. Mikael Picon (FRA) 12.37
Heat 7: Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.43 def. Dean Morrison (AUS) 11.83
Heat 8: Chris Ward (USA) 18.17 def. Andy Irons (HAW) 11.33

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Rip Curl’s Webcast Fails Again

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

We’ve criticized Rip Curl’s webcasts in the past, back at the Rip Curl Pro Bell’s Beach for being somewhat lackluster. Now, we’re sitting here trying to watch the best action we’ve seen on tour this year, and they can’t seem to keep the webcast up. It keeps freezing. You literally can’t watch any of the surfing happening right now at the Rip Curl Pro Search in perfect Indo.

We’ve just missed the majority of the Parko/Jordy heat and now we’re missing Kelly’s heat. Parko was on fire too! If Quiksilver, Billabong, and Globe can keep their webcasts running smoothly, there’s no reason that Rip Curl shouldn’t be able to either. Come on Rip Curl, throw a few more servers at it…

Posted in Surfing | 7 Comments »

Attempts to Remove Padang Padang Shipwreck Failing

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Padang Padang Shipwreck

Hopes that the abandoned fishing trawler that was shipwrecked on the reef of Bali’s Padang Padang last Friday would be moved before the arrival of a solid incoming swell are quickly fading. A small group of local fishing boats failed on Thursday to pull the Taiwanese fishing boat off the Padang-Padang reef ahead of the expected big swell which was already showing pulses on Friday.

With the swell expected to reach 10 feet on Sunday, the fear that the ship will batter the reef and break apart could quickly become a reality. There is already a heavy amount of cable, knives, fish hooks, and all sorts of other waste that have found their way into the water at Padang Padang. None of that, however, will compare to the irreparable damage that could come from the ship being tossed around and breaking apart.

Aside from the obvious environmental issues this is causing, the heads at Rip Curl will have some interesting decisions to make as the upcoming Rip Curl Pro Search is scheduled to take place here July 30-Aug. 10. With the ASP having a choice between Uluwatu’s and Padang Padang for the contest, it’s looking more and more likely, barring some unforeseen miracle, that Uluwatu will be the call for this one.

A special thanks goes out to all those who have donated so much of their time, money , and hard work to minimize the damage at Padang Padang. Stay tuned for more info.

Posted in Surfing | 4 Comments »

Kelly Slater Rings the Bell: Back to Back Victories

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

kelly slater rip curl pro bells beachKelly Slater has done it…. again! By taking a big risk in the final and making the paddle a few hundred yards down the beach to Rincon he showed us once again why he is “The King.” Boosting a huge air with just minutes left in the heat, Kelly got the score he was chasing the entire heat. Bede Durbidge surfed as well as you could expect leading pretty much the entire heat, but Slater just wouldn’t be denied.

Congratulations Kelly Slater on winning the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach! We look forward to watching you in Tahiti.

rip curlasp world tourwctkelly slaterbede durbidge

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

Rip Curl Pro Webcast Coverage Not Up to Par

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

After watching many of the heats at this year’s Rip Curl Pro, I have to say I’m very unimpressed with the quality of the webcast coverage so far. It’s definitely not the same broadcast quality that we saw just a couple weeks ago at the Quik Pro. Here are some of the things that have stood out to me thus far.

Announcers – I’m sorry but the announcing is just awful. Nothing personal, but at times up to 10 minutes of on-air silence just doesn’t cut it. They also don’t do a good enough job of keeping us viewers up to date on heat scores, event status, etc… which leads me to my next point….

Heat Scores – When I’m watching the webcast on full-screen mode one thing that really annoys me is the lack of scoring information. At the Quik Pro there was always heat score displayed on the screen. Combine this with that lack of the announcers keeping us informed on heat status on you often have no idea who is leading the heat. I particularly noticed this when watching Taj Burrow’s heat yesterday – I logged on half way through the heat and basically had no idea who was leading until the heat was over.

Camera Work – Ok, so the actual surfing footage is pretty decent, that is if you don’t mention the other day’s heat where it was basically being filmed on the point by a hand-held and you couldn’t see what was happening on the wave past the second turn or so. What I’m talking about here more is what goes on when the surfing action pauses. Yesterday we had the pleasure of watching one of the announcers eat his lunch, hooray! Instead of showing the guys standing around with their hands down their pants or munching, why can’t they just replay the big waves for that current heat?

While I’m grateful to be watching the event period, it would be nice if they broadcast quality was improved on. I didn’t really have too many complaints about the Quik Pro and thought they did a much better job with their webcast.

Have you been watching the heats? What are your thoughts on the quality?

Update: Seems a little better today and I should mention that I do love the on-demand, something Quiksilver didn’t have.

rip curl

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Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: Slater, Reynolds On Fire

Monday, March 24th, 2008

rip curl pro bells beach 2008With the ASP Tour making the transition from Snapper Rocks to Bell’s Beach we have seen a big part of what makes the tour so great year after year. Each stop provides unique conditions that pose new challenges.

In the early rounds at Bell’s we have seen a stark contrast in conditions with those that presented themselves for the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast. We have gone from endless 2-4ft. waves giving competitors unlimited opportunities (Taj Burrow’s mind-blowing 13 turn wave at Snapper for example) to score, to thick, unruly, doubled up 6-8ft. walls with limited sections to open up on. Each wave at Bell’s may present only 2 or 3 opportunities to let it fly. The surfers that have taken advantage of that by placing themselves in the right section at the right time have found themselves with massive scores. As we await the completion of Round 3 at Bell’s, here are some of the story lines to keep an eye on-

Mick Fanning – By having to surf in the second round, the reigning world-champion found himself in a very unusual position. By posting a meager 7.24 score in Rd. 1, Fanning found himself in a spot he hasn’t been in for 15 events- Rd. 2. I was curious to see how he would perform as he spent the weekend leading up to Bell’s strapping on the proverbial ball and chain. He righted the ship in Rd. 2 however, and now faces a tough third round match-up with Bell’s local Troy Brooks.

Kelly Slater – This really goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway – Kelly put on a clinic. The amount of speed he generated from his bottom turn on his 9.5 is almost unfathomable. “I didn’t do a whole lot on that wave,” Slater said. “I did one turn to start off with and then this section loomed up ahead of me that was crazy – it was so smooth, especially for what’s out there. I had a ton of speed and I held the bottom turn as long as I could and was able to get that carve in. It reminded me of the turn I had in the final against Parko (Joel Parkinson) that one year.” The 35 yr old 8-timer is aging like wine and showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Dane Reynolds – Dane’s putting up a 9.73 in Rd. 2 was amazing. His humility and attitude when talking about the score even more so. “I got pretty lucky,” Reynolds said of his heat against Alves. “I went out there with a good, positive attitude feeling like the waves were going to come my way and they did. I didn’t see another wave out there that looked like the ones I got, so I was pretty fortunate.” With Jordy going out, this leaves Reynolds as the feature rookie at Bell’s and it will be intriguing to see if he can keep this level of performance going.

Bruce Irons – It’s hard to say what’s going on with Bruce. The bottom line is he is way too talented of a surfer to consistently be going out in the early rounds. He seemed particularly disinterested in his third round loss to Adrian Buchan at Snapper. How sick would it be to see him go the path of Jamie O’brien and just completely dedicate himself to the freestyle thing? Those two alone are surfing as progressively as any, and would serve as worthy pioneers for a new freestyle movement for surfing.

Here are the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 3 Match-Ups:

Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 2: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Dayyan Neve (AUS)
Heat 3: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Neco Padaratz (BRA)
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Daniel Wills (AUS)
Heat 5: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs.Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 6: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
Heat 8: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Troy Brooks (AUS)
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 10: Luke Stedman (AUS) vs. Ben Dunn (AUS)
Heat 11: Pancho Sullivan (HAW) vs. Roy Powers (HAW)
Heat 12: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Dane Reynolds (USA)
Heat 13: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Jihad Khodr (BRA)
Heat 14: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Tim Reyes (USA)
Heat 15: Andy Irons (HAW) vs. Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA)
Heat 16: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Luke Munro (AUS)

asp world tourkelly slaterdane reynoldsbruce ironsrip curlmick fanning

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Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: Kelly Slater Is In

Monday, March 17th, 2008

kelly slater wins quiksilver pro goldcoastAs I watched Tiger Woods pull off yet another amazing victory on the PGA Tour yesterday, I started thinking about what the tournaments are like when he isn’t playing. There are still great players playing great golf, but it just isn’t the same and everyone knows it.

As Tiger is to golf, Kelly is to surfing. As long as he is performing at his peak level, any victory by other surfers in an event that Slater doesn’t show up to will be followed with a “that’s great,but….”

It is for this reason that Kelly’s recent decision to participate in the 2008 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach should bring smiles to the faces of the surfing world and fellow competitors alike.

Despite winning the first event of the year at Snapper Rocks, Slater remained uncertain as to whether or not he would attend the Rip Curl Pro. After 14 years on tour, the 8-time ASP World Champion has been adamant that he will compete selectively in 2008 in order to pursue other interests. Slater even went as far as to call and officially withdraw his name from the event. Thats when Mother Nature came through. When told of the stellar forecast for the event Slater reconsidered. He stated the combination of world-class waves and pleas of many helped in his decision to show up, and we are all better off for that.

There were some pretty strong responses about wanting to see me there. So that, the swell, and some changes in my personal life and suddenly it was perfect timing for me to get away. All the signs pointed this direction so it seemed like the thing to do.

asp world tourrip curlkelly slaterwct

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