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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.

Posted in Surfing | 3 Comments »

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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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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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.

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Durbidge Ousted, Dane Takes Out Jordy at Quiksilver Pro

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

And then there was Taj…

taj burrow and quiksilver pro france

With Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning taking early Rd. 2 exits at the Quiksilver Pro France, Bede Durbidge and Taj Burrow were left as the only two surfers who could essentially prevent Kelly Slater from winning his unprecedented 9th world championship in Hossegor. With Bede’s Rd. 3 loss at the hands of Michel Bourez today, Taj is now the only surfer blocking the path to #9 for Kelly if he pulls off the victory at the Quik Pro.

There really wasn’t a whole lot Bede could do as the wildcard Bourez was absolutely on fire throughout their heat. Another one of Tahiti’s amazing surfers looked right at home on on the 3-5 ft. beach break. Bourez posted a near perfect score of 19.57 on his way to ending Durbidge’s run in France.

Taj is continuing to surf as well as he ever has on tour and posted a Rd. 3 victory over Gabe Kling. His surfing appears almost flawless right now and his Firewire boards seem to really be on point and working well for him. It’s almost a shame that he’s performing so well in the same year that Kelly Slater decide to go mental on everyone else.

Speaking of which, Kelly posted another one of his come from behind victories with his win over France’s Joan Duru. Kelly has struggled with the wildcard surfers this year and really had to put in some work to avenge his Rd. 1 loss to Duru. Slater’s run continues with a Rd. 4 match-up against his good friend and fellow long-time tour veteran Taylor Knox.

In a heat that will go a long way in deciding ’08’s Rookie of the Year honors, Dane Reynolds once again took out Jordy Smith in the battle of highly-touted surfing phenoms. Watching these two surf against each other is always exciting and will likely be that way for years to come. While at times on tour it appears that Dane would rather be somewhere else, he really seems to light up for his heats versus Jordy. Hopefully this will be the case for Dane’s Rd. 4 upcoming heat versus Taj.

The swell at Hossegor is forecast to drop slightly, but conditions are actually expected to improve. The word from Quiksilver is that tomorrow will be the final day of competition and a winner of the 2008 Quiksilver Pro France will likely be decided. The way things are looking, we may also have a crowning of the 2008 ASP world champion. Stay Tuned!

Posted in Surfing | 1 Comment »

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

Posted in Surfing | 2 Comments »

Kelly Slater Wins Again at Trestles

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Kelly Slater Boost Mobile Pro at Trestles Victory

For the 5th time in 7 events on the WCT this year, Kelly Slater ended up on top with another near flawless performance at Trestles this week. Slater narrowly edged out Taj Burrow in the final heat today on his way to winning the 2008 Boost Mobile Pro.

Taj came out absolutely firing at the beginning of the 40 min. extended final and quickly put the 8x world champion in a combo situation. It was looking pretty glim for the champ, however as Kelly has done so many times throughout his illustrious career, he stayed cool and came back to clinch the victory in the closing minutes.

“I was literally out there just trying to save face, I thought Taj had me – he was on fire,” Slater said. “I was just trying to get out of combo and put on a good show for everybody. I got a 9.7 on a smaller wave that had a clean face and let me get a lot of speed and some big carves and that let me get back in.”

Taj in fact did have Kelly, and really probably should have had Kelly. With under two minutes left in the final, Taj was still holding a sizable lead as Kelly was looking for a score of 8.93 to combine with the 9.7. Taj held priority as time ticked away but decided to let Kelly take-off on a wave he didn’t feel would give-up the score Kelly was looking for. He was wrong and Kelly proceeded to shred his way to a 9.27, and in doing so sealed his 3rd Boost Mobile Pro victory, as well as a hefty $75,000 worth of prize money which Bob Hurley sweetened with an extra $45,000 today.

“Taj had priority and he let that wave go because it was the first wave and he probably thought it was going to be bumpy but it let me do a lot on it.” Slater said. A very disappointed Taj saw it another way. “I felt like I won,” Burrow said. “I don’t think that wave had the scoring potential. I just had a feeling that they were going to give it to him. He had a lot of energy about him. He’s Kelly and he finished it. He got to the end and I knew it was going to be a good score. I don’t know what else I could have done. I picked the best waves and surfed them really well so it’s frustrating. He was really hungry and ended up clinching it.”

Taj surfed absolutely out of his mind throughout the event at Trestles, Kelly is just on a run right now like none we have ever seen before and this come from behind win was as spectacular as any. Not to mention his full-on barrel this morning at Trestles, a wave that isn’t really known to give up barrels, ever.

Kelly getting barreled at Trestles

Congratulations Kelly Slater, the 2008 Boost Mobile Pro Champion! On a side note, Kelly was also given the keys to the city of San Clemente tonight at a special beach event hosted by Hurley and Boost Mobile, which saw surfer/musician Timmy Curran perform a free concert as well as a special screening of Bustin’ Down the Door.

Boost Mobile Pro pres. by Hurley Final Results:
Kelly Slater (USA) 18.97 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 18.63

Boost Mobile Pro pres. by Hurley Semifinal Results:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.67 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.10
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 17.33 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.50

Boost Mobile Pro pres. by Hurley Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 16.90 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.10
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.16 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 15.16
Heat 3: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.57 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.67
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 18.50 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 6.34
Today’s Boost Mobile Pro pres. by Hurley Round 4 Results:
Heat 7: Taj Burrow (AUS) 18.07 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.00
Heat 8: Heitor Alves (BRA) 11.14 def. Jay Thompson (AUS) 11.0

Posted in Surfing | 2 Comments »

Slater, Burrow, Durbidge, and Smith out at Billabong Pro

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

billabong pro manao drolletA lot of big names bowed out early at the Billabong Pro Tahiti today as Kelly Slater, Taj Burrow, Bede Durbidge, and Jordy Smith were all defeated in round 3 action at 4-6 foot Teahupoo.

Kelly Slater wasn’t looking too sharp again and was caught a couple times dropping in too deep, getting drilled in the head by one of the heaviest waves in the world. It didn’t matter though, as he suffered an early interference penalty and was literally surfing a heat he couldn’t possibly win. It seems there’s something about going up against local favorite Manoa Drollet that gets in Slater’s head, as he performed similarly when then two competed against each other in rd. 1 action. “This is just one of many events, you’re going to have throw-aways,” said Slater.

The highly anticipated matchup between Jordy Smith and Dane Reynolds saw Smith go down as Dane was on absolute fire. If he continues to surf like he did in round three, Dane could possibly in serious contention for his first ever ‘CT victory, only three events into his rookie season. He was looking good. CJ Hobgood is another surfer to watch this event. He posted an amazing 19.64 in round three and has been looking awfully good here at ‘Chopes. Seems super-confident as well when you listen to his interviews and he no doubt wants to keep the Billabong Pro Tahiti title in the Hobgood family.

Andy Irons and Joel Parkinson – who are both tied for current world #6 – can definitely smell blood. All five surfers ahead of them exited early from this event and now they’ll definitely be taking advantage and looking to gain as many points as possible. Look to both of these guys to make a run at winning this event.

kelly slatertaj burrowteahupoojordy smithbede durbidgewct

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Taj Burrow Set to Defend Aerial Crown

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

taj burrow boost mobile surf shoHeading into the inaugural Boost Mobile Surf Sho event around this same time last year, Taj Burrow was sitting on top of the world. Earlier that same week he had won the 2007 Bells Beach title to then hold the world overall no.1 ranking. This time around he is not quite where he had hoped to be following the Australian two-step, but he’s hoping a repeat victory at an event that will jump-start a run to his long awaited ASP world championship.

Pulling off another victory at the aerial show will be anything but easy for Taj. He’s up against a field that includes current world-champ Mick Fanning, wonder-kid Julian Wilson, aerial-artist Ozzie Wright, as well as young-gun Ry Craike in the innovative and entertaining ‘game show’ style event. Getting back into the winners circle, even though it won’t count on the tour standings, would be a huge boost to Burrow’s confidence heading into Tahiti

“It’s been the most frustrating start to the year because I feel I’m surfing well, I’m fit and I’ve got great equipment,” said Burrow. “I’d love to make up for it by reclaiming the Boost Surf Sho title. I’ve been practicing and working on some new flips so, hopefully I can get the jump on the boys again”

The Boost Mobile Surf Sho in itself is huge for surfing’s progression. What really caught my eye is the prize money. First place brings home $25,000(AUS), which is roughly $23,500(U.S.). That’s pretty solid for an event that is only in its second year of existence, especially when you consider that the stagnant prize money totals for WCT events are not that much higher. The format is geared to make the event spectator friendly, and this is something that the ‘CT events have struggled with at times. Putting world-class talent in an event and rewarding progressive surfing with a large purse will surely bring a display of maneuvers that will leave us all standing in awe.

taj burrowboost mobile

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