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ASP World Tour- We Just Want to See the Best Surfers Surf the Best Waves

If I want to hear about records, statistics and in-game strategy, I’ll watch baseball and basketball. With surfing, all I really care about is getting the chance to watch the best surfers in the world surfing the best waves in the world. Hopefully someday we’ll have a format which allows that to happen much more often than the system currently being used by the ASP.

kelly slater teahupoo

Somewhere between Kelly Slater’s vision of a radical overhaul and Da Hui’s discombobulated criticisms of the ASP lies the very real truth that the Dream Tour is in desperate need of a makeover. The new format where the top 16 surfers get automatically seeded to the 2nd round was supposed fix some of what’s ailing the tour. Unfortunately, all it seems to have done is make a bad problem worse. Aside from the appearances of Andy Irons, Josh Kerr, Dane Reynolds and maybe one or two others; Rd.1 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti was weak and painfully boring to watch. If you were to put the Rd. 1 line-up of main event surfers side by side with the surfers who took part in the trials, an argument could very easily be made that the trials line-up contained much more talent. Clay Marzo, Mark Healey, Julian Wilson, and Bruce Irons…or Ben Dunn, Jihad Khodr, Nathaniel Curran and David Weare?

CUT THE FAT There are 45 guys on the Tour. That’s too many. Cut it in half. There are guys who lose in the second or third round at every contest. One didn’t win a single heat last year. F1 doesn’t have 45 cars on the track for a reason. There should be a competitive level at the top, and we don’t have that.” Kelly Slater

In his Rd. 1 victory over Jihad Khodr, Andy Irons did more than just remind everyone he’s still at the top of his craft, he also put the mile-wide disparity in skill level on display for everyone to see. Khodr had no business being in the water with the 3x world champion at Teahupo’o and was left trying to scrape up 4’s and 5’s on the inside after A.I. opened with an 8.67. This type of situation happens far too often on the Dream Tour and is exactly why they’ve automatically put the top 16 into Rd. 2. Maybe instead of pretending the back half of the top 44 actually belongs with the front, it’s time to trim it down and allow more opportunities for locals and wildcards to go up against the surfers being touted as the world’s best.

As a fan of surfing and someone who likes to see how far it’s progressing, I watch the webcasts to see the best surfers surf the best waves. Unfortunately, for now anyways, the system being used by the ASP doesn’t always allow for that to take place.

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Posted by Shaun on Thursday, May 14th, 2009 in Surfing.

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5 Responses to “ASP World Tour- We Just Want to See the Best Surfers Surf the Best Waves”

  • LeeShep Says:

    I agree with part of what’s been said; there is a bit of “fat” on the tour, and it becomes evident when the water meets the reef at spots like Teahupoo. However, when you say that rd 1 was ” weak & painfully boring to watch” I really disagree!
    Giving guys 30 min in some challenging conditions is a poor way to summarize their overall talent and ultimate worthiness of a slot in the comp.
    The trials were stacked…and round 1 wasn’t; big freakin’ deal.

    I would love to see the ‘real dream tour’ though with locations on call and the top 16 or so going to where the WAVES ARE. Or a ‘boat trip challenge series with the top___ on a few week trip/contest. When will we see the Tour Babies thrown into Todos? Or some serious West OZ? Now that’s the dream tour!

  • scott Says:

    little harsh on jihad dont ya think?! i think there are plenty of Brazilian surf fans who might want to see his heat even though you didn’t.

  • Rayson Says:

    agreed. so stupid when they miss the best swell windows running rounds 1&2. that should be final day. get rid of the fat and you’ll have better swell windows for the exciting surfers.

  • Kavall Says:


  • Clark Takashima Says:

    The good thing is that there are places like this where dialog (intelligent please) can go down. There are so many ways things can get better, and open dialog is where it starts! Rant yes, but ideas that lead to solutions are where the energy should be used. Good job you guys! Aloha!

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