It’s baking hot outside, which means two things. It’s summertime, and it’s contest time too! In some parts of the world, like Tahiti and Indonesia, the surf cranks in the summer and holding a surf contest is a totally justified affair. In other places, like France, the surf is small and inconsistent, but there are plenty of butts on the beach, which makes the sponsors happy at least! With the two ASP contests currently in the water it seems as if that theory has been turned on its head. The waves in Tahiti are substantially sub-par to what you would expect to see the South Pacific serving up at this time of year, and Lacanau is looking like France at its best in perfect Indian summer conditions in October! Go figure!
The First Heads Have Fallen
At the Billabong Pro Tahiti round 1 and the first two heats of round 2 went off in conditions that would be considered excellent at any of the world’s best beach breaks, but which left much to be desired for the ASP Top 34 men at one of the world’s premiere reef breaks. Still, the show must go on, and it did, with standouts including John John Florence, Adriano de Souza, and Kelly Slater, of course.
The first major upset has also seen the winner of the Von Zipper Trials, Ricardo dos Santos take down South African golden boy Jordy Smith. Adriano de Souza collected the highest wave score of the day, a 9.83 and the highest two-wave total of 19.43 points out of 20 in a determined display of backhand tube riding. As a bonus, he’s also taken the lead in the Nixon Winner Take All category for the heaviest wave of the event. If the swell doesn’t pick up, he’s looking good to take home a custom $10,000 diamond encrusted Nixon watch for his troubles, no matter where he ends up finishing in the event.
Oh La La in Lacanau
The famous and elusive Lacanau bowl stood up and delivered in front of a crowd of frothing French vacationers for the round of 96 at the Soöruz Lacanau Pro yesterday. Heats are back in the water now, and the weather and swell report are looking good for an end to the event in quality conditions over the weekend. Will 2012 turn into another Grand Cru edition for the French Pro? It looks likely, and if you haven’t got anything better to do, you can watch all the drama unfold live on-line, and practice your French to boot via the live webcast!
Here are the highlights from Day 1 when Lacanau Océan was looking more like its usual lacklustre self!
Bali Barrels Galore
The Rip Curl Cup at Padang Padang in Bali is billed as the world’s ultimate tube riding contest, and since they only run the event when the swell is thumping at the best barrel on the Bukit peninsula, it almost always lives up to the hype. This year, in a fairy tale finish, the conditions and level of surfing climaxed for the final heat of the event, with Chris Ward, Mega Semadhi, Dede Suryana, and Ry Craike in the starring roles. Local boy Mega started the final with the first 10-point ride of the event, and California’s Chris Ward scored the second perfect 10 of the event in the dying seconds to take the win. As a bonus, he proposed to his girlfriend on the victory stand amidst showers of champagne… and she said, yes!
“I asked her before we came here, and I got her family’s blessing,” Ward said. “I bought the ring and was thinking, how should I propose? I told myself if I won this contest I was gonna do this right here on the stage. So I guess it was meant to be.”
We’re on a Mother Farkin’ Boat!
In a brilliant moment of marketing genius, the new incarnation of the Kustom Airstrike contest has been revamped, rescaled and relocated to Indonesia. As opposed to the old format where anyone could send in video entries of their best aerial moves of the course of the contest period, this time around Kustom has invited 5 of the world’s best aerialist to get lost in the Indonesian archipelago with two filmers and an editor on a luxurious boat. Looking at the video evidence it seems that was all the motivation needed for Albee Layer, Chippa Wilson, John John Florence, Matt Meola, and Ryan Callinan to put on a clinic in busting out every trick in the book, and writing a few new chapters along the way. Having Blake Myers and Elliot Leboe along to shoot all the action, and Kai Neville Studios doing the editing, the end result is simply ridiculous.
Here are the first 3 episodes with the 4th to be released next week. Your guess is as good as mine as to who will win the thing, but whoever it is will be taking home $50,000 to go along with some great memories. The other four will just have to console themselves with the memories!
Stay classy, surfers! Have an EPIC weekend!