Franch-Eye’s View Vol. 2

11 03 2011

Better Surfing Makes For Better Life.

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I spent last week on a rollercoaster. There was 5 straight lay days at the Quik/Roxy Pro at Snapper Rocks, and each one toyed with my emotions more than the one that came before. What happened in the last few days of the holding period however, totally made amends for all of the sitting around waiting for surf.

The last few days of the contest were nothing short of game changing. The men’s contest was run when the waves were really pumping and the women ran when it was a little smaller, but still clean, lippy and fun. These small, rampy waves allowed for some of the most forward-thinking, progressive surfing I have ever seen. A handful of the sports most respected even went was far as to call it “The best women’s contest ever”

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Tyler Wright Just Being 16

I can’t argue that at all, mostly because the people saying this have been watching surfing longer than I have been alive. But also because this contest blew the doors off all that have come before it. It had all the makings of an epic surf contest, guys or girls. Fast surfing (they were clocking surfers and the top speed was a betty), progressive maneuvers (I saw more 360’s than a truck full of Xboxs) and neck-and-neck heats galore.

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The ladies were putting on a show from start to finish in this contest and a lot of spectators claimed that they were watching the surfing and not the bikinis, which is a new concept for sure. In another epic story line the kids are alright. The average age of the final for woman was 18.25 (I did the math), and if it helps with perspective Kelly Slater has been a CT surfer for 20 years. Needless to say I am going to be glued to the Women’s World Tour this year right along with the men.

What I really want to talk about though, is the guy’s contest. The sick thing for me is that when the comps are in Oz, they run in the afternoon and evening here so catching heats is pretty doable. As a result of this, I got to see THE BEST competitive surfing I have seen. Ever.

Epic shit was happening left, right and centre…But mostly right, cause that’s how the waves break at Snapper.

My jaw dropped in round 3 when Hawaiian Dusty Payne knocked off White Lightning, Mick Fanning, it kind of sucked because I think the jaw was dislocated it never really came back up. Right after Dusty took down Mick world number 2 Jordy Smith lost his round 4 heat and didn’t get to sit out round 5, that luxury went to American Brett Simpson, who is a relative unknown in the world of elite tour surfing, but happens to be on my fantasy team (giggle).

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Taj With A "Hack" Off The Top

To the dismay of my jaw, and my heart rate, things were just getting going. It was the middle of the afternoon at Snapper, but the fireworks were clearly visible. Round 5 heat 3 featured Taj Burrow who was the most on point surfer of the contest and Adriano De Souza who is a young, fiery assassino hailing from Brazil. De Souza started the heat with a few bangers, but made one fatal error…He did the finger guns toward Taj, faux pas. After that TB hacked the shit out of every wave he stood up on. Seriously it was like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In total the heat had 4 nine-point scores more than most contests… I was frothing.

At this point it was close to midnight and I had no plans of going to bed. Jordy and Parko were up next. It was a super close heat the whole time, but Joel Parkinson looked to have it wrapped up. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, and when Jordy took the heat on the last wave I had to change my boardies.

Lost in the moment, but never far from my thoughts was the fact that KS10 was, almost quietly making a case for elite tour victory number 46 and getting to hear everyone start rumbling about KS11.

Slates snuck past Ace Buchan in Rd. 5 and had a pretty breezy quarters and semis. Everyone at the event was primed and ready for the final. Slater vs. Burrow a duke out of drunken Aussie proportions. I don’t mean to sound rude with that comment, but the finals were on a Wednesday afternoon in the land down under, and the beach was overrun with spectators. It was a party.

Moving into the final, it was a coin toss as to who would take it, the best surfer of the event or the best surfer of all time. Even I was unsure, and Kelly is my boy! By this time, the interweb had locked on to the fact that shit was getting heavy and my connection started to slow. It was shitty, and so were the waves. If it wasn’t the world’s best in the water it would have looked amateur and two of the sports finest didn’t disappoint.

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Kelly kicked things off immediately with a five-point ride and Taj fired back a few minutes later with a three of his own. Kelly added a 5.27 and looked in control, until TB took off on a gem and threw down a 7.17 fuck me right?!?

Being the champ that he is, Kelly answered back with a 5.93, which was barely enough to earn the victory. The battle was well fought on both sides but it takes some thing special to K.O. the heavyweight king.

As I’m sure you can assume, this whole thing had me fired up and I have the ASP and it’s surfers to thank. You are all truly world-class athletes with the strength, stamina and skill set to rival any of the best in mainstream sports.

To the World Tour’s finest Kelly, Taj, Tiago Pires, and Jordy Smith as well as the ladies Tyler Wright, Laura Enever, Sally Fitzgibbons and Roxy Pro Champ Carissa Moore and the rest of the field for the men’s and ladies draw thank you. Thank you for some amazing days of top level surfing as well as thank you for once again showing me why this truly is the sport of kings.

Photos and Video Courtesy of ASP WORLD TOUR

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12 04 2011
Today’s Most Hype « streetjesus

[…] did a post about the insane progression that is happening in the world of women’s surfing (read it here). Well, the most jacked team in women’s surfing, Nike 6.0, is not messing around. Here is the […]

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