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Posts Tagged ‘ZoSea blows ass’

AussieSheepRoot

The above photo was pretty much more exciting then all three of the Australian ASP WCT Contests.  Each year professional competition surf fans’ attention is drawn to Australia for the start of the new season of the Association of Surfing Professions World Championship Tour.  In previous years the Aussie leg included two comps, The Quicksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast and The Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, Victoria, Australia.  The latter one of the longest running events in the history of the sport.  This year The Drug Aware Margret River Pro in Western Australia was added into the mix.

I was rather excited going into this leg.  I love Oz, its one of my favorite places to surf and visit in the world.  Having spent plenty of time on both the Gold Coast and Torquay I always welcome the chance to watch the top surfers in the world go head to head at these locations.  Adding a West Oz event only sweetened the deal for me.  The best thing about Australia contests for the American viewer is that the time difference puts the live stream in the evening/night so one does not have to give up surf time or sneak a watch at work to enjoy it.  Then there was all the new hype about the redesigned tour courtesy of Zosea media and their plans to re-invent the pro surfing wheel.

Let me say I was highly disappointed all around this year.  Most of the time watching the webcast was like watching paint dry and on the occasional good heat it was like watching glue dry.  The difference being at least when glue drys one can get high off the fumes.  Instead it was more of my favorite surfers riding some of the best wave venues at it’s most average, surfing conservative as fuck the better part of the time.  All I keep hearing is this constant talk of “progression”.   Yet the majority of the scores came from “safety surfing”.   Just when you thought the webcasts couldn’t get any more cheesy and lame Zosea made it looked like some ESPN knock off broadcast.  You just can’t take surfing and package it like any other sport cause it is not like any other sport.  I will commend the addition back of the women to the circuit.  I am not really a big fan of female professional surfing.  Sorry girls but when the average WQS men’s competitor could beat your best if he had a sex  change and donned a bikini I can’t give you any more seriousness then a side show to the men.  That being said I missed the side show the last few years with the women stand alone tour.

Snapper Rocks
SnapperComp
Snapper is one of my favorite events on tour.  Here you have one of the worlds best high performance waves in one of the most surf crazed areas.  The energy around the contest is nuts.  Last year the final day was held a near epic Kirra where all the last few heats were stand on your feet nail biters to the final where Slater came out on top.  A few years back we saw a very inform Dan Reynolds go nuts against Parko completely redefining the performance level in a heat.  This year however we saw average conditions at best for the majority of the event along with relatively boring surfing.

All these guys fucking rip and have video segments that make the everyday surfer wet his bed.  Yet, when they throw on a jersey its safety turn central.  The only time the bar is raised is when they are backed into a corner.  There are exceptions to the rule of course.  Brazilian Gabriel Medina took the win, who with out a doubt was one of the most inform guys of the event.  He may just be the best surfer to ever come out of Brazil.   I think everyone would have liked to see Dane flair up, but that never really happened.
gabriel-medinaThe Drug Aware Margret River Pro
yadin

There are some really crazy waves in West Oz, is Margret River really one of them?  In the case of the this event not at all.  With the exception of Yadin Nicol’s huge air reverse in the earlier rounds there was little for me to get excited about.  It was mostly an event composed of watching great surfers do their best to make the most out of head to overhead mushy surf.  Yes there were a few heats ran at the Box.  I hate to say it, but as sick at that wave is to watch in a surf video, in a contest it gets really boring really fast.  I love a good slab as much as the next, but unless the competitors lives’ are in jeopardy watching the same barrel ride over and over again becomes very tiresome.  Ultimately Michel Bourez took the win doing the same old fashioned rail to rail surfing that has been winning heats since the 80’s sans progression.  Whoooot!  Glad I had to work late and missed the actual live stream of the final day opting for the highlight real instead, which still bored the hell out of.  It was like masturbating to a Sears bra ad.

Bells
Bells
I find it Ironic that at a venue known best for power surfing Bells was the spot where some of the more innovative surfing was found.  Up until the end rounds there were a few guys who were going for broke.  John John’s 10 in Round 5 against Medina and Slater was fucking insane.  That heat in general was nuts.   In the end it was “White Lightning” and defending world champion Mick Fanning who rung the bell with nothing but power carves and floaters all event long.  Its a good thing my boys and I didn’t play one of those surf commentator drinkings games every time the phrase “fastest surfer in the world” pertaining to Fanning was thrown out or I might have died of alcohol poisoning.   Mick did surf incredible in the event, but minus solid surfing he did nothing innovative the entire event.  He threw up safety move after safety move and was awarded 9’s for it.  I am sorry but four big hits and floater in a WCT final should never garnish a high 9.

Should Jordy have got a ten

This was the big debate at bells and I am at a loss to understand why.  It was a great wave and ride, but far from ten worthy.  Its true he rode the wave well, but the low nine he was rewarded for it seemed fair to me.  If you compare it to John John’s Ten in round five its not even close or Slater’s one move ten from 2012.  Its a bummer the guy didn’t get the score to move on and I am stoked that Jordy is one of the few guys on tour who pushes the envelope performance wise, but it was not a ten.  Compare the following videos and then really consider if he should have got the ten.  I think you will agree.
Jordy’s Wave in Question


He has some big turns out the back, then milks it to the reform before landing a very average front side air reverse.

John John’s 10

Meanwhile John John throws up a huge full rotation 360 air, sticks it, comes around a difficult white water section, finishing up with a giant lay back that most thought he fell on till he finally stood back up.

Slater’s 10 from 2012

Slater got a ten off of one huge maneuver, a no grab big full rotation 360 air, landed in the flats with hard offshore winds in his face.  The odds of anyone pulling that off in a free surf in such conditions let alone a contest is slim.  That is what a ten should reflect, a feat so uncommon it would be hard to repeat, the impossible made possible.

What happened to Kelly Slater?

Slater

I know Slater is getting old and all but his combined performances at all the past three events have been a disappointment.   He looks awkward and miss timed on everything.  I think it might be all of the experimental equipment he has been messing around with.  Maybe its its time to go back to more traditional equipment especially in harder heats.  He is got twenty years on a good portion of the guys on tour.  He needs to regroup and get back into that competitive animal of years past.  Of course a two quarter finals and one semi final finish is nothing to shake a stick at.  Going into Brazil, a place Slater seems to constantly find a lack of motivation for, one begins to wonder what result may take shape for the 11 time world champ.

Brazil

Next stop the tour heads to Rio Brazil for the Billabong Pro where we are sure to see more average waves and heavy frustration as the world’s best slog it out for points and dollars.  We get to watch more paint dry.  I guess we need to keep our fingers crossed for Fiji, J-bay and Tahiti.  I for one am not going to be holding my breath for another amazing to go down in shitty Rio beach break.

Sorry, but this is about the only thing worth getting excited about Brazil...

Sorry, but this is about the only thing worth getting excited about Brazil…

 

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