Notes from the Quik Pro Part II

3 03 2010

Bede Durbidge was near perfect in round three. Photo: ASP/Cestari

Fuck you Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. As I watch surfing on my computer I am convinced the mute button is the best invention ever.

Snapper Rocks came alive on Tuesday. The waves were tricky. The sun finally came out. The difference between a nightmare and a dream is ever so slight. Sorry, I stole that last line from one of the commentators. I promise to never do it again.

The first heat of the day. Two Brazilians. Adriano de Souza and Jadsen Andre. “Two birds with one stone” turned into “I want both to win.” I now have a strange desire to snuggle up with a soccer ball.

Six months ago Bede Durbidge did not have a clothing sponsor. Surfing is not fair. Baseball is not fair either but at least talent is rewarded, not hype. Bede should have signed a contract with the New York Yankees. Instead, he is a Kansas City Royal. Kansas City is now known for tubes and BBQ Sauce. Surfing is not fair.

Andy Irons gives the best post-heat interviews. He should do the commentating with Occy. Oh, my bad. This is a Quiksilver event. It’s like asking a Jew to go to confession. Surfing is not fair.

Dane Reynolds is no Kelly Slater. Sometimes Dane isn’t even Dane. Kelly is always Kelly. They passed the Olympic torch last week. Surfing’s torch needs more seasoning. Life is not fair.

Like many, I think Jordy was pushed. Tiago Pires won the heat. I read somewhere that Jeremy Flores thinks the judges have biases towards Americans and Aussies. He thinks the Euros are often short changed. Jordy is South African and Flores was beat like a French-headed step child.

I totally wrote off Kai Otton. He impressed. Kai didn’t have the highest heat score of the day but for some reason I still remember his waves. Beating Dean Morrison at Snapper is not easy. It’s like beating the Devil in a game of hand grenades in Hell.

I see that Adriano de Souza and Bede are on opposite ends of the draw. I would not be surprised if each made the final. But this is surfing. And surfing is…not fair.

My picks in bold.
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 2: Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. Taj Burrow (AUS)
Heat 3: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Damien Hobgood (USA)
Heat 4: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Mick Fanning (AUS)
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 6: Daniel Ross (AUS) vs. Dane Reynolds (USA)
Heat 7: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)


New Year’s Resolutions for ASP Surfers

30 12 2009

Dance? No, I said you look fat in those pants. Jordy Smith and newly-crowned champ Mick Fanning celebrate the end of another ASP season.

Being the muckraking “journalist” I am I try keep my nose clean and my ear to the ground. OK, who am I kidding? My nose is dirtier than a gas station’s toilet seat. Regardless, I had the distinct pleasure of intercepting the New Year’s resolutions of the best surfers in the world.  

-Kelly Slater
Read the memoirs of famous rebels Robert E. Lee, George Washington and Poncho Villa. Win 10th title on an Alaia.  

-Mick Fanning
Legally change name to Damien Hardman II.  

-Jamie O’Brien
Win all contests he enters on just one wave instead of two. Get sponsored by Zippo lighters for daily burnings of the ASP rule book.  

-Dane Reynolds
Win a fucking contest.  

-Tim Boal
Win a fucking heat.  

 -Joel Parkinson
Have doctors genetically alter his ankles with Hillary Clinton’s canckles. That way he’ll never injure them again.   

-Chris Ward
Make it on time to all his heats court appearances.   

 -CJ Hobgood
Knock out the next punk that calls him Damien.  

-Bede Durbidge
Try to conceal the shit-eating grin from his face every time he cashes that motocross company’s check.  

-Dusty Payne
Change name to Dirk Diggler so it sounds less like a porn star.  

-Adriano de Souza
Finally quit day job as a midget rodeo clown. Then seal the clown car doors so no more Brazilians make it on the ASP tour.  

-Taylor Knox
Retire. Then unretire. Then retire. Then sign a contract with the Minnesota Vikings.  

-Rob Machado
Hire a narrator that doesn’t put you to sleep if the Drifter II ever gets made.  

-Jordy Smith
Become the first surfer sponsored by Trojan condoms. Burn through the “lifetime supply” in one month.

Fantasy Surfer: Smiles Everyone…Smiles

5 11 2009
Fantasy Island Surfer

Joel "Mr. Roarke" Parkinson with sidekick Adriano "Tattoo" de Souza

Was there anyone cooler than Mr. Roarke? Of course Hemingway in his prime. In front of a typewriter…sipping wine. Writing about bullfighting. Maybe. Maybe Dali. Or Sinatra. Or Coltrane.

Mr. Roarke’s savory-smooth voice rolled its R’s like a powdered doughnut slowly spinning down a perfect ass. The back of the knee acting as a speed bump. Mr. Roarke made dreams come true on Fantasy Island. Anything your heart desires. Fleurdelis as the French say. Ricardo Montalban was a drug. Like ecstasy on your wedding day. He wore a white Tuxedo. The only straight men able to pull off the white tuxedo were Mr. Roarke and Sean Connery. If you’re wondering, Tattoo was gayer than a ship in a bottle.

…and then there’s Fantasy Surfer.

I’m not sure why I play Fantasy Surfer. I’ve never owned a set of 12-sided die. I’m not much of a video gamer. I got laid in high school. I have perfect vision in these blue water eyes. And if my vision did require glasses, I would opt for shades. The world is more bearable through polarized lenses. My favorite trilogy was Godfather not Star Wars, and I just became the last person on Earth to join Facebook.

The world can now blow up into a thousand atomic fireballs. We can now sit on lawn chairs and watch it all.

What is the reason for this update? Right now I sit at 182nd place (out of more than 17,000) in Fantasy Surfer. I am told that is pretty good. But I’m not sure. The guy who told me this wears glasses and rides a Firewire. I ride polyurethane. He quotes the Lord of the Rings. I quote Apocalypse Now. And Big Wednesday.—Nug

Hurley Pro Final Day

20 09 2009
Fanning and Reynolds Celebrate while Machado Drifts in the Background

Mick and Dane celebrate while Machado drifts in the background

Wake me when it’s over.

It was the afternoon of the last day of the Hurley Pro, and halfway through the quarterfinals it was as exciting as watching Tiger Woods sink a five-foot putt at a miniature golf course.

The main problem was the uncharacteristic lack of swell for a break that usually pumps in September. The other problems were the short waiting period (due to state park restrictions) and a bad call by the event organizers—choosing not to run at least some of the event mid-week, instead of hoping and praying for a swell that in typical Southern California fashion didn’t show up on time.

Twenty minutes into the quarterfinal heat between Kelly Slater and Heitor Alves announcer Dave Stanfield said, “It sure is great when there’s waves.” The unintentional comedy factor of the typical ASP announcer’s everything-is-rosy outlook is off the charts. Terrorists could have detonated a bomb killing ninety percent of the crowd, and Stanfield would probably said something like “at least Kelly Slater survived and good news folks…looks like there’s a set on the horizon.”

Meanwhile, the ocean sat bloated and weary like an overweight dog sprawled out on the kitchen floor on a scorching summer day. Every 15 minutes or so the Pacific Ocean drooled, offering up a set wave or two, and an occasional leg to hump. Earlier in the week I saw Slater pumping gas at the San Clemente Chevron and it was a more thrilling spectacle than his semifinal heat against Mick Fanning.

Adriano de Souza sits at third place in the ratings and may finish higher than any other Brazilian in ASP history, but for my money Heitor Alves is the best Brazilian surfer on tour. He’s also clearly the most underrated surfer on tour. But Slater sent the Brazo home early in yet another wave-starved heat.

Dane Reyolds whips his tail around at Trestles

The Future is now. Dane Reynolds whips his tail around.

Taylor Knox versus Dane Reynolds was the heat of the day and also featured the day’s best exchange. Knox dropped in on a head-high where-the-fuck-did-that-come-from right and just destroyed it, getting an 8.0. Then Dane picked off the very next wave (9.7) and made Knox’s eight look ordinary in comparison. He buried the rail of his 5’7 Merrick and out-Knoxed Knox in the process.

Before the semifinals the VIP area was buzzing in free beer and mental masturbatory hopes of a Dane versus Kelly final. Meanwhile, former world champion Mick Fanning was quietly winning heats after miserable heat, one Ambien off the lip at a time. During Mick and Slater’s semi Dane was battling exhaustion and dehydration. The medical staff on site gave him an IV, while the Hurley staff provided the VIPs with Bud Light to keep them entertained and hydrated. No needles required. Slater’s come-from-behind 10th world title aspirations may have ended at Trestles, unless he wins two of the three events of the European leg (which is in the realm of possibilities). So in reality, the race is now a threesome between Joel Parkinson, Fanning and Slater. With Slater as the third wheel who holds the video camera, watching mostly, waiting for the perfect moment to join the fun.

At the halfway point of the WCT season, Dane Reynolds was sitting in a regulation spot, at 34th in the ratings. After his equal third in near-perfect conditions at JBay, he jumped to 20th. Now, after and second at Trestles, he sits comfortably in 11th place. Any person who is not brain dead and/or tipping back  Tooheys at an Aussie pub would admit Dane is a better surfer right now than Fanning.

Last year, every story I read about Dane Reynolds mentioned Jordy Smith as if they were Siamese twins sipping juice boxes, rolling around a cul-de-sac in a two-seat baby stroller. At Trestles, Dane not only separated himself from Jordy, but from the rest of the ASP pack as well. He’s the present and future of competitive surfing and everyone knows it. When Julian Wilson arrives, the surfing world may just implode, scattering swatches of Diamond Dobby boardshorts in the process.

Slater may have said it best shortly after the final while Fanning was popping the champagne. “I thought Dane was the surfer of the contest. I don’t even think Mick would argue with that.”

With a shot of honesty and a humble dose of reality, the circus heads for Europe and a three-event run before the climax at Pipe.