Taj Wins, The Dane Abides

5 03 2010

Taj Burrow is on a roll. Photo: ASP/Scholtz

Maybe it’s the White Russian I’m drinking or the little round peanuts I’m eating. They’re looking at me like I have all the answers, but I can’t focus. And I have no answers. The peanuts are wrong. Those bastards are seldom right. I can’t focus on the choppy walls at Snapper Rock on my computer screen. I’m seeing double. Or am I? I can’t determine if it’s the vodka or the chop on the ocean or if Mother Nature got fed up with Dane testing her authority. She is an unruly bitch, that Mother Nature, and not even Ike Turner is big enough or bad enough to smack her down when she acts up.

The Big Lebowski plays in the background.

Jesus Quintana: “You ready to be fucked, man? I see you rolled your way into the semis. Dios mio, man. Liam and me, we’re gonna fuck you up.”
The Dude: “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

 

I wanted it all. I really did. I wanted Bobby Martinez to beat Taj Burrow…blindfolded with a stick. After his semifinal loss, Ronnie Blakey asked the Californian if he’s happy with the equal third and his chances at a world title. Bobby says, “whatever.” Exactly. Whatever. Then the roving reporter asked him if he had a sentimental favorite. Bobby said “what” and looked at him like he wanted to shank him in the abdomen or sock him in his perfect jaw. I love Bobby.

Semifinal two begins. The Big Lebowski is still playing. The Dude is meditating to the sound of balls hitting bowling pins on his Walkman. I think of Dane Reynolds. I wonder if he meditates. I wonder if I should start meditating. I can totally picture Dane walking into a grocery store at 10 a.m. wearing a robe and writing a .59 cent check for a quart of half and half. The Dane abides.

I wanted Dane Reynolds to go crazy and win. I wanted him get dramatic, to cut off his ear or go on a Manson-esque killing spree across Queensland goddamnit. I wanted blood in the water. Then that fucking nihilist Jordy Smith pissed on his rug. I am happy for Jordy even though he lives in Newport Beach. If you ever want to lose your soul move to Newport Beach. We are all just one BMW, one Analog hat and one Bluetooth from being an asshole. I think Confucius wrote that. Or Nietzsche.

Like so many contests the best surf and best surfing was not on the final day. Taj won. He deserved it. This is his third in a row. I’ll bet it smells like the ’80s in Coolangatta—when cocaine was on every coffee table and Michael Jackson was in every heart. I am happy for Taj Burrow.

The Big Lebowski continues…

The Stranger: “The Dane abides. I don’t know about you but I take comfort in that. It’s good knowin’ he’s out there. The Dane. Takin’ ‘er easy for all us sinners. Shoosh. I sure hope he makes the finals.”

Oh well. Maybe next time.

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Notes from the Quik Pro Part III

4 03 2010

Parko Defeats Dane? Wait...that's not right.

There is white smoke rising from the Coolangotta Vatican. A new Pontiff has been selected. His name is John Paul Dane I. But the Pope is not perfect. He is human. He has his faults. Like the time he told Africans not to wear condoms. For the sake of future surfing generations, Dane should never wear a condom.
 
The storyline of the day was upsets. Big, nasty ones. After witnessing favorite sons Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning lose, Australians must feel like Dick Cheney when he found out his daughter was gay.
 
Kai Otton’s disposal of Mick Fanning was impressive indeed. Yesterday I spoke highly of his backhand surfing on the tricky Snapper walls. The day after he threw the bones like a craps shooter on a roll in Vegas, and Ottz beat the house. Then he ran into Pit Boss Bobby Martinez. No person should be able to surf Snapper on his backhand like that. I am convinced Bobby sold his soul to the Devil many moons ago at the crossroads of Bates Road.
 
Speaking of Rincon, It should surprise no one that the only two Americans remaining grew up in close proximity to the California pointbreak.
 
Jordy Smith beat Kelly Slater soundly. He deserved that one, but he has been on the good side of several close calls including his heat with Bede Durbidge. Bede was underscored on the 6.5. That I am sure of.

When Kelly Slater surfs we watch like a dog  sticking his head out of an open window of a moving car. We are happy. Win or lose.
 
Taj Burrow is quietly winning. Everyone is talking about everyone else. What about Taj? “When God? When does he get to see the Goddamn sailboat?”
 
Adriano is the best Brazilian ever. I would not be surprised if they built a statue of him overlooking Rio. Jesus is old news. Yesterday there were approximately 5,000 babies born in Brazil. They were all named Adriano.

The most important ingredient in competitive surfing is quality waves. 2009 was a weak year as far as waves go on the WCT. When the waves are good not much else matters. Even bad decisions can’t screw up a good thing. Which leads me to the comment of the day…
 
“Nice Guys Finish First” summed up the decision to run the women’s draw after round 4. “I just heard that when the Cavs meet the Lakers in the NBA final they are going to halt it after the series is tied 2 to 2 and hold the final game of the WNBA finals. Kind of let Kobe and Lebron rest a little you know.”





Notes from the Quiksilver Pro Webcast

2 03 2010

Jordy Smith was one of many top seeds regulated to the loser's round. Most of them, including Jordy, made it out alive. Photo: ASP/Cestari

A tsunami warning cancelled the event on Sunday. I fully expected Pat Robertson to claim those damn convicts had it coming. He did not and there was no tsunami. Unless you consider Jamie O’Brien’s impending arrival. 

In nearly every post-heat interview the surfer is asked about the board he is riding. He is never asked about his boardshorts. Think about that for a moment. 

Kelly Slater is nearly 40. He is still the best surfer in the world. 

Progressive surfing is not defined by being airborne. 

The event is being aired live on TV in Australia. I believe it’s on a wakeboarding channel. I can’t recall the name because the announcers never tell us. 

A salty teardrop cascaded down my face when Craig Anderson exited a small barrel and hit the lip during his second-round heat with Bobby Martinez. Bobby won the heat but Mr. Anderson won my heart. 

Dean Morrison is not human. He may be a sea monkey. But sea monkeys are adorable creatures. 

Dane Reynolds proved he is human in round one. In round two he proved humans can sometimes be superhuman. Surfing is Dickensian at times. Dane is both Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities

If a Jehovah’s Witness came to my door over the weekend, I would have invited him in and told him about Damien Hobgood’s backside hacks. “They are glorious,” I would have said. Then he would refuse to drink with me and I would have thrown him out the door head first. They wear helmets for this very purpose I would have reasoned. 

Watching Kekoa and Jay “Bottle” Thompson in round two was like watching two flies hump on the wall for 30 minutes without a climax. 

Luke Stedman’s legs end at his ear lobes. If humans share 98% of the same chromosomes as chimpanzees, Luke Stedman shares 98% of his chromosomes with ostriches. 

I had a bowl cereal this morning. I checked the side of the milk carton just to make sure Andy Irons wasn’t on it. 

Finally, 4 of my top 5 rookies are still alive and there are some intriguing round three match-ups, including two back-to-back scorchers. Owen vs. Taj, followed by Bobby and Andy. Later, we get Fanning vs. Simpson and Parko vs. Dusty Payne. 

QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
My picks in are in bold. 

Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 2: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 3: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Chris Davidson (AUS)
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
Heat 5: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Andy Irons (HAW)
Heat 6: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Luke Stedman (AUS)
Heat 7: Dean Morrison (AUS) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 8: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 10: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW)
Heat 11: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 12: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 13: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Luke Munro (AUS)
Heat 14: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Mick Campbell (AUS)
Heat 15: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 16: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)





The Twitter Nation

3 08 2009
Twitter is Creating a Stir in the Surf Industry. Photo: Cozad

Twitter is Creating a Stir in the Surf Industry. Photo: Cozad

Last month surfing scribe Charlie Smith created a minor stir when he revealed he had been writing Jamie O’Brien’s Twitter page. As lame as Twitter is, it’s interesting because it provides an unfiltered forum for users to connect with regular Joes. Plus it sifts out some of the bro-bro surf journalism. In the future there may not even be a need for the surf media, and I’m not so sure that would be a bad thing. Let’s take a look at some of the good, the bad and the ugly.

Damien and CJ Hobgood: http://twitter.com/hobgoods

The Hobgood brothers actually have one of the best Twitter pages out of all the pros. During the US Open CJ wrote this about the Jetski pilots that were utilized: “some real cowboys on the ski for our heats, me and Damien Wills caught 4 foot air on the way back out, judges didn’t score it.”

Joel Parkinson: http://twitter.com/joelparko

The world champ elect’s Twitter page is updated quite a bit, but it’s a little on the vanilla side. He also has his own website. I recommend you watch this video of Occy, Barca and the boys dancing and singing after Parko’s JBay win.

Jason Shibata: http://twitter.com/theBATS

I met Jason at the Coldwater Classic in Santa Cruz about 10 years ago. He seemed like a nice enough kid. The weather was horrible and we ended up at an undisclosed Westsiders house drinking beer. Parko won the event that year and I proved you can actually cover a surf contest without even watching the surfing. Right now he’s giving live reports form the ISA Games in Costa Rica.

Kelly Slater: http://twitter.com/slater9

Probably one of the least exciting. This guy must be busy or something. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he broke news of the new tour on his Twitter page. Kelly does have a good sense of humor though. Check out this interview.

Occy: http://twitter.com/Occys_Chin

As far as I can Mark Occhilupo does not have a Twitter page but his chin does.

Ben Dunn: http://twitter.com/dunny86

Ben had this to say about Lewis Samuels last month. “@postsurf your funny, i’ve never herd that before. do u wake up every morning and think about different ways to rag on me?”

Shane Beschen: http://twitter.com/shanebeschen

I’m not sure he even writes his own updates, but I have always respected Shane’s surfing. I interviewed Shane a long time ago and asked him about progression in surfing. “I don’t think any of the guys on tour are into airs,” he said. “Even during expression sessions you see guys doing four moves to the beach. I honestly don’t think that guys on tour have control over them.” A lot sure has changed since then.

Others:

Bede Durbidge: http://twitter.com/BedeDurbidge83

 Mick Fanning: http://twitter.com/Mick_Fanning

 Bobby Martinez: http://twitter.com/Bobby805