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)

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A Quick Chat with CJ Hobgood

4 01 2010

Everyone loves CJ Hobgood. Photo by Jimmicane

Clifton James Hobgood has seemingly been a permanent fixture in the top 10 ever since his first season on the ASP World Championship Tour when he was named rookie of the year. Even though he finished seventh in the ratings, he calls 2009 his “worst year on tour” because he didn’t win an event. Balance may be the best word that sums up CJ today. At the moment he is juggling an ex-wife, a newish girlfriend and raising his daughter Genevieve. In 2010 CJ will embark on his 12th year on tour. I had a quick chat with him about what’s going on in his life and his dry sense of humor took over.

How does it feel to be back at home after another long season?
It’s like Florida out there (on tour)! Feels like home.

I heard you rent a room in your brother’s house on the water?  
Room or house however you say it, but yeah it’s on the water and my bro’s the landlord. But I pay on time.

You have a daughter. How difficult is it raising a little girl when you are away from home so much?
It’s not easy raising a child period, but it’s the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do.

How long have you been on tour now? Wasn’t Bobby Bowden in diapers your rookie year?
Me and Sunny (Garcia) started the tour at the same time. Ah, am I a senior citizen on tour I guess. But, hey, I’m from Florida. Everyone’s old here.

At the midpoint of the season you were second in the world and in title contention. Are you happy with your results in 2009?
No. Last year was my worst year on tour. I didn’t win a contest.

What are your goals for 2010?
To win a contest and hopefully have the most points.

Is there a lot more pressure to get results early with the reshuffling of the deck so to speak at the midway point and whittling down of the top 44 to 32?
Change is always good, but with the changes some people will get the shaft and some will benefit…just the way it is. To win a title you will have to get results all year so hopefully that’s the case.

Are you happy with the new direction and changes on tour this year?
I’m happy with changes. It keeps it interesting for an old man like me.

You and Damien kind of lead the charge with web sites/blogs to connect with the fans. Now it seems every surfer has one. But you guys do it all yourself right?
It’s this program that me and Damien developed where athletes can have there blogs run for them. They just have to plug in some stuff on the back end and voila. So in theory… no.

Two of the Gudauskas brothers are now on tour. Are you going to show them who’s boss, give them a rookie hazing and let them know they have no shot at taking on team Hobgood as the best sibling duo on tour?
I already hacked their blog and sent their computers some viruses.

You and Damien are lumped together so much. How do you different in personality and opinion?
We’re the same person? Opinion? What is that?

Do you have another world title in you?
Yes sir.

For more on all things Hobgood visit The Goods Life.