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.

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The First Ever Nugable Surfing Awards

15 12 2009

Kelly and girlfriend Kalani at the 2008 ASP awards banquet

The 2009 ASP World Tour is effectively over. Today a Pipe Master will be crowned. Three days ago Mick Fanning won the world title in relatively anti-climatic fashion. After months of build up and anticipation it all ended much faster than expected. Rather than a classic finish ala Machado/Slater in 1995, we got surfing’s version of a premature ejaculation.

At season’s end the ASP holds an awards banquet to honor surfing’s elite. They dress up, they drink, they give out awards and the world champion is formally honored. It’s a fine little red carpet affair.

But the ASP should honor not just the world champion, runner up and rookie of the year. There are several surfers that deserve recognition for their effort this year and beyond. Without further ado I present the first ever Nugables.

The Middle School Award—Dane Reynolds

Dane Reynolds is a freak of nature. Could you imagine if he really cared about winning? He’ll most likely finish in the top 10 this year and it appears he’s barely trying. He is not new school. He is not old school. He is middle school. Like 7th grade. He is a like an ultra-smart B student. You know the type that never studies yet still breezes through college? Being a B student is the best. It shows you are smart and talented, but not obsessed. There is nothing more annoying than obsession.

The Michael Corleone Award—Kelly Slater

Remember when Michael Corleone took on the Vatican in Godfather III ? That took balls. That’s effectively what Kelly is doing with his effort to push for the never-say-die Rebel Tour. Surfing is evolving and ASP is struggling to keep up. Kelly is the only surfer on tour with the balls and power to make this happen. He is Michael Corleone.

The 2 Live Crew Award—Jamie O’Brien

Sometimes freedom of speech is a fallacy in America. In 1989 2 Live Crew’s album As Nasty as They Want to Be was deemed obscene by a Florida judge and subsequently banned. The group was even arrested in Florida for performing songs from the album. In 2009 Jamie O’Brien released the trailer of his upcoming film Who is Job. The trailer shows him burning the ASP rule book. Even though he is a former Pipe Master, the ASP tried to ban Jamie O’Brien from surfing in the Pipeline Masters this year. In both cases order was restored and justice prevailed.

The Scooby Doo Where Are You Award—Bede Durbidge

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. Bede Durbidge is like a machine. Like a Terminator. He gets very little press yet he quietly makes the quarterfinals or semis in seemingly every event. He doesn’t even have a major clothing sponsor. You know how at the end of each Scooby Doo episode the gang reveals the villain’s true identity? One day I fully expect someone to reveal Durbidge’s true identity as Arnold Schwarzenegger. They’ll remove his mask and he’ll say in a thick Austrian accent “And I wud have gotten away wit it, if it wasn’t for you meaaaddling kids!”

The I-Don’t-Want-to-See-How-the-Bratwurst-is-Made Award
—Marlon Lipke

Germans are known for many things…fine automobiles, beer, classical music, bratwurst. They are not known for surfing. Marlon Lipke tried to dispel this notion unsuccessfully in 2009. He finished last in nearly every event. To be fair, he’s really Portuguese. But that makes little difference to surf fans. We STILL don’t want to see how Lipke’s bratwurst is made.

The Martin Scorsese Lifetime Achievement Award—Taylor Knox

Martin Scorsese’s films are masterpieces. His resume includes classics like Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas. Despite these landmark films he didn’t win an Oscar until the 2006 Boston gangster epic The Departed. It was largely believed to be a make-up award for years of snubs by the Academy. Critics jokingly called it a lifetime achievement Oscar. Like Scorsese, Taylor Knox is a legend and perhaps the smoking gun against the ASP’s refusal to implement style in its judging criteria. Can you believe Taylor Knox has won only one WCT event in more than 15 years on tour? Just one. And that was in Brazil. Knox, like Scorsese, deserves a lifetime achievement award for years of being slighted.

The Harry and The Hendersons Sad Farewell Award—Greg Emslie

The 33-year-old South African’s nickname is Bigfoot. Perhaps he was given the name because he has really large feet. Or maybe it’s because a photo of Greg Emslie has never been published in a surf mag. Greg is a super nice guy and a talented surfer. Last week he announced his retirement. The only problem is I’m not so sure he was ever on tour. There are no confirmed photographs of him on tour. He might just be a figment of the human imagination—like the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot or an attractive lesbian.





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.





Surfing’s Mitchell Report

6 08 2009

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When the Mitchell Report was released in 2007 it was bombshell for baseball. It is and was the stain on the soul of the sport. Steroid usage has dominated news coverage, tainted records and nearly ruined careers. When Congress got involved I nearly threw up. A politician trying to clean up sports is like a prostitute trying to bathe by walking through a drive-thru car wash. Sure, the hot wax may kill the crabs, but you’re still a fucking whore.

Surely surfing must be immune to performance enhancing drugs. Right? Well, don’t be so sure. Let’s look at some current surfers who are or may be juicing.

The Confirmed

Neco Padaratz
The Brazilian fire plug tested positive and was suspended by the ASP in 2005 for 6 months. Medical experts say ’roids cause shrinkage. He clearly showcased balls the size of coconuts after dropping in on Sunny at Pipe last year. Apparently, because he lives south of the Equator, steroids have a reverse effect on the testes. It’s like when you flush a toilet and the water goes in the opposite direction.

The Suspects

Tom Carroll
One does not develop thighs a Bulgarian weightlifter would be envious of by training alone. Very suspicious Tom. Those ham hocks could feed an Eskimo family for two consecutive winters. Years ago, at the OP Pro, I asked Tom for his autograph. As he scribbled his John Hancock, pen in hand, girls in bikinis hovering about, he looked up and said “Look at the tits on that one mate.” I was 12. Needless to say, Tom Carroll has always been one of my favorite surfers.

Rob Machado
“El Maniaco” Machado weighed about 75 pounds when he made the final of a PSAA event at Seaside Reef when he was just 14 years old. Now, he must tip the scales at a buck ‘o five. Call me crazy, but this is highly suspicious. You don’t just gain 30 pounds in 20 years by drinking organic milk and eating vegetables.

Mick Fanning
When he first qualified for the world tour he surfed like piece of angel hair pasta riding a plywood plank down a roller coaster. Now he looks like a piece of angel hair pasta with a gigantic meatball where his head should be. Is he on the juice? Probably not. But suspicious nevertheless.

Sunny Garcia
If I had to bet one of my kidneys on the surfer most likely to be using HGH, it would be Vincent Sennen Garcia. I kid Sunny. My run-ins with Sunny in the past have been nothing but cordial. I think he’s just a little misunderstood.

Laird Hamilton
This guy is ripped. And he has no fear. But let’s face it; his physique looks like Terrell Owens after a Michael Jackson-esque skin bleaching cycle with bronzer follow up. If I had the chutzpah to charge huge Chopes and Jaws like Laird, I’d probably buy needles in bulk from Costco too.

laird-hamilton

ESPN Surfing’s Jake Howard
My theory is he’s not fat. He’s just juicing. Give the guy a break. If Barry Bonds was sheet white and wore a corn husk toupe he would look just like Jake Howard.

Taylor Knox
Taylor has perhaps the most polished style on tour, but he’s been on the ’CT for about 40 years. I think slavery was still legal during Taylor’s rookie season. You don’t have that kind of longevity without a little help. He’s also been known to hang out with former Padres pitcher Trevor Hoffman. Baseball players are bad influences. You do the math.