worldprosurfers

December 30, 2009

WHAT A WAY TO END 2009

Filed under: Bede Durbidge — Tags: , , , — wpssuperblog @ 7:26 pm

Celebrating Mick’s title at Turtle Bay. © Joli

Another year down but what a way to end it! I’m back home on the Gold Coast now and we’re locked into that October to early January pattern where the surf is the pits. But I’m coping because one of the best Hawaiian winters I’ve ever had is still fresh in my memory banks.

I’ve been going to Hawaii for 10 years now but this last season was definitely something special – one of the best I’ve had there. It was kind of a slow start through November but the moment December hit, it was on!

The whole month just pumped. We got bombarded with huge swell after huge swell and there were some perfect days at Pipe. I stayed at a place down at Rocky Lefts this year which was cool because it’s really central to all the breaks. I lost count of the excellent sessions out the front at Rockys but I was often lured down a bunch of times to Off The Wall, Sunset and Pipe.

The best surf I encountered was during the third day of the Pipe Masters. It was six to eight foot with a five knot offshore blowing. The waves were absolutely flawless – just like the waves you would draw in your school books when you were a kid. I don’t think it was possible to get better conditions.

Out front at Rocky Lefts. © Joli

For the pros there, the Triple Crown was very much on our mind early. My campaign didn’t get off to the best of starts when I got knocked out in my first heat of the World Cup at Haleiwa. The waves were good when they came but it was incredibly inconsistent and only one good set came through during my heat. Unfortunately I didn’t get one!

Joel Centio won it — awesome to see. Joel grew up surfing there and he had all his family and friends down the beach watching. It was a day he won’t forget for a long time and good on him.

I went a bit better at Sunset in the next event where I made the quarters for an equal ninth placing. The waves were huge. Some locals were saying it was the biggest surf they have ever held the contest in. Joel Parkinson got his third win out there. Parko was on fire all event and Mick must have been anxious watching Joel in such hot form ahead of the world title-deciding Pipe Masters.

But as it turned out, Parko had an unfortunate early exit at Pipe and Mick had the championship in the bag midway through the event. The Masters pretty much developed into a backdoor shoot-out. There was the odd sick left (CJ Hobgood got one that was one of the most perfect waves I’ve ever seen).

The only bummer about the event was it dropped off a bit for the final day, although the waves were still really fun. I bowed out in the quarters. My heat with Taj was a tough one. As mentioned, the swell had dropped off quite a bit compared to the previous days. It was a pretty close heat and I had the wave to get the score I needed near the end of the heat but I didn’t make the drop
– my board was probably a little small.

Taj kicked on to win the contest. He didn’t do any of the other Triple Crown events, preferring to concentrate solely on Pipe. That paid off and he was in great form the entire comp. It was a amazing finish to the year with Taj taking out Pipe, Mick winning his second world title and Parko grabbing his second Triple
Crown. My result at Pipe gave me an end-of-year finish of No. 3 so it was
definitely a good year for Australia. We ended up filling the top four spots which we were stoked with.

Andy at the Eddie. © Joli

The other bonus this season was getting to watch my first Eddie Aikau Memorial.
It was the best surfing comp I’ve ever watched. There must been close to 20,000 people down on the beach and it made for an insane atmosphere.
I found it really exciting. The guys out there were putting it all on the line every wave.

It was so cool to see Greg Long win it. That guy blows me away. Plus to have the contest go so well and get so much publicity around the world was really neat for the Aikau family and Eddie’s legacy. Like I said, I’m now back on the Goldie and the 2010 tour is just around the corner. I’m already excited.

I’m stoked as I picked up a new major sponsor while in Hawaii. I’m riding for Fox now. They’re a great company, although I can’t see myself trying out any motocross action with them. I came a cropper on a scooter last year in France and I won’t be racing to get on anything more powerful! But I’m frothing about the relationship and I believe 2010 is going to be a great year. I hope it is for you too.

Catch plenty of waves and remember to keep it cool in the water. We surfers are the luckiest people alive.

– Bede

December 15, 2009

PIPE WAS PUMPING!!!!

Filed under: Tom Whitaker — Tags: , , , , — wpssuperblog @ 7:53 pm

Pipe was pumping for the first two days … The World Title went down and everyone has already seen that so I wanted to show you all a few waves with a little retirement send off to legends Greg Emslie and Phil Macca.

Enjoy,

Whits

November 30, 2009

THANKSGIVING WITH RICO

Filed under: Tom Whitaker — Tags: , , , — wpssuperblog @ 9:18 am

Hi Again….
Us Aussies don’t have Thanksgiving but I wish we did. It’s like Christmas, all the food you can eat, a few beers and a great vibe. Hope you enjoy a ride around the Thanksgiving vibe at the Oakley house.
Cheers and beers.
Tom Whits.

November 17, 2009

LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR

Filed under: Bede Durbidge — Tags: , , , , , — wpssuperblog @ 5:59 pm

Pipe. © Joli

I’m on my way to Hawaii, we’ve got an amazing world title showdown about to unfold in front of us at Pipe and my mind is just full of all of those amazing waves we had last North Shore winter. My mood has obviously been helped along by my recent run of results which has got me back into a position to achieve my goal for this year – finishing inside the Top 5.

I’ve had a chance to freshen up at home on the Goldie after the Search in Portugal and I’m frothing about what might lie ahead in Oahu. The Triple Crown is going to be awesome.

Having that little “mini-circuit” at the end of the Dream Tour is a nice carrot at the end of the season for the guys who are out of the running for the world title — and that’s all of us bar Mick and Joel!

That carrot’s pretty big this year too. It’s a nice cash prize but I still reckon the prestige of being a Triple Crown winner is something money can’t buy. If I can repeat my 2007 Crown success again, I’ll be stoked.

But most eyes are rightfully going to be on Joel and Mick. Australia wins either way because we get to bring the world champion home with us at the end of the Pipe Masters. It’s going to be an awesome show as the title comes down to the wire.

Mick has the upper hand — but not by much. Both guys have made finals at Pipe so it’s anyone’s still. I’d love to replicate my 2007 success at Pipe because not only would it cement that top 5 finish I want and prime me for a big campaign next year, I will have also achieved my other goal of winning at least
one event per year.

I’ve done that the last three years running, so the pressure’s on at Pipe!
My recent run gives me some confidence, though. I last blogged after the event in France where Mick beat me in the final. I followed that with a 5th at Mundaka and then reaching the final in Portugal against Mick yet again. So I can’t be too bummed. Two seconds in France and Portugal, a third at Trestles and a fifth at Mundaka gave me the consolidating run through California and Europe that I needed.

It was a bonus to also be involved in one of the more memorable tour days. I’m talking about the third round and quarter final day at the Search.

We’d missed the best surf in years at Mundaka by a week so everybody was amping for Portugal.

We had fun waves before the event started. There are so many set-ups there and that coast gets so much swell. Everyone was stoked to be surfing some good waves because we hadn’t had much the rest of the European leg.

I felt right at home among the punchy beach breaks. Growing up on Straddie Island, we encounter those sorts of waves all the time. The only bummer is they are board breakers too! I snapped my favourite board on my first wave in my heat with Marlon Lipke. I was so bummed. It was the magic board I won in Brazil last year and that I had used in the final in France. I loved that board!

Peniche. © Joli

It was hard to get my head around it for a couple of minutes there but then I said to myself: “I’ll get another magic one”, and got on with the heat.

The third round and quarter finals were pretty insane. We scored some of the best waves of the year in round three. There were a lot of closeouts in the quarters but the odd perfect one would sneak through. It was one of those that saved me in my quarter with Jordy. That’s a heat I’ll definitely remember. I knew he would be fired up to beat me because I had knocked him out in the last comp the week before. And sure enough he had me on the ropes and just about beat. I needed a 9.67 to win, which is pretty much a 10. But I just had this weird feeling that if I was patient I was going to get it. Luckily this bomb came through and it went to plan. That wave – and being awarded a 10 – was such a rush. And the crowd made it even better. They were insane to surf in front of, probably the best I’ve seen on tour. They made it so much more exciting to surf.

My semi clash with Parko is also something I’ll remember for a long time. I knew it was going to take a big heat to overcome Joel given he was obviously back in top form. The swell had dropped off from the previous day but it still looked fun. Joel got a couple of good scores early then the wind changed halfway through the heat and just went to crap. I needed something like a 7.8 and I couldn’t see much hope of that given how the barrels at the start of the heat had pretty much disappeared. Time was ticking down and this left came. Parko didn’t go it and I thought ‘I’ll just go it and see what happens’. It turned into a 7.3 and then I only needed a 5.5. I paddled back out and pretty much got nearly the same score. If only all heats went that well!

The conditions were even worse for the final. Mick and I were both scrambling for whatever we could find. It was really hard to find a wave that ran off and let you get in a few turns. I fell on a good wave and that probably cost me the final. But it was still good to finish on a high note after a good trip.

Bring on Hawaii!

– Bede

December 18, 2008

“I’LL TAKE THAT!”

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A great season on The Rock and plenty of fun ones to sink your teeth into on the small days at Rocky Rights as well. © Joli

If somebody had said to me on January 1 this year that I would finish the year having jumped from No. 5 to No. 2 plus pick up a CT contest win along the way, I’d have gone: “I’ll take that!”

That’s how 2008 has ended for me and I’m stoked with how the year has gone. Would I have wanted to have finished No. 1? Of course! But Kelly just had such an amazing year and was nearly unbeatable. That might have demoralised others on the tour but it didn’t me. Quite the opposite actually.

I learnt heaps from this year, both from watching how Kelly went about
remorselessly hunting down that phenomenal 9th world title, and from my own experiences. I will take that all into next year.

Kelly is an amazing athlete that pro surfing is so fortunate to have. I’ve seen articles comparing him to Roger Federer and Tiger Woods. He’s definitely in their company in terms of what he has achieved and that has helped the credibility of surfing so much — but in 2009 I won’t be out there to lie down for him. I know he wants 10 world titles. My plan is to be in the way. I know it’s a massive task but I’m up for it.

When I reflect on this last year, there are some good memories. Winning in Brazil was obviously the highlight but I actually felt I probably did my best surfing at Trestles at the Boost Mobile Pro. Trestles is just such a high performance wave when it’s on plus I had an amazing board I could do no wrong on.

My best heat was probably against Owen Wright at The Search in Indo. The waves were pumping and we had a really close high scoring heat that went down to my last wave before I shook him off.

I think another key this year has been that I kept my training up all year and didn’t slacken off like I have done in the past. That made for more consistency in my performances. I also changed my backhand tube-riding technique and that worked so much better on some of the barrelling lefts on tour.

I made a few mistakes this year that cost me. I’m not losing any sleep over that because you learn from your errors. A good example was not following Kelly over to Rincon in the Bells final when I held the lead and priority. That ain’t ever going to happen again!

I’m also stepping my training up even more for 2009 and I will also make an additional trip to Tahiti just to put a bit of extra time in there.
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All three events copped amazing waves. © Joli

People ask me that now I am No. 2, do I feel like I’ve now permanently shed the underdog status thing. Not entirely, I believe. I still don’t get the media attention like the other guys but there has been a huge difference this past year.

It was good to close off the year with Hawaii having one of its best seasons in a long time. There were so many good days plus we got really good waves for the Triple Crown too. The last day of the event at Haleiwa was pretty insane. Other than the semi-final heat, Parko and I were in when no waves came through at
all (it was really bizarre, it just stopped for 20 minutes), the surf was awesome that final day.

One guy who caught my eye this winter was Dusty Payne. He is such a talented surfer, and he can do it all whether the waves are big or small. He has a massive future in surfing. I felt Adrian Buchan made big gains on the tour this year and is a guy who we should be watching for. Ace had such a good second half of the season and finished 6th overall.

I’m spending the Xmas/New Year break relaxing and spending time with family and friends up at Stradbroke Island, enjoying myself before I get back into a heavy training routine. Have a great Christmas everybody.  Hope you all get some waves and I will talk to you in ’09!

Bede.

November 17, 2008

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Filed under: Luke Stedman — Tags: , , , , , — wpssuperblog @ 6:01 pm

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Been a busy little bumble bee of late. BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZing all over this globe a couple of times over and over and over of late.

Can’t get enough honey though so I’m BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZing as much as possible.

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I got a DJ Falcon next to me then a Ron Blakey and a Cow boy. All kicking it at dusk at this joint called 100 Marches in France. It’s right next to where I stay in Biarritz and it’s the best afternoon bar in the world. I’m serious, nowhere else in the world can beat this place for ambiance, view and cold beer.
DJ Falcon plays in Paris regularly and travels with Daft Punk and is a super keen surfer. So we got to hand wit. Ron was commentating both the France and Spanish events and Cow boy was my personal chef though Europe. Both are my boys. Big time Babe …

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This is the view from our crib in Biarritz. It sux huh.

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Although Cow Boy has trouble sticking airs in the surf. He landed this thing so sweet. Rode out of it like butter on a fry pan. Thank god though as I was over taking him to hospital.

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Da Boys on the bike trip.

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I could not get enough of this. Tb and i laughing so hard at this. My boy Otto trying to explain why he was going around a roundabout the wrong way in France. A bee stung him he cries. Idiot … but he got off … so is he a genius?????

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Say no more …

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Who is dat kook. I have so much fun making fun of myself.

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Spent a bit of time in san Sebastian. This was right before we got some crazy grits at one of the many, many Tapas restaurants. Fun little town but if you go make sure it’s after 3pm, otherwise she is shut for business. Also, if you’re going out, don’t go anywhere till after 1am.

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MJ took me to Maui for my first time. Such an epic place. Beautiful. This is the only shot I took ’cause I’m a lazy camera man. Can you believe that she also ordered scrambled eggs? FREAK!!!!!!

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This is a random night in LA right before France. My good friend Tak and Raymond Pettibon. Raymond is a cool cat who is one of my favorite artists. I got to hang with him so it was really cool. Raymond has done artwork for Black Flag and also designed the logo for the group. He has also worked with Sonic Youth, another of my fav groups. He has his work in Museum of Modern Art in NY, The Museum of Contemporary Art in LA, and a large collection in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

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His work….

– Steds

November 13, 2008

HALEIWA, SUNSET, PIPE

Filed under: Bede Durbidge — Tags: , , , , , , , — wpssuperblog @ 11:57 pm

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Parko has spent a bit of the break up on North Stradbroke island as well. © Shield

It was really cool to arrive home to Stradbroke Island in Australia and find my family and friends had organised a party for me after winning in Brazil. It was a great buzz and drove home the good feeling around securing my third WCT contest win and moving to No. 2 in the ratings behind Kelly ahead of Hawaii. I’m a believer in celebrating your victories but you can never stop moving. So my mind has also been fully focussed on the Pipe Masters and the Vans Triple Crown where I am defending both titles.

It’s given me a real focus for Hawaii. Basically, Parko and/or Taj need to win at Pipe to overtake me in finishing second on the WCT for 2008. I’ll be stoked if I can hold the position as it will complete a solid season where I will have moved from No. 5 to 2 – providing real confidence for a shot at the world title in 2009.

We’re all dropping equal ninths in terms of our best results counting, so it’s going to be hard for people to make up points with just one event remaining. But it’s a bonus to also have the Triple Crown to aim for as well as Pipe.

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There have been plenty of fun times this year outside the contests as well; at South Stradbroke with Bottle and Clint Kimmins a couple of months back. © Shield

I was stoked to take out last year’s Triple Crown. The respect the Hawaiians alone hold for the Crown makes you proud to have won it. I guess it’s because the three events are often held in such diverse conditions at different North Shore breaks and it’s a real challenge to prove consistent across all of them.

The opening event is at Haleiwa, which I reckon is an awesome wave. It gets huge (and a bit scary) there but it’s still a real high performance wave even when it’s big. The contest at Sunset is different. When Sunset is on, it’s a full ocean wave with its own unique feeling to it. Longer boards are required and conquering Sunset is a feat in itself.

Then you finish off with the Wimbledon of surfing, the Pipe Masters. It’s the premier event in the premier wave. To have your name on that trophy is just so awesome. But I’m greedy … I want to see it there twice!

The Pipe Masters also has the best trophy in surfing. You get a handcrafted special board made by Gerry Lopez. I’ve had it on display in the Mt Woodgee shop window in Coolangatta for the past 10 months and it certainly draws attention.

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Sunset, there’s simply nowhere else like it. © Cory Scott

For obvious reasons, Hawaii is also the ultimate proving ground for your equipment. I’m taking over 10 boards. With the five I left over there from last year, I’ll have 15 in my quiver all up. The lengths range from 6’2 to 7’6 and the reality is you could surf your shortest board and longest one on the same day – the swell can rise that quickly, often within hours.

My boards went insane there last year so having the best of last year’s batch and a few new ones as well has me amped. It really helps that my shaper from Mt Woodgee Wayne Mckewen has spent so many seasons in Hawaii himself. Wayne is so onto what is needed there and knows exactly what I need to surf well in those kinds of waves. I’ve tried a few Hawaiian shapers’ boards in the past but Wayne’s just felt better – and that gives me plenty of confidence.

My wife Tarryn and I will be staying in a nice little studio at Sunset with a nice family we know who have two young boys who surf. We stayed there last year and I am really looking forward to getting back, seeing them and surfing some big hollow waves.

Aloha everybody,

Bede

January 21, 2008

ALOHA WEBWORLD

Filed under: Pancho Sullivan — Tags: , , , , , — wpssuperblog @ 5:30 pm

PANCHO’S BLOG

A recent day here in da islands.

A recent day here in da islands.

I hope you are all getting sick waves!

I have been hanging here in Hawaii and really enjoying some quality water time. I have bounced around on the last few swells taking advantage of the outer island solitude.

We have also had some really great surf here on the North Shore. The Backdoor Shootout ran last week in some of the best Pipe/Backdoor I have seen in years. The level of surfing was amazing. The format really pushed everyone in the event to swing for the fences because advancing is not the objective. It’s all about trying to get a 10. It was a lot of fun to surf in for the mere fact that there were only three other guys in the water and the surf was pumping.

We are finally in full winter swing and the swells have been stacking up. The variety here on the North Shore is pretty amazing and I have been really enjoying some soul surfing. Not worrying about being the wave of the day guy at Pipe. Just getting back to the joy of riding waves with just a couple of other people out. I feel really recharged and excited about surfing again.

It’s been really great to have this time off to get back to what it is all about. Fun!!! Hope you are having fun!

Cheers,

Pancho

January 4, 2008

RAIN IN THE SUGARBOWL

Filed under: Pancho Sullivan — Tags: , , , , — wpssuperblog @ 6:09 pm

PANCHO’S BLOG

Even windy and small, Rocky Point has still been rideable.

Even windy and small, Rocky Point has still been rideable.
© Joli

Not a whole lot to speak of here on the North Shore. The weather and surf has been the worst since the winter of ’94/’95. It has rained for a month straight and the trades have been a blistery 15-25mph everyday. I am hopeful that ’08 brings a change in the jetstream and the weather pattern.On the positive side there have been waves to surf almost everyday. It’s been really nice just being at home and spending quality time with the family. I’ve been working around the house a lot and catching up on a lot of sports through the holidays.

UH Quarterback Colt Brennan, rocking a very-Hawaiian hairdo.

UH Quarterback Colt Brennan, rocking a very-Hawaiian hairdo.
© Courtesy: Mr Irrelevant

Watching college football bowl games galore. I was so disappointed for the UH (University of Hawaii) players. They played their hearts out this season but the offensive line forgot to show up and protect Colt Brennan in the Sugar Bowl. It was heartbreaking to see him get sacked eight times. I wish him well in the NFL!

Go Blazers! 13 wins in a row through the month of December. It’s playoff time in the NFL. I love this time of year.

Ahhhh shoot, I gotta run, my kid just dropped his guts. Time to change his diaper. Its all about multi-tasking! Hope wherever you are, you are enjoying all the great things in life.

Cheers,

Pancho

November 15, 2007

KEEP THE NORTH SHORE COUNTRY

Filed under: Pancho Sullivan — Tags: , , , , — wpssuperblog @ 8:35 pm

PANCHO’S BLOG

Ahhhhh, home at last!

It feels great to be back in Hawaii with my family and friends. It’s been a long year of travelling and being away from home and missing the wife and kids. That is one of the hardest aspects of being on the WCT.

It’s that time of year again. I love competing in the Triple Crown. It may not always be 20ft and perfect which is what everyone expects when they come to the North Shore but even when its only 3ft it has way more power than anywhere else in the world.

Read the sign, then check the website, www.keepthenorthshorecountry.org

Read the sign, then check the website, keepthenorthshorecountry.org © Shield

It feels great to ride some bigger boards and to get a few sections where you
can push with everything you have, instead of having to nurse your turn through a soft section. The crowds are pretty overwhelming at the moment but even if you get one good one your session is made.

Speaking of crowds. Do any of you know that the Oak Tree Development Corp., who ownS the Turtle Bay Resort, are planning on building five new hotels and 1000 condominiums at one of the most beautiful and pristine bays in the world called Kawela Bay.

Imagine how bad the traffic is going to be on our little two-lane road with all the construction trucks and cement trucks and all the traffic associated with something like that?

Is that being responsible? The City or State of Hawaii is allowing the use of an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) from 1985. Please get on board and support the cause to fight corruption and greed!

Keep the North Shore Country! Go to keepthenorthshorecountry.org

And for background details about the situation click our article here – www.worldprosurfers.com/save-the-north-shore.htm

Mahalo,

Pancho.

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