October 8, 2009


Filed under: Bede Durbidge — Tags: , , , , , — wpssuperblog @ 9:33 am

“Seeing who can hold his nerve the longest”


Was feeling fit and primed at the Quik Pro France. © Joli

Hey Everybody,

Bede checking in from Mundaka. It’s been a hectic few weeks since the tour resumed and we’re right in the thick of the action now in Spain. Trestles and the first of the European events in France came right on the top of each other after the long six-week break post J-Bay.

And with Mundaka on right now, and The Search, just around the corner, now
is arguably the most critical time of the tour. That’s definitely the case for Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson. And it has been for me too.

I went into Trestles determined to make my own move after being dissatisfied with some of my early season performances. So to come away with a semi-final appearance out of the Hurley Pro and then a second to Mick in France last week was a good feeling that told me I had used my time off since J-Bay wisely.

What did I do? Basically, I just knuckled down. I did a bit of reflecting on how the first few events had panned out for me and I realised I needed to work
harder if I wanted to stay in the top 5. I’d become a bit slack around training and I wasn’t putting in the same effort as last year, which was why the results weren’t coming.

So the first thing I did was commit to a daily training regime – and to hit it hard. I was spending three days a week solely concentrating on fitness work. I did that with Gary “Kong” Elkerton. Elko is such a mean taskmaster. He always gets me to peak condition. But I also made sure I pushed myself harder more often than I had been. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, physically and mentally. But I also started doing skills training two days/week with my
shaper Wayne McKewen.

The work I did with Gary and Wayne was also very specific to this up and coming leg of events. Plus I was armed with some pretty good boards which just added to my confidence. Trestles went well from the outset. It’s always been a good venue for me (I won my first WT contest there). It’s like a perfect little wave park and I was really looking forward to getting my year back on track there. I felt I was surfing good and then I ran into Dane Reynolds in the semis. Dane was on fire.  He was riding a smaller board and just doing some massive airs, almost at will. With a few huge carves thrown in as well, it was an impressive showing.


Mundaka mezu ohartu. © Joli

I felt we had a good heat. I was able to get a couple of airs myself but the difference proved to be one really high score of 9.67 Dane pulled off which included two really nice airs. Equal 3rd place showed me I was on track though, and I immediately felt good for France.

It was ironic to come up against Dane again, only in the fourth round this time.
I knew it was going to be another tough heat and this time I wanted to get off to a flyer to put Dane under some pressure. I was able to get that quick start and with the waves slowing up as our heat wore on, I was able to hold my lead and get one back on Dane.

I felt I surfed really well the whole contest except the final. It got a bit choppier and I didn’t adapt to the conditions as well as Mick. I was trying to push my turns too much and caught the odd rail which cost me. Mick was surfing so precise and fast and the better man won on the day.

But Trestles and France did help me climb back up to #4. I’m back where I want to be in the ratings. I want to finish the year off strongly and remain in the top five. Realistically, the world title is a long shot for me this year. But if I can remain in the top five after finishing second last year, I can set myself for a shot at the title next year.

The real battle for the world title is between Mick and Joel now. It’s going to be a fascinating contest too. Parko had such a great start to the year but now Mick has turned his season around and is coming home like a steam train. I’m excited to see how things now unfold. Both are really good mates of course but they’re also both super competitive. Their friendship is big enough to survive the competitive tension but seeing who can hold his nerve the longest is
going to be epic.

– Bede


October 15, 2008


Filed under: Mick Fanning — Tags: , , , — wpssuperblog @ 5:30 pm

It all started at Jeffreys, back in July. © Joli

Hi Guys,

Just to let everyone out there know, the reason I did not compete in Mundaka is because I have been having a problem with my hip since J-Bay.

I thought I could work through it and get it sorted but as time has gone on it has just gotten worse. I decided in France the best thing to do was to go home and really figure this thing out. I came home, got all the tests done and the doctors tell me I have a slight tear in the hip joint.

So, I’m laid up for another 10 days to see if it will hopefully heal. If it doesn’t then I might have to get an arthroscope. I hope it doesn’t come to that as I am losing my mind already without surfing. Being bored on the couch isn’t that fun. But all is good, I am being positive and hope to make a full recovery.

With KP and Griggsy in France a couple of weeks back. © Joli

Other than that, not too much else has happened for me. I missed Mundaka, which looked fun, and I wanted to represent Australia at the ISA World Titles in Portugal but had to pull out too. Luckily for me the waves at home have been pretty average so that’s making it a little easier. Anyway, I start some rehab in the next couple of days so that should keep me moving in the right direction.



October 14, 2008


Filed under: CJ Hobgood — Tags: , , , , — wpssuperblog @ 6:06 pm

Mundaka came back to life during the Billabong Pro event. © Joli

What’s going on? Without fail — for like three years in a row – Mundaka ends and the waves pump for a week …

Me, Benny, Dion and Yadin surfed our brains out for the last few days. Good thing is after a month in France you have a semi handle on the bars’ direction, size, and what not, to make a somewhat educated decision and try to nail the windows.

France: Had a blast, I love that place! © Joli

We did a pretty good job except for one of the days when I swear we checked every spot between Zarautz and Bordeaux.

Me and Benny got a flight to Portugal for the World Games on Sunday where we competed today in (no lie) really fun and super-rippable waves — tripping.

And now Portugal: checking the waves and scene around Lisbon. © Gago

Looks like we’ve got our work cut out for us, the Aussies, Tahitians, Brasilians and South Africans are blowing up.

Should be fun.


October 2, 2008


Filed under: Bede Durbidge — Tags: , , , , , — wpssuperblog @ 9:55 am

Hey everybody, I’m in “hold” mode here with the rest of the crew in Spain waiting for the Billabong Pro to get into the water. I’m frothing at the chance for some classic 6-8′ Mundaka at some stage of the event, but chances are we won’t get through this event using Mundaka only.

Mundaka view of bay and church

There’s barely been a ripple at the high-tide affected Mundaka.
© Joli

What’s gone on here in recent years with the harbour dredging is pretty well documented and there are lots of views about it all. The reality is the break is now too tidal to work all day and anything more than a three-day swell cycle is rare for here at this time of the year.

That means getting a good part of the event done elsewhere, still in pretty good waves, and then hopefully engineering the end to finish the finals in classic Mundaka: A big challenge, as we’ve seen in the last three years. In the past, the back-up wave was Bakio and it just wasn’t up to it, causing frustration at times.

This time, Billabong has moved the back-up beach to Sopelana which is further away though a better quality wave. Round One was held there overnight but hopefully the second round (where I am the first heat up) will be back at Mundaka. I know a little bit about Sopelana as it has hosted ASP events before. My coach Kong (Gary Elkerton) won an event there and has tuned me about the break.

The ASP was going to drop the losers’ round in this event but the pros were worried that would cause too much hassling in the first round. So we came to a compromise that if we ran the first round at Sopelana before the swell comes for Mundaka then the losers’ round would be retained.

Personally, I think Mundaka is a bit too fickle to run an entire WCT there. It’s so tidal and needs a solid swell to work. It’s a contest director’s nightmare but when it works it’s one of the best waves in the world. Hence the dilemma on whether to retain it as a stop on the Dream Tour or not. Rumours are they are looking elsewhere in Europe.

New York, New York.

New York, New York. © Warby

The past month has been pretty active for me. My wife Tarryn and I called into New York before the Trestles WCT event. We’d never been there before and I gotta admit it was pretty cool to do the full-on tourist thing and just get lost in that monstrous city.

Back in San Clemente, it was full contest mode with sponsor and trade show appearances and the event itself. I felt really good at Trestles. I had the most amazing board and enjoyed taking on Kelly in the semis. The waves didn’t really pulse during our heat but they were still fun.

I always love surfing against Kelly. It brings the best out of me plus I get to surf against my hero. There’s never been a heat I haven’t learned from. This one was so close with only 0.5 the difference in the end. I fell on my best wave on the last section, trying to doing a little air. Maybe if I’d made it the heat might have been mine … but you can’t make any mistakes against Kelly.

Surfing Trestles is always enjoyable for me. It’s like a high performance skate park for surfers. It’s a wave that’s been good to me over the years and I feel really comfortable there. This year the waves pumped for the whole comp too. Personally, I think the best surfing all year on the tour went down there.

"The Spartan" Michel Bourez on fire during the Round Three clash in France.

“The Spartan” Michel Bourez on fire during the Round Three clash in France. © Joli

France was a bit more frustrating. A few of us top seeds went down early and I got put to the sword by “The Spartan” in round 3! The Spartan is Michel Bourez. We call him that because he’s ripped and buffed like a Spartan fighter. The guy is so fit and that was the hardest heat I’ve surfed this year.

Michael came out of the blocks firing with a 9.8 but when I countered with an 8, I thought, ‘Sweet, I’m in the heat, I just need another good one before he gets another one’. Next thing – bang! – he’s nailed a 9.7 and I’m combo-ed. I will never give up and I waited and waited for a good wave that never came. It was pretty hard to beat a 19.5 heat score in those conditions. He smashed me. Michel beat Parko the heat before and Kelly at the same event last year so he’s definitely on the rise. He surfs with lots of power and big turns, and I think he will be around awhile.

Congrats Ace!

Congrats Ace!

The French event was frustrating for me. The banks were a little weird and we didn’t get much swell, but it was so awesome to see one of my good mates Ace Buchan win the event and take down Kelly in the final. It showed Kelly is beatable, and it was a pretty wild night for the Aussies celebrating Ace’s first win.

This event will be about Kelly wrapping up his ninth World Title and pretty much the perfect year. I think there will probably be a few people skipping Brazil. As for me, I am just amping for some quality Mundaka.

Bring on those sick waves,


October 9, 2007


Filed under: Michael Campbell — Tags: , , , , — wpssuperblog @ 6:07 am

“Here’s the Occ making the most out ot Bakio”

How’s it gaarn!! Been in Europe for the last two weeks and I’m in Spain at the moment for the Mundaka event. The waves have been pretty small so I’ve been keeping busy; heaps of sightseeing and skating; there’s some sick skate parks in France. We‘re staying in a cool place in Bakio at the moment where, of an evening, we eat at the legendary Joshe Mari. I’ve been staying with the Wills family, Chucky and Wife of Chucky, Jayden and Symone. The kids have been teaching me clappy games, and card tricks … ouch! Jayden just smashed me with a spitball! Comp was on yesterday at Bakio, small but contestable waves.

Talk soon I’m goin’ surfing


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