worldprosurfers

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

November 13, 2008

HALEIWA, SUNSET, PIPE

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

bede-durbridge-blog-header

bede-blog-pre-hawaii-pic01

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.

bede-blog-pre-hawaii-pic02

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.

bede-blog-pre-hawaii-pic03

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

Blog at WordPress.com.