worldprosurfers

April 22, 2010

BETWEEN BELLS & BRAZIL

Filed under: Bede Durbidge — Tags: , , — wpssuperblog @ 6:15 pm

Trundling at Duranbah the day before the flight to Floripa. ©   Shield

From what I’ve seen from the first two events, if this year’s world title isn’t the most competitive ever I’ll be massively surprised. The Gold Coast and Bells events have been super competitive. I think everybody expected a hot start but nobody probably thought each contest would set the performance bar so high and that virtually every key heat would be so exciting and capable of going either way.

Taj and Kelly have laid down the markers with well-deserved wins but I think even they would admit this is definitely shaping as the most competitive year ever for the world title race. I reckon there are a good 10 guys in with a solid chance this year and that’s why every heat has been so exciting to watch.

The only bummer at Bells was that we were pretty unlucky with conditions. I guess we can’t complain because we have had some epic conditions over Easter in the past but this year the swell gods weren’t as kind. It didn’t get above 3′ the whole competition and under the circumstances I thought Damien Hardman did a great job on calling the shots through the contest.

Dooma pretty much had no swell to work with and definitely made the most of what was about. There were rumours at one stage that we were heading for Phillip Island and Johanna early in the event but we managed to get a few rounds in at Winki and Bells and, for the first time ever, a round at Thirteenth Beach.

My Staffie’s been loving all the rain in Queensland.

With the small conditions, I had an expectation that the event might quickly turn into an aerial contest. That’s pretty much what happened — which was a bit daunting when you looked at how good some of the new guys on tour are when it comes to airs. My early heat with Stuart Kennedy was a good example. I knew he was going to be doing airs so it was pretty much became an air show between him and I. It was so tight. I managed a snap on one wave just before I did an air and I think that was the difference between us.

It was much the same in the next round in super fun waves at Winkipop where I drew Tanner Gudanskas. Tanner has been ripping this year but because of his low seed, he’s had tough heats in the early rounds. I knew he would give me a run for my money and again it came right down to the wire but I just got the win over him. But while it was interesting that there were d aerial attacks coming at the judges in just about every heat, it was still the guys from last year’s top 10 who claimed the quarterfinals berths. As one observer said to me, the cream always rises to the top.

Johanna looked really fun for finals’ day but it was actually difficult to surf. There was a lot of bump on the face and it was really tricky to pick the ones that would wall up through the inside. But with only one day left of the waiting period, the organisers had to go with what we had.

My win over Luke Steadman gave me more confidence for the quarter final against Kelly. I felt good going into the last eight. Unlike some of the other guys, I don’t get daunted going up against Kelly. I consider it a privilege to surf against him as he always brings out the best in me. I had a great start and was winning the heat until he got a 9.  I needed a 7.5 to take the heat back off him and to be honest I was supremely confident of getting that score as long as I could get the right wave.

Loving the standard sized boards again after a spell on those mega-fun little Mt Woodgee Bullets. © Shield

I had one last chance on my last wave to nail the score. The problem was that a lot of waves were only letting you do one major turn out the back before it would go a bit fat on the inside. So I knew I had to go for a massive air on that first section. I thought I had made that air but just as I landed I fell over the front of my board. I had too much forward momentum and my board wasn’t moving as fast as I hoped for.

I was spewing when I came up because I knew had I made that air I would have got through the heat and into the semis. I guess I was trying to do to Kelly what he did to me in the Bells final two years ago when he paddled up to Rincon and pulled off a contest-winning air in the last minutes.

Kelly certainly surfed amazingly well throughout the content and definitely peaked at the right time in the final. I think he had a really good board that worked in those tough conditions. It’s obvious he’s hungry to get that 10th world title after getting a win early in the season.

We’re all off to Brazil now for the Billabong Santa Catarina Pro. It feels a bit crazy going to Brazil this early in the year. Normally we’re getting ready to go to Tahiti about now. I don’t mind it though. It’s good to get that long flight out of the way early in the year. I really enjoy going to Brazil, though. I’ve had some good results there including winning in 2008 and I like that the crowds are big and full of energy. The Brazilian fans are great to surf in front of.
Talk to you from over there.

Cheers.

– Bede

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August 19, 2009

GALERIA

Filed under: Heitor Alves — Tags: , , , — wpssuperblog @ 3:03 pm

African animals, JBay, and Mormaii HQ …

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All pics: heitoralves.com.br

FRENCH QUIVER

Filed under: Nic Muscroft — Tags: , , — wpssuperblog @ 2:56 pm

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Hmmm.

These are my latest sticks I just picked up in France. They are all pretty much the same, 6 0 x 18 1/4 x 2 5/16 shaped by Mark Phipps. I’m trying to find the magic one before the next WCT at Trestles.

– Mushy

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{By the way, me and Adam Robbo have a new site, Moborush.com, Check it out.} © Joli

June 28, 2009

SOUTH AMERICA

Filed under: Bede Durbidge — Tags: , , , , , , — wpssuperblog @ 12:04 pm

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Hey everybody, dialling in from South America. I’ve been here in Brazil for a few days now. It’s a real mission for we Australians to get here flight-wise and I wanted to be as adjusted as possible ahead of defending my title here.

To a large degree, this year’s Hang Loose Pro is almost a completely different event to the one I won here last season. This year’s event is much earlier in the season, and it’s the middle of winter here now so the water is colder than when we’ve been here in the past.

The upside is the locals say this time of the year is a much better swell window, so that’s got me excited. So has the chance to get back into the water with a competition vest on. It’s been a decent break since the last Dream Tour event in Tahiti and a few of us have been eager to get going again.

The view is that the world title race is still wide open. Parko got the jump on us early with the two wins on the Gold Coast and at Bells but now there’s a few back-to-back comps and everybody senses the chance to get on a roll and make up some ground. Me included.

Tahiti was a frustrating event for me this year. The swell was small and there were long waiting periods as well. It seemed like the event never really got going. I also copped Andy Irons in my opening heat. Billabong had given him a wildcard and as weird as this sounds, I was actually pleased to see Andy back in the water in competitive mode. He’s such a great surfer. I love watching him and the circuit won’t be the same until we see him back next year in full mode chasing the title.

The only trouble was his cameo appearance in Tahiti came at my expense! It was a bit strange striking him in my first heat but that’s life. My mood was eased a little by stepping off the plane back into Australia into one of the biggest swells to hit the East Coast in years.

It was a bit messy at times but on one memorable day I got towed into some beauties off Currumbin Alley. It was a good 10′ — and that’s pretty rare for the Goldy. We paid a bit of a price for it, though. The beaches on the Gold Coast now are wrecked. It’s the worst erosion I’ve seen since moving to the Coast. There are still no decent banks, Snapper is a huge hole, D’bah has no banks either and pretty much the whole east coast is wiped out in terms of good banks to surf.

So, getting on a plane with the Mt Woodgee boys for our long-planned boat trip to the Mentawais was nice and timely! We had a super fun trip, although we were kind of in between swells. The biggest surf we got was only about 4-6′. The guys who rolled in before us apparently scored perfect waves.  That included Mick, Jordy and the Red Bull crew. Then about five days after we got home, we heard the biggest swell of the year had come through up there.
I hate hearing that!

We still made the most of our trip though. We surfed pretty much every break up there and got some good photos and footage. We also dropped my shaper Wayne McKewen off on this ramshackle floating pontoon where he was paying $20 a night and planning to stay there for the next month. He’s a hard man.  It wasn’t for me but “Wickers” just smiled and pointed to the flawless left 200m away and the perfect right on the other side. We’re now worried he won’t be coming back! Check out his floating house right here

– Bede

June 8, 2009

ILLUSTRATED MAN

Filed under: Davey Weare — Tags: , , , , , , — wpssuperblog @ 5:52 pm

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Well, my addiction got the better of me yesterday and I added to my last tattoo: to finish off my half sleeve. It’s now down to just above my elbow. There were definitely times of excruciating pain going down, especially by my armpit, but the end result was worth it.

Got tattooed at Electric Eye Tattoo in Umhlanga Rocks, only about a 5 min drive from my house, and I’ve probably had about 85% of my tatts done there. Most of them by Mully (Malcom Hilton), the owner and world-renowned artist, but this latest one was done by Gavin Rowe.

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Mully recently just brought him back from Ireland, where he spent 8 years tattooing around the UK, but now he’s back in SA for good. Both these artists are amazing, I’m still blown away at how well these guys tattoo, the detail and images they come up with is crazy! Just want to send a big shout out to them, thanks for the good (and painful) times and the ink!

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Added some pics from yesterday’s latest addition, Mully is the one in the green shirt and Gavin is the one tattooing. Anyone in Durban who wants to get tatted up should head down to their shop .

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Until the next one, you can check my personal site at www.davey-weare.blogspot.com

– Davey

May 18, 2009

ISLAND HOPPING

Filed under: Tom Whitaker — Tags: , , , , , — wpssuperblog @ 1:04 pm

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Been cruising the South Pacific for a good couple of weeks now. © Joli

After starting the year in two rights, it was time to escape and go left for a while.

Fiji … The perfect week to go surf lefts and warm up for Tahiti. My Team Manager at Oakley, Ronnie, gave me the short notice call — and who wouldn’t jump on a four-hour flight to surf Cloudbreak and Restaurants for a fun week with no contest singlet?

US surf forecast website, Surfline, had a great bunch of crew going for the week and I was lucky to go for the ride. Fun waves all week, up into the 5′ range, was such a cool warm-up before Tahiti. Just surfing with crew really stoked to be out there makes a world of difference.

I tagged Ace and Parko on the Saturday changeover and I was like a grommet; up early, surfing, in to eat, back out at another spot, eat again, back out for a late, and then a cold beer to talk about the sessions and cool happenings of the day.

I popped over to Namotu to catch up with our good friends Mandy and Scotty, which always involves a few tins. Big shout out to all the new mates I made that week, so cool to surf with you all and set the excitement that was shown in the water.

That done, it was a little longer flight to Tahiti, and here we are. …

Well, it’s the third last day of the waiting period and I haven’t surfed a heat yet, kinda weird. Had some really fun sessions and a few cool tubes before the crowd on our massive(not) rubber ducky with Otts, Dayoof and Macca. H

Hopefully these last few days are fun, with some more tubes, and we’ll be sitting around sipping cold Hinanos with a big trophy!

Gotta get back to my sixth coffee for the day, it’s getting cold.

Au Revoir,

Whits

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Some new mates from Fiji, Dougy Ron, Matty, Mika And I — – Tommy

May 16, 2009

NEW FORMAT

Filed under: Davey Weare — Tags: , , , , , , — wpssuperblog @ 5:50 am

Sean Rowland from Surfline sent me through this sequence from my Round 1 heat at Teahupoo.

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(Check my new site out, http://www.davey-weare.blogspot.com/) © Rowland

Just got clipped as I was coming out of this one, probably would have changed the heat result had I have stayed on my board.

That’s the problem with the new format the ASP and certain event sponsors have come up with, no more second chances. Not too many surfers are happy with this new format.

Either all the 45 should start from the same round, no preferential seeding for the top 16 but have the straight knock out from Round 1 or go back to the old format, 3-man Round 1 heats, but use the Kelly format with it. There are ways around it …

My opinion, this new format is not the way to go, it’s been tried and tested and it sucked so hopefully companies see this and listen to the surfers and make some better changes.

– Davey

May 15, 2009

BONG PRO

Filed under: Aritz Aranburu — Tags: , , , , , , — wpssuperblog @ 7:36 am

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Free-surfing yesterday and psyching Kelly out with a belly flop. © Joli

It seems that tomorrow is going to at last go back to beautiful Teahupoo … The first heat against Dane went well and, now, the big daddy of the circuit (Kelly Slater) …

We must seize this golden opportunity!

Besarkada haundi bat eta Maururu por todos los animos.

IUUPP.

– Aritz

May 14, 2009

SCOTLAND, BRRRRR

Filed under: Bede Durbidge — Tags: , , , , — wpssuperblog @ 12:46 pm

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The Thurso hot tub. © mysurfworld.com

After the week in Durban I was psyched to be back in Scotland! After winning the event last year I was really keen to try and back up that win with a good result. Driving down the main street for the first time brought back a lot of good memories I have of the place that’s for sure.

I was staying with Jack Perry for the week and we were both keen on surfing a lot to get used to wearing all the rubber! I never wear wetsuit boots, gloves or a hood in Victoria so getting used to all the equipment I believe is the key to surfing well in Scotland.

The waves were pretty fun all week and allowed us to surf a lot, and also allowed the event to go off in some pretty good waves. I ended up with a 9th place finish for the event.

I ended up being knocked out in a really close heat by Blake Thornton who surfed great all event and surfed a really smart heat. We both had a 7 and a 6-something, so it was a pretty good heat for both of us.

I was stoked with my result. It’s always tough to go back-to-back victories and I felt a bit of pressure after last year, but a 9th was great and I had a great time in Scotland! It’s an awesome event and I have met some great people from the area. So I can’t wait to go there again! I think with a good waiting period you could have an awesome WCT event there.

Now I’m back in Portland which is awesome! I haven’t been back here for a long time so I’m loving the time at home. It looks like this arvo could be some slab barrels on the high tide at a secret left and then off to boxing late this afternoon.

All’s good!

– Adam

May 10, 2009

SILVER BUDGIE

Filed under: Bede Durbidge — Tags: , , , , , , , — wpssuperblog @ 11:05 am

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Chewing the fat with Kai. © Joli

I’m writing this blog in the plane on the way up to Tahiti and right now I’m getting twitchy in my seat. We’ve heard the waves for the trials at Teahupoo have been fun and I’m frothing at the chance to match wits and nerve against that amazing reef break.

The plane is full of other pros heading up there and there’s a real buzz within this silver budgie, that’s for sure. For me, I’m pumped as I didn’t do as well as I wanted at Bells in the last event. I’m ranked 9th after the Australian leg of the Dream Tour and my mission is to improve on that from now, starting with the Billabong Pro in Tahiti.

Bells at Easter was a bit of a frustrating time for me. The contest was the first to run under the new ASP format of sudden death heats from Day 1 but with the top 16 seeded into the second round.

Unfortunately for me, I had a close heat but went down to Adam Robertson in my opening heat. The waves were really fun for it – about four foot – and we were going score for score the whole heat.

With about 10 minutes to go, I held the lead and priority and ‘Robbo’ needed an 8.1. A smaller set wave came in and I let it go, thinking he wouldn’t get it. But he did, lit the wave up and nailed an 8.4. That left me needing a 7.9 – but no more sets came through. I felt it was one of those heats were it could have gone either way.

Robbo went on to have such an amazing result, finishing second. I knew ahead of the heat that it would be a tough one. Robbo had won the trials and being a local, he has Bells dialled in. Those guys are always dangerous because they have put the time in at that break and know where to sit in the line-up to get the best waves.

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There’s been plenty of swell in Queensland. © Joli

The upcoming event at Teahupoo is a classic example of a contest where local knowledge and time in the water make the wildcards and trials winner huge threats to all the top guys.

It was pretty frustrating going out in my first heat at Bells. And, of course, there was no extra round buffer there. I think most surfers weren’t really into the new format, so we might see a lot of the other contest using the old format again.

Of course, in Tahiti it will be a case of trying to catch up to the tearaway ratings leader. This time last year it was Kelly Slater. This year it’s ‘Parko’.

Joel’s early dominance doesn’t surprise me. He’s definitely on a roll and I think his training has a big part to do with that. I know he is putting so much into every part of his preparation. That’s translating to peak performances at the right time – in this case, the first two contests.

Joel has always had so much natural talent. We all regard him as a freak but with all this extra training he is doing it’s showing up big time in his results and he is setting a mean pace!

In terms of Kelly, I think he has just been a bit unlucky in both contests. He struck hot rising Aussie surfers in Julian Wilson and Owen Wright. Both were on fire and definitely grabbed the opportunity to surf against Kelly with both hands.

Kelly was in perfect form last year and sometimes things just don’t go your way. But he will be pretty fired up to do well in Tahiti and he has probably the best record out of anyone there – so expect a strong campaign to turn his year around.

In terms of myself, since Bells I have been training and surfing Queensland. We’ve had some awesome swells this year with some of the best waves in a long time. It’s difficult to prepare for Tahiti because we just don’t get waves

like that in Queensland and most decent barrelling waves are rights.

But I did slip in a couple of quick trips to my old stomping grounds of North Straddie where you can find some nice left hand barrels. My recent trip to Lakey Peak was also good for some practice for backhand barrel riding. We got some really fun barrels and in the few days I was there I was able to fine tune my ‘pigdog’.

Talk soon,

Bede

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