DECEMBER 09, 2012 – SURFING NEWS — TALKING WITH CINE LEGEND SONNY MILLER IN -STUDIO: SANDY RELIEF, TOM CURREN, PIPE MASTERS, CHASING MAVERICKS MUCH MUCH MORE
DECEMBER 09, 2012 – SURFING NEWS — TALKING WITH CINE LEGEND SONNY MILLER IN-STUDIO: SANDY RELIEF, TOM CURREN, PIPE MASTERS, CHASING MAVERICKS MUCH MUCH MORE
w/ Scott Bass (surfer) and Jeff Baldwin (surfer)
The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons kicked off Round 1 of competition yesterday in pumping six-to-eight foot (2 metre) waves at Pipeline, hosting the ASP Top 34 as they battled the notorious local wildcards in an attempt to requalify for the 2013 ASP Top 34.
SEGMENT 1: Segment Sponsor Quiksilver Waterman Collection is presenting next years’ Surfing Heritage Vintage Surf Auction presented by Quiksilver Waterman Collection which takes place May 11, 2013 in the brand new state-of-the-art building at the OC Fairgrounds called The HANGAR. Quiksilver Waterman Collection and their brand ambassadors on twitter Mark Healey @healeysurf, Shayne McIntyre @ShayneMcIntyre, Jamie Mitchell, Peter Mel @peter_mel, Mel Pu’u: Robby Naish
EMAIL: Hi Scott and Jeff, I’m a long time listener from Cornwall, England – love the show!
However, I’ve got to take issue with Scott’s repeated use of the term ‘athlete’ when describing pro-surfers. Maybe I’m losing something in translation across the pond, but when I think of an athlete, I think of the Olympics, I think of events like the decathlon, or the triple jump. I know that the top surfers might be athletes in a sense, but, before being athletes, they are SURFERS!
Was Andy Irons an athlete? Sort of… but, you’d never call him that first. First of all he was a SURFER. And after that? a charger, a frother, a wild animal!
And I know the top pros train and work out and have coaches nowadays, but if you stripped all that away, and you took away the all the comps and the money, you’d still have a bunch of people who would surf every day of their lives because they love how it makes you feel. To me, that lifts surfers above athletes.
Just thought I’d challenge you guys on that – be interested to hear your thoughts!– Paul Keech from Cornwall, England
SONNY MILLER MILLER TIME!
Tell us about your trip to New York and the eastern seaboard .
Chasing Mavericks. What is the buzz amongst the crew?
TOP 5 STORIES OF THE WEEK:
#1 BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS GETS UNDERWAY IN REALLY GOOD PIPE
The 2012 Billabong Pipe Masters, the final stop on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), will see a showdown for this year’s ASP World Title and also represents the final jewel of the Vans Triple Crown.
A) WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL WILDCARD RUN IN THE EVENT? HOW FAR DOES ONE NEED TO GO TO STATE UNEQUIVOCALLY “THAT WAS A GOOD RUN”?
I’D SUGGEST TO YOU THAT A ROUND FOUR FINISH OR BETTER?
B) WILDCARDS ARE IMPORTANT, FROM A FANS/SPECTATORS STANDPOINT, THE UNDERDOG VS THE PRO; IT’S VERY IMPORTANT BUT…HOW WILD ARE THE THEY? Wildcards still in the event: There are five wildcard Pipeline specialists (5) left… seven have been eliminated, there are still nine heats remaining in round two. Six of the twelve 12 got through round one.
C) Is the gap between Pipe specialist and the Top 34 in the world narrowing significantly? Or… are the Pipe Specialists still special?
D) DID Bruce Irons looked un-inspired? You look at the competitive hunger of a guy like Billy Kemper or Seabastian Zeits or Kalani Chapman compared to Bruce, it is noticeable.
E) Could the world title be decided today?
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:30am to assess conditions for a possible 8am start.
Highlights from the Billabong Pipe Masters are available via http://vanstriplecrownofsurfing.com/billabongpipemasters2012/live
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 15.00 def. Evan Valiere (HAW) 9.50
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 6.50 def. Tyler Newton (HAW) 6.26
Heat 3: Kalani Chapman (HAW) 15.83 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 5.70
Heat 4: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 15.33 def. Flynn Novak (HAW) 9.76
Heat 5: Fred Patacchia (HAW) 8.43 def. Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 5.93
Heat 6: Billy Kemper (HAW) 11.00 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 10.17
Heat 7: Adam Melling (AUS) 11.66 def. Bruce Irons (HAW) 7.73
Heat 8: Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 16.34 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.94
Heat 9: Shane Dorian (HAW) 14.50 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 9.83
Heat 10: Ricardo dos Santos (BRA) 14.73 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 7.84
Heat 11: Dane Reynolds (USA) 11.34 def. Granger Larsen (HAW) 3.10
Heat 12: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 14.27 def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 10.77
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Kalani Chapman (HAW) 13.84 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.60
Heat 2: Billy Kemper (HAW) 9.33 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 5.04
Heat 3: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.17 def. Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 13.57
REMAINING BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 2 MATCH UPS:
Heat 4: Alejo Muniz (BRA) vs. Shane Dorian (HAW)
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Ricardo dos Santos (BRA)
Heat 6: Travis Logie (ZAF) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 7: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Dane Reynolds (USA)
Heat 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 9: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Fred Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 10: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 11: Brett Simpson (USA) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 12: Heitor Alves (BRA) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) vs. TBD
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. TBD
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 8: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 10: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. TBD
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. TBD
#2 SURFER POLL Slater & Gilmore Win SURFER MAGAZINE READERS POLL
A) STEPH GILMORE’S OUTFIT. A STATEMENT? SARCASM? A BIKINI TOP PAINTED ONTO A SKIN COLORED COTTON LONG SLEEVE. “DO YOU HAVE TO WEAR A BIKINI?” A STAB AT RIP CURL WHO CUT HER IN FAVOR OF ALANA BLANCHARD AND HAVE POURED ALL THEIR MARKETING DOLLARS INTO ALANA AND HER SEXY ATHLETICA APPEAL?
B) Do you think it is possible for Alana Blanchard to have won the Readers Poll but was bumped by the powers that be into second place — for the good of the sport? Alana wasn’t even on the Womens World Tour, or what remains of it — this year. If you asked my kid how is the most popular female surfer he would tell you, “Alana Blanchard” ; and … he doesn’t even know who Stephanie Gilmore is. Her name doesn’t ring the bell.
c) Would it be a Travishammockery if Alana Blanchard won?? She looks good and she shreds, and RIP CURL has marketed her to the world as super sexy athletica surfer girl. She just isn’t on the world tour.
d) Has a non-world tour surfer ever won the Surfer Poll?
#3 MILLIONAIRES PAY FOR WHALE TOWING
A tugboat towed the decomposing carcass of a whale from a Malibu beach out to sea, several days after it washed ashore and created a stench near the homes of movie stars and millionaires.
The remains of the 40,000-pound fin whale were towed Saturday about 20 miles from shore by a crew hired by a homeowners’ association, Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Brian Riley said.
The 40-foot-long juvenile male washed ashore Monday near Point Dume, attracting onlookers who wandered down the narrow beach to look at the remains — white bones, rolls of blubber and the tail flukes trailing along the water’s edge. Massive estates line the cliffs high above the beach.
Sunday, February 26, 2012 (San Diego, Ca.) — Kelly Slater is Neptune. Kolohe Andino Nervous. Billabong Worrisome.
Down The Line Surf Talk Radio — Surf talk radio with Bassy & Baldy it is Feb 26 Sunday, 2012.
Big show including lots of Quiksilver Pro discussion. Kelly Slater is Neptune. Kolohe Andino Nervous. So is Gordan Merchant.
We are live every Sunday morning here in San Diego on XTRA SPORTS 1360AM and broadcast around the world via iTunes. email us surftalksandiego AT gmail.com or twitter @sacredcraftexpo @jeffbaldy
NEPTUNE – AT HOME
An EMAIL – #1 Yeah guy! I’m a northern beaches local and last week I had the privilege of taking my daughter to Manly to watch some of the AusOpen. I think even though Manly is a pretty average wave, it’s one of the best spots that they could have held the event. Manly has the right infrastructure (compared to Avalon further north where I live which has better waves, but couldn’t handle all the people!) It’s great to see contests like this and I think there’s a place for these kind of events alongside the dream tour style contests. Personally even though I’m a big surf contest fan, I didn’t watch that much of the surfing, we were more interested in the skateboarding. Anyway great show guys, I’ve been a regular listener for years!
BTW, it would be great if you could get Tom Curren on the show (like that’s ever going to happen!). — Ziggy
#2 Hi Scott and Jeff, Greetings from Cornwall, UK, where the waves are cold and non-existent right now. Love the show – the podcasts keep me fired up for a surf while driving to work!
I have to zone in on Scott’s comments from a couple weeks back about a need for Pipe ‘SuperBowl’ finale on the ASP tour, where you recommended that no matter how strongly a surfer performed throughout the year, that could be overturned at Pipe. To a limey, that sounds alot like manufacturing the competition for media / dramatic purposes, which surely would only further weaken surfing’s legitimacy as a competitive sport?
We already have a subjective and questionable judging criteria with multiple controversies each year. If you condense all of that and then bring it all down to one event, I just think you have an even less realistic interpretation of ‘the best surfer’ – and that’s if its 12ft pipe – imagine if it were 4ft windblown backdoor – surely it would be a traveshamockery to have the title decided in those conditions?
Also, as amazing as pipe can be, I believe several of the other spots on tour can be right up there, and the performances at those venues need to be fully counted as part of the whole: keep up the good work All the best Paul
Should the Billabong Pipeline Masters be the penultimate event i.e SUPERBOWL of the ASP. i.e No WORLD TITLE being decided prior to the Pipe Masters Event. It all comes down to this event?
Poll online 75% YES 25% No
Add your vote to the POLL – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Down-The-Line-Surf-Talk-Radio/106586356039144
TOP 5 Stories of the Week
Quiksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks: Slater is NEPTUNE in round 1
Kolohe looks nervous in round 1; John John in form; Dane Reynolds in form (if there is such a thing); Mick Fanning solid; Ace solid; Josh Kerr solid
My team: Julian Wilson; Josh Kerr, Mick Fanning, Kelly Slater, Kai Otten, Travis Logie, John John, Dane Reynolds
UPCOMING QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
HEAT 1: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
HEAT 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
HEAT 3: Adriano De Souza (BRA) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
HEAT 4: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
HEAT 5: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)
HEAT 6: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
HEAT 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Yadin Nicol (AUS)
HEAT 8: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
HEAT 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Raoni Monterio (BRA)
HEAT 10: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
HEAT 11: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
HEAT 12: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Travis Logie (AUS)
#1 Billabong business situation – share price way down after profits lag
private equity groups (TPG) wants to take over, offering a price/per share
Gordan Merchant not so happy says, no;
Private equity group employs different strategy by going straight to BoDirectors ; BoD has a fidicuiary responsibility to ALL shareholders, not just Mr Merchant; many nervous fund managers like the price that private equity is offering.
Some analysts suggesting that selling off NIXON was a mistake. NIXON was a hugely profitable business for Billabong. Makes Billabong business weaker from take-over perspective.
Pressure mounts. We’ll see what happens.
Can the umbrella brand stay relevant, focus on its core value?
Brand specialists contend that with plenty of nurture a youth brand can have its use-by date extended.
”A lot of companies had their moment in the limelight only to wake up and find themselves out of touch,” the Ogilvy Public Relations director, Mike Beckerleg, says.
”Apple came back from the brink and Puma staged a huge retro throw-back. The same goes for the Swiss watch industry.”
Billabong Pro JBay downgraded toa 6 star evetn ; off the world tour ; many fans disappointed that Billabong didn’t get rid of Brazil event rather than JBay.
#2 Fukushima tsunami debirs field heading to the USA – Debris from the devastating tsunami that hit Japan on March 11 has turned up exactly where scientists predicted it would after months of floating across the Pacific Ocean. Finding and confirming where the debris ended up gives them a better idea of where it’s headed next.
Millions of tons of debris – pieces of fishing vessels to TV sets
Scientists estimate the debris will wash up on the Hawaiian Islands in two years and the U.S. West Coast in three.
#3 Three weeks ago; The 2012 Quiksilver Rincon Classic went off last weekend. Three-time World Champ Tom Curren, former World Tour standouts Bobby Martinez and Dane Reynolds, Parker Coffin, Adam Virs, 2011 champ Mike McCabe and a host of other local professionals were on hand for the annual contest. This is a locals only event;
The win was Reynolds’s first contest victory in over a decade. Receiving his 1st place award at a ceremony Sunday night at the Santa Maritime Museum, Reynolds, sheepish yet laughing, explained, “This is the first contest I’ve won since 2001. That’s a long time for a professional surfer.”
TCurren beat Dane Reynolds in a early round heat, Tom Curren rode a Tomo 4′ 11′ and absolutely killed it with his amazing style.
#4 Fellow surfers, including superstar Kelly Slater, took to Twitter and other social media after Chicago surfer Rex flodstroms Slater tweeted, “Surfing is not a crime” and told the Chicago Sun Times, “It makes no sense. … It sounds like a police state.”
Flodstrom appeared in a Chicago court Thursday, with a dozen surfing supporters,
The judge agreed to drop charges against Flodstrom if he completed 20 hours of community service before March 19. But that did not seem to satisfy the surfers, who cited Flodstrom’s arrest as an example of overprotective government.
Mitch McNeil of the Surfrider Foundation told ABC News, “It’s not in the police playbook for them to be policing the surfing community.”
#5 “Of Men and Mavericks” star Gerard Butler has checked out of rehab after developing dependence on pain medication his publicists say was prescribed after a surf accident that occurred while filming on the coast in December.
News reports say a healthy Butler left the Betty Ford Center early Friday morning. The reports quote Gerard’s publicist saying the Scottish actor’s problems began in 2006, during physically demanding filming of “300.” On Dec. 18, 2011, during his final days of filming, Butler was held under for two waves, leading the actor to exacerbate previous injuries. Butler’s manager told online news site TMZ that the actor began struggling with pain management. Rather than developing a reliance on prescription drugs, he checked into the rehabilitation clinic about three weeks ago, TMZ reports.
Master craftsman, legend shaper, big wave warrior and director of the Big Wave World Tour Gary Linden.
DTL — Surf talk radio with Jeff Baldwin and Scott Bass it is Feb 5 Super Bowl Sunday, 2012
We are live every Sunday morning here in San Diego on XTRA SPORTS 1360AM and broadcast around the world via iTunes. — our show needs a sponsor so be advised.
In-studio today Master craftsman, legend shaper, big wave warrior and director of the Big wave world tour Gary Linden.
Adam Wright. Solspot.com surf report –
An OPINION – THE ASP’s Super Bowl is the Pipe Masters. It should be our final crescendo. Not an afterthought of great surfing at a great spot. No ASP World Title should EVER BE DETERMINED BEFORE THE PIPE MASTERS– period. The waiting period and the field should be extended to include PIPE EXPERTS. the Pipe Masters should be SURFING’S BEST SHOW ON EARTH culminating in a World Champion — each and every year. This is a simple concept. If the surf industry and the Hawaiian powers that be, all of them: VANS, Triple Crown, the HUI, Billabong, the City and County of Honolulu, and the North Shore community can’t get on the same page, they have truly FAILED. They have failed pro surfing, they have failed surfing fans, and they have failed as the so-called ‘keepers” of the sport. All future ASP World Titles should and could BE DETERMINED AT THE PIPE MASTERS — OUR SUPERBOWL — end of story.
GARY LINDEN- Big wave world tour. Can you quickly explain the tour how many events from when to when.
AN obvious big challenge is waiting on Mother Nature to throw big enough waves your way.
Logistics of getting the surfers together.
Nelscott Reef is extended to March.
How do you crown a champion…? Very important for a TOUR to crown a champion every year.
Ever see a time when the ASP gets involved with Big Wave Tour?
Who is the marketing arm? Seems you are on to something, but that a big time sponsor needs to get involved. I could see SWATCH or NIKE or an INSURANCE company like Geico?
What about less emphasis on spots and more on crowning a champion? Don’t rely on having five stops to crown a champ; if you only get one event off, well that’s it. The winner is the Champ that year, if you get all five events pulled off, then great, but don’t rely on it.
The internet makes for a lot of chatter from “internet tough guys” or “arm chair quarterbacks”. Garrett McNamara’s self described 90-foot wave caught some flak but surprisingly not from the big wave pros or the surf media elites. They either turned away from it or validated the 90-foot wave claim.
What say you Gary Linden, 90 foot wave or not?
How do you feel about all the press that it received.
TOP 5 Stories
#1 Story – Volcom Pipe Pro – The greatest nail-biter final ever. With 30 seconds remaining John John steals the championship from JO Brien. Wow!
JOB surfed incredible. Switch-foot was mind blowing. He’s on another level… from even John John in that respect.
Dave Wassle is darn good in the broadcast booth as an analyst. So is Richard Woolcott. Too many in the booth stepping on each others comments and NOT listening. Biggest problem is the NON-professionalism that these WEBCASTS manifest. To a trained broadcaster, these still remain amateur. Commentators do not listen to each other. Granted, 4 days of talking is very difficult. Very little actual surf action takes place.
#2 Story – Kenny ‘SkinDog’ Collins snaps on NOAA officials:
In one respect, I can relate to ‘SkinDog’ . He’s frustrated. The ban seems misguided. ‘SkinDog’ saved Jacob Trette’s life using a ski. PWC’s have assisted other surfers out there. Massive fishing trawlers out there everyday. But it seems like a low-profile would have been better approach. Just get on the ski without a word a go surfing. Why all the hysteria? Doesn’t help the surfers cause, in my opinion.
Here’s how NOAA lawyers work: For a citation to hold up we must show that 1) we first educated them 2) then we can Cite them 3) #1 will assure that #2 holds up in court.
It only helps that NOAA and the Judge have public video of an aggressive, dismissive, and abusive Mr. Collins. However, it can argued that Mr. Collins was never “educated”, he wouldn’t let the NOAA official speak. So you can’t cite him. *Although in the video he claims he’s already been educated about the PWC ban. So…
At the same time though, SkinDog didn’t use, pardon the bureaucratic term, “best practices”, He let his emotions get the better of him. He didn’t come off looking to smooth. For sure next time the feds will come prepared with citation books, taser guns, German Shepherds; etc.
#3 SUPS at SUNSET SUPS: what is your take on stand-ups in big waves and in general?
SUP World Tour – They are doing it at SUNSET Beach
SUPMAG: Are you worried about the stigma with stand-up in the surfing world?
JOB: I know guys get eggy when I show up on a stand-up at Pipe. I’m just trying to have a good time. If people are mad at me for having fun I’m not worried about that. It’s all about having fun and enjoying yourself and I get that satisfaction from stand-up.
Not okay to have fun at others expense. We simply ask that you “Do unto others as you have them do unto you”
#5 Chris Beresford of San Diego dominated the Open Division final at the Kneeboard Surfing USA Championships at Huntington Beach. Beresford attacked the head-high waves on the south side of the pier with an impressive display of stylish full-rail surfing and big moves.
SDSU Center for Surf Research – 10th annual surfing, arts, sciences & issues conference: Surfing’s New Aloha: The Growing Trend of Giving BackFebruary 10, 2012 7:00PM – 9:00PM & Saturday, February 11, 2012 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM San Diego State University’s Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center csr.sdsu.edu
J Bay looks simple enough: a perfect point break. To get from Point A to Point B and make it look good, well, only the most polished get the job done correctly. JBay doesn’t just uncover weaknesses; it shines a bright light on them. Those flicky little fin-check top turns make some pro surfers look like WSA district 6 participants (or USA Team members). The most hideous of surfing styles are disrobed and some pro surfers stand naked and shriveled for the entire world to see. Spectators forced to turn away in disgust.
J Bay requires full-rail, turn-to-turn connections, which demands strong legs, which in turn generally results in an outstanding surfing style. Think about the good ones: Terry Fitzgerald, Shaun Tomson, Tom Curren, Occy, Irons, Slater, Fanning, Parko and Taylor Knox. All of them smooth as a baby’s bum and as strong as a middleweight.
Taylor Knox has one of the best styles on tour. It’s no secret or big reveal. I use the kid factor when assessing a surfers style. Would I want my kid to surf like that? When I watch Taylor Knox I say to myself, “hell yes!”
The greatest thing about good style is that you’ll more or less have it forever. When you get old; you are going to lose your ability to do aerials. I never had that ability so I see this as a plus. Sorry to break it to you, but you won’t be punting airs when you are 50 years old. You will however be holding your arms and hands and body posture basically the same way you are now. Style doesn’t leave you. It’s like the IRS, it stays with you for the long haul. Look at Skip Frye or PT or Rabbit or Pottz or Gerlach. They all have the same distinctive style they had in their prime.
Who has the worst style on TOUR? Which pro surfer makes you cringe? Watch the JBay event and it’ll become very clear. I won’t call out any names because that’s not cool. Bad style on the ASP tour used to be easy to call out. The ASP top 32 have risen. Bad style in 2011, in my opinion, not so easy to spot. When the surfers are too technical, and the dance isn’t apparent, when they don’t look like they are having, dare I say it,… fun, their styles suffer.
Curren danced. Slater dances. Fanning dances. Others are trying to score points. Not good. Bad style. Certain names pop into my head: Durbidge, Ross, Davidson: not the greatest style. They don’t have panache. They don’t dance. They can score points though. They are sporting. All opinion of course. Internet is full of it. Shit and opinion.
Taylor Knox surfs like a Sidewinder: smooth, powerful, deadly. Body positioned for a buried rail strike. Aesthetically perfect. When J Bay is six feet, deadly to competitors. A few years back, in perfect J Bay, Knox crafted a symphonic 19.70 out of possible 20 points. It was beautiful. Knox’s wave dance earned him single wave scores of 9.9 and 9.8 out of possible 10. I think he threw away a 9.0!
J Bay really brings out the best and worst in styles. Watch some of these heats on the Billabong Pro website and you’ll see the best and worst of it. This event could be Taylor Knox’s swan song event at J Bay. Hearing rumblings that T Knox will retire and become Padres pitcher Heath Bell’s personal trainer.
Terry Fitzgerald clip with Jay Adams crossover transitions. Great J Bay at the end, and insight from provocateur Derek Hynd.
ED NOTE: I wrote most of this fours years ago when I worked as an Editor for SURFER magazine. I spit out articles on a weekly basis at SURFER for 10 years. In many cases spit was more palatable. Nevertheless, for some reason SURFER magazine doesn’t put my name, or any writers name for that matter, on archived articles. I’ll be posting up some old stuff soon. Hard to SEARCH when they don’t give you credit for your work. Is that too much to ask? Rant over.
billabong, surfing styles, jbay,jay bay, j bay, jeffries, jeffreys, taylor knox, kelly slater, billabong, derek hynd, terry fitzgerald, asp, asp tour,
MAY 20, 2011
OUTSIDE MAG link to story
AI – in the calm of the storm.
photo : sb
On May 19th in Dallas, state district judge Donald J. Cosby granted extension of a motion blocking the release of autopsy results for three-time world surfing champion Andy Irons, who died in a Grand Hyatt hotel room at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport on November 2, 2010.
Release of the report—which is public information—was initially delayed for six months last December. Irons’s widow, Lyndie, filed a petition to slow the release, arguing that the report’s contents could adversely effect the Andy Irons “brand,” which has considerable value even after his death.
The cause of Irons’s death is a mystery that has generated news interest all over the world. His family, along with his primary corporate sponsor, Billabong, said in November that the 32-year-old had “reportedly been battling with dengue fever.” But as Outside reported at the time, rumors and reports abounded that Irons had a long history of recreational drug use. During their investigation, police found generic forms of the prescription drugs Xanax and Ambien in Irons’s hotel room. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser cited a source in the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office who said the prescription drug methadone was found in the room as well. A spokesperson for the Medical Examiner’s office denied this comment, but The Star-Advertiser stood by its report.
Before the latest delay, autopsy results were supposed to be made public on May 20th. Attorneys for Mrs. Irons acknowledged to the court that the autopsy was complete, but asked Judge Cosby to release the results only to Mrs. Irons and to delay public release so that she could have an opportunity to “review the report with her experts.” The petition states that Mrs. Irons believes the autopsy results will “contradict the rumors [of] a drug overdose.”
“[G]iven the media frenzy,” the petition says, “Plaintiff is concerned that technical, scientific aspects of the autopsy report will be misconstrued and misinterpreted. False and misleading reports on the content of the autopsy would cause Plaintiff irreparable harm in that it could greatly reduce the branding value of Mr. Irons’s company.”
Attorneys representing Mrs. Irons did not respond to Outside’s requests for comment. A representative for the Tarrant County district attorney’s office said the office was unaware that the petition had been filed until it was granted—and that no parties had filed to oppose the additional delay.
Most likely, this will be the final slowdown. Ashley Fourt, the Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney—who represents the Tarrant County Medical Examiner in the case—told Outside that she won’t let future motions slip by. “I’m not going to continue to not oppose this forever,” she said. “It is public information.”
This week (May 22) we talk about Andy Irons, the Surf Resource Network, the first stop on the ASP’s “Metro Tour” Rio de Janiero and more or less.
Top Five Stories, April 3rd, 2011: courtesy of Matthew Marbach – Matthew tirelessly writes these show summary and we appreciate his efforts here. Misspellings… forgive us! (thanks Matthew!)
1) Kelly Slater can rip on anything. Somewhere, nestled amongst the vast expanse of photos on Facebook, you can find videographic evidence that Kelly Slater rips, and can rip on anything. The footage shows Kelly arriving at a perfect Southern Australian beach break, where he quickly commences to snap his board in the heavy surf. One of the Gudauskas brothers (who have been aptly formed into one entity known as ‘the Gudauskas’) gives Kelly his Mini-Sim, a 5’6” squaretail with two hideous looking sidefins, almost resembling a boogie board, except for the hardness and density of the foam, and Kelly proceeds to shred the break to bits. Apparently functionality means little to the most decorated surfer in history, “He paddled out on a completely different shape and controls it perfectly. There’s not one displaced rail, he’s holding the line on that back fin of this big squaretail thing – and those fins don’t look like they help the board go faster…”
2) “Ultimate Boarder Surfing”. The second stage of the Ultimate Boarder Surfing Competition takes place at Seaside Reef, April 6-9. The competition features a mesh of the three major boarding sports, snow, surf, and skate. Participants in the contest will compete in three different events, beginning with the snowboard competition, which has already taken place in Mammoth, then moving onto the surfing portion, and finishing with the skateboarding competition. The winner will have to perform well in all three arenas in order to take home a victory. The contest also features team events, in which different members of a given team are chosen to compete in their specific field of expertise.
3) A special tour featuring the surf movie Melali:the Drifter Sessions, with musical guests Rob Machado and John Swift, will kick off Tuesday night April 5th , at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, Ca, followed by dates in Santa Ana, San Francisco, New York, DC, Virginia, Carolina and Florida. The schedule is for the upcoming month, with the last public date being May 8th. Melali is a pure surfing movie; a sort of branch off of Machado’s hit The Drifter, featuring all the extra footage that wasn’t used in the original film – the entire score will be performed live by Machado, Swift, and company. Support the guys and watch some great surfing.
4) Meteorologists are calling for a very active 2011 hurricane season in the Atlantic. Predictions state that we could see fifteen named tropical storms, eight of which reach hurricane force, and three of which will obtain enough force to cause heavy damages were they to make landfall. This could bode well for the Quiksilver New York, which will be held during the hurricane season and has direct access to the swell produced in the mid-Atlantic.
5) The Billabong XXL ride of the year award will be given out to one of five videos submitted of big wave riding. The winner of the award receives $50,000 as well as a Toyota Tacoma. The first video features Michael Brennan at Shipstern’s Bluff being towed into a twenty foot barrel, negotiating the notorious bubble that forms as it closes out, air-dropping fifteen back onto the face while still in the tube, and fighting off a front-rail pearl to emerge victorious. This wave is mean, nasty, and highly critical.
The second video shows Danilo Couto paddling into Jaws on his backside. Just as he transitions to his feet at the peak of the wave, you can see the his board flutter with the wind as it goes airborne – he maintains his composure, resetting his fins into the face and beginning his decent down the liquid avalanche. The inside section of the wave also proves to be critical forcing him to reset his rail twice as he narrowly escapes the spitting barrel by choosing his high line precisely. Of course, Jaws is known to be one of the biggest waves on the planet and you can see it’s full potential in this clip; it seems to dwarf the Shipstern’s wave in size, although the wave itself may not be considered as critical. The most compelling difference in the video is the fact that Couto paddles in to this monstrer – making it first XXL submission from Jaws to feature a paddler.
The third video comes from Mark Healey surfing Phantoms, an outer reef on the North Shore. The video was shot shortly after the cutoff date for the previous Billabong XXL award. The wave that is surfed is huge, no doubt, but because of the way it was filmed and lit, it will have a difficult time contending for the XXL award. You can barely make out a silhouetted figure as he drops into a huge set wave, and after ten seconds of dark, grainy film, you assume Healey made the wave as you see the tiny figure pulling out the back.
The next submission comes from Mullaghmore Head in Ireland. Benjamin Sanchis of France is towed in deep on this Teahupoo type left located on the island’s west coast. The dark, cloudy beach and slight wind-chop create hazardous conditions for Sanchez as he drops into a thick barrel, sticks the tube, and pulls out like a stoked grom. It isn’t groundbreaking footage, except that it was filmed in Ireland, but the wave itself and the way it is surfed resembles so many old Teahupoo submissions that the chances of it receiving the award are slim to none. This is Billabong throwing a bone to Ireland and Sanchis for the incredible wave they have discovered and surfed, but unfortunately it is not in a class that will win the award.
The final video is at Cloudbreak, featuring David Scard, and has enough production quality to stand next to the Shipsterns wave. It is a paddle-in wave filmed from up close, features a great set of dynamic colors and images, and is the longest wave submitted. Cloudbreak is known as a highly critical wave, and Scard surfs it expertly, staying high after the drop-in to get into upper barrel, driving the rail hard, and relaxing a bit as the barrel burps open and reveals its twenty foot cavern. You can hear the hoots from the water well before Scard has even exited the barrel, and by the time he is released, the entire scene on the Fijian reef is estatic with congratulations.
With the official call: Bassy claims Brennan at Shipsterns and Baldy goes with the pizzazz and style displayed by Scard at Cloudbreak. Keep an eye out for updates and check out the videos on youtube.
This piece was originally published in The Australian on November 29, 2010. You can reach the author of the article here: email@example.com ; Our take on Melekian’s OUTSIDE mag article
When Californian surf journalist Brad Melekian was commissioned to write an obituary of three-time world champion Andy Irons, who died this month, he was surprised by the number of people who were keen to discuss the previously unreported troubled side of Irons’ short but brilliant life.
“Every single person I talked to, even those who were unwilling to talk on the record, said there was more to it (than a mere obituary),” Melekian said. “I couldn’t ignore that.”
The eventual 4400-word story detailed two alarming drug and alcohol-related incidents: one when Irons almost died during a bender in Indonesia in 1999, and another when he became almost uncontrollably violent towards a friend in Fiji this year.
Irons’s volatility and self-destructiveness were not news to the “insular” world of pro surfing, Melekian wrote. “But they were kept under wraps by an unspoken but understood code of public silence.”
That code is a consequence of the surf-publishing business model. Surf journalists do not feel inclined to ask difficult questions because the sponsors of the stars they write about also provide most of the advertising revenue for their publications.
Melekian formerly edited Surfer magazine in California, but his investigation was commissioned and published by Outside, a general sports magazine.
“It’s not explicit, but it’s completely understood (in surf mags) that if you push too hard, there’s a fear that a company will pull its ads out,” Melekian told me.
Such stonewalling extends to the companies themselves. In the immediate aftermath of Irons’s death, his sponsor, Billabong, published a press release saying Irons had “reportedly been battling with dengue fever”.
This may or may not be true. Irons had indeed withdrawn from a surf contest in Puerto Rico through illness, and was on his way home when he died. But Melekian’s story reported that Irons had also been out partying with friends the night before he died. Elsewhere, it was reported that prescription-drug bottles were found in the room in which Irons died. A toxicology report is due next month.
Repeated attempts to discuss the issue with Billabong elicited this quote from a spokesman: “Andy was a true champion and, out of respect for his memory and the whole Irons family, we have no intention of participating in any speculation about him.”
Brodie Carr, the CEO of the Association of Surfing Professionals, which administers the sport, was at lunch in France when I called on Friday, and, despite two subsequent calls, didn’t call back.
Irons’s former manager, Blair Marlin, isn’t talking either. “I’m not in a place to comment on (Melekian’s story),” Marlin told me. “He wrote what he wanted to write. I’ve heard both sides of the story, of people who are upset by it and people who thought it was a good piece.”
Marlin is an active manager. I compiled a profile of Irons for a surfing magazine in 2008, when Irons was behaving especially erratic, and Marlin refused access to the star. He also insisted on vetting interviews with people close to Irons before they were published. Asked yesterday if the media had been overly constrained to publish the complexities of Irons’s life, Marlin said: “I don’t even care to discuss this right now. The Outside magazine piece came out before the toxicology report. Until it does, I can’t talk about it.”
Plenty of surf fans can, though. Melekian was “shocked” by the amount of positive feedback about the story from surfers and people in the industry.
“It was really well received,” he said. “People are feeling relieved that it finally came out.”
The narcotic tendencies of surfers is nothing new. The sport attracts athletes who are inclined to pursue extreme experiences, and those at the top are not always exceptions to this.
But the companies that traditionally run the sport are now mostly publicly listed, and there is more at stake than just the reputation of a few people in a fringe subculture.
Also, surfing is attracting investment from companies outside the traditional industry (Red Bull, Nike and Target have all become major sponsors), which may finally break the cozy relationship between the magazines and the industry.
“The sport is being infused with more money,” Melekian says. “That has to change everything. The athletes are being treated like real athletes, and that changes it from a small group . . . who are doing some oddball thing down the beach.”
As an anonymous contributor poignantly noted in an online forum attached to Melekian’s story: “I’ve partied with Andy before. We definitely weren’t close, but I’d been around him. Maybe I couldn’t have done anything for him on my own, but the surfing world as a whole and its party scene let one its brightest stars go. In a way, we’re all a little responsible.”
This piece was originally published in The Australian on November 29, 2010. You can reach the author of the article here: firstname.lastname@example.org
We interview Bill Sharp this morning. Give a listen!
Do yourself a favor, go check out BillabongXXL.com website. Bring along a sandwich and a cold beverage and schedule yourself two hours to digest it all– the waves, not the meal. There is plenty to sink your teeth into.
Do your best to determine the winner of four categories: Ride of the Year, the Best Paddle-in Wave, The Best Tube Ride, and the Biggest Wave. These clips below are just a small smattering of what you’ll see. And with last weeks Mavericks event providing some of the largest and heaviest waves of the year, well, the judges have their hands full.
Is this the year that all four categories are won by the same surfer on the same wave? Could a paddle-in surfer claim Biggest Wave over some of the tow-in stuff at Peahi? Hell yeah!!