Love him or hate him, or just be plain confused by him, one thing we can all agree on is that Bobby Martinez is one hell of a surfer. One of my all time favorite backhand surfers, I was pretty sad to see him quit the tour. Luck for us, Monster Energy saw his potential and now sponsor him to be free and do what he loves.
It started watching the Fiji pro at Cloudbreak and now with Supertubes around the corner, it’s gotten worse. I miss watching Andy Irons surf! He was probably the best backhand surfer ever born and no slouch on the forehand either. What I loved most about his surfing though was that raw, unleashed power. He did turns where others were looking for the shoulder and rode the tube deeper than almost any other person. So to celebrate how much I loved watching him surf, check out his last video part before he died and remember how good he was to watch! We miss you Andy…
You could be forgiven for thinking this wave is in Fiji, when it is in actual fact in Japan. Dane Gadauskas and Kohl Christensen travel to the land of the rising sun, chasing a Typhoon swell, to surf this heavy and rare wave. Dane broke his ankle on one wipe, but still paddled out for a few more. It really does look like Cloudbreak…
Thats right, Kelly Slater owns the Volcom Pro Fiji. Yes he won it, but after 4 wins and absolutely destroying all comers in this year’s event, he is now officially the King of Cloudbreak. Surfing a teeny tiny Quad board again in large overhead waves of consequence, Kelly looked like a kid in a candy store, getting deep tubes, doing ridiculous turns and generally surfing like most humans would in 3ft beachbreak – I did mention it was heavy Cloudbreak…
Jordy Smith Surfed amazing the whole event and has definitely broken his South Pacific Hoodoo! He was one fo the favorites, but came up against John John Florence in the quarters and almost had him beat, until the wave Gods smiled on the Hawaiian and delivered a wave in the last 20 seconds of the Quarter. Joel Parkinson was back to his best and showing why he is World Champion and good bud, Mick Fanning went all the way to the final and 2nd place on tour, just to get schooled like everyone else by King Kelly. Kelly now sits atop the ratings once more, followed by Mick and Jordy. The stage is set for the Oakley Pro in bali starting next week and it promises to be one explosive event!
The kid was surfing like a man grown! This is not to say the other guys in the VQS were surfing bad, they were ripping. But, when you compared their bottom turns and hits to the lip with those that Slade was doing, they simply did not compare and that is exactly why he won. Cloudbreak is a power wave and Slade came with the power and then some! People often want to compare young guys to Andy Irons, but just look at that bottom turn above and you really do see a flash of Andy. Speed, precision and power, it was beautiful to watch. Hats off to runner up, Deivid Silva from Brazi, he surfed real good, but from the start of the final that winners cheque, worth a hefty R100k, had Slade’s name on it! Congrats my man, another glorious victory in a year turning into a banger for South African surfing.
Lets get one thing straight, I am praying that the Volcom Fiji Pro 2013 gets a mega swell like last year and we actually get to see the world’s “best” competitive surfers in heats out there. (Just look at the picture and imagine it!)
Having said that it could quite easily be an event surfed at Restaurants with airs and tubes coming into the picture. It can be a tough event to choose your Fantasy Surfer team for sure. Choose all the big tube heavy hitters and the event is surfed in 4ft runners… Well you get my drift.
Having said that my picks are probably the same as everyone else. Kelly Slater is a machine out there and has won multiple times. John John Florence owns this kind of wave and will be mega hungry after two events off the tour. Gabriel Medina showed he can charge big frontside tubes and if it goes small he has the air game. Both Hobgood brothers may be getting old, but at big Cloudbreak they can be deadly! I am also sticking with Jordy Smith… Yip, the man has been in electric form and is looking hungry for that World Title. To do that, he has to start winning at waves like Teahupoo, Pipeline and of course Cloudbreak. He can surf big heavy lefts, he just has to do it in a heat now and if it goes small, well, rodeo flips can win contests. Bleak Owen Wright is injured, he was a definite threat. Keep an eye on that tiny man, Josh Kerr, he is not scared to go!
So, onto stop number 3 and lets hope and pray for that swell!