Have a look at this vertical surf tumblr for more amazing surf edits like this one…
I took this photo with a crappy 5 megapixel camera back in 2007. I remember just walking over to the beach to check out the waves when this set came through. Craig Els was on one of the first waves and I have no idea who was on this wave, but if you look carefully you can see the front of a surfboard sticking out of the barrel. I don’t know why but this image remains one of my favourite surf photos that I have taken to date.
Surfing fans despaired as the Volcom Fiji Pro was called off just as the biggest swell of the year arrived at Tavarua, Fiji. Free surfers rejoiced as they stole the glory from the ASP top 34 surfers. Reef Macintosh, Dave Wassels and Ramon Navarro were lauded as heroes as the pulled in and come out of some of the biggest and most perfect barrels ever to have been ridden. This was one of those waves that went through unridden. Fiji mega swell 2012.
The ASP has been getting a lot of hate recently. A lot of hate. New media has given surfers the chance to vent their real feelings about the ASP. It was getting a bit old. The Volcom Fiji Pro has changed all that. Volcom and the ASP got massive credit for bringing a dream wave back to the dream tour after the ASP and the surf industry received criticism for holding WCT contests in fun but average beachbreaks for a number of events. This year is no exception with Jeffrey’s Bay getting dropped as a venue for the dream tour and Rio and Santa Cruz getting the nod. The bottom line is, the best surfers in the world are not surfing the best waves in the world.
Enter Cloudbreak 2012. When the Globe WCT Fiji 2008 event was moved from Cloudbreak to Restaurants, free-surfers and those competitors already knocked out took to Cloudbreak. The footage from Cloudbreak that day eclipsed the contest itself. Even the final between Kelly Slater and CJ Hobgood looked lame in comparison to the massively perfect barrels that went down at Cloudbreak. The thing is they were towing in at Cloudbreak.
Since then the size of surfers’ balls have grown exponentially. Surfers charge so much harder now then they did then. So what is stopping Volcom and the ASP from running the event in massive, difficult and mind-blowing perfect waves at Cloudbreak? Why won’t they give us a spectacle? I want to see the some pros caught inside by a set while being comboed by their colleague and then clawing their way into the lead with pure grit, determination and a 10 point barrel as the heat-end siren sounds.
It seems once again that the ASP don’t give a stuff about what the people want. With epic conditions at Cloudbreak they chose not to run the contest and to leave it to the free-surfers to get all they glory. The swell of the year coincides with the event and they choose to call it off after two heats. It seems as if, after last years debacles, the ASP is taking Oscar Wilde’s words to heart, “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about” which could be paraphrased as “there is no such thing as bad press”. Because bad press is what they’re getting. Disappointing the people who like to watch surfers surfing the best waves isn’t going to help their cause.
Surfer Mag ranks the top 100 young surfers every year. Last year they had 1) Owen Wright, 2) John Florence, 3) Jadson Andre, 4) Alejo Muniz and 5) Kolohe Andino as their pick for the top 5. Google Insights compares search volume patterns and this is what they have to say about Surfer Mag’s top 5 young surfers from 2011.
If you haven’t seen it yet have a look at the future of surfing. Big airs, bigger barrels and huge hacks and carves from all over the world. John John Florence takes the top spot with Gabriel Medina coming in second. Plenty of great surfing from everybody else.
My fantasy surfer team for the 2nd stop of the ASP world tour. The Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach was a grand spectacle with the final causing all sorts of controversy. Mick Fanning and Kelly Slater both made the finals. Fanning just took the lead to ring the bell for the first time since he was a wildcard at the event may years ago. Current rank #2084. Better luck next time boys.