The 2012 Billabong Pro Tahiti served up far less deadly slabs spilling over the shelf than last year’s Code Red conditions, but the 12 day wait paid off with a peaking swell for the finals. The wave-starved contest highlights mostly consisted of fishing and hiking instagrams around “the end of the road” Teahupoo area, until a solid south swell gave contest director Luke Egan a sigh of relief.
Increasingly intense rumblings on the reef on the eve of the final day yielded the usual flurry of upsets, buzzer beater victories, wipeouts, intense rivalries, and glory for one. Enjoy another Teahupoo barrel bender highlight reel and read more below.
The progressive level of surfing and hi-tech equipment have a direct relationship, and surf companies are in an arms race to develop the best boardies for their teamriders to contort through those bendy barrels. Here’s who’s signature styles carried them to the final rounds.
John John Florence is arguably the sharpest shooting backside barrel rider in the world, and only a lull of a heat could stop his run in the semis. You could see his super stretch O’Neill HyperFreak boardshorts working as he pig dogged past Gabriel Medina and Damien Hobgood. Check out his trunks here.
Joel Parkinson won every heat heading into the final, including a controversial call that got him past an in-form Jeremy Flores by .07pts. He backdoored the peak with the nimble fluidity you’d expect from the young guns, and credits the Flux boardshorts he wears in every trunkable contest. The Flux flex boardshorts are made from recycled plastic bottles which scored him karma points too.
See his signature style boardshort.
Jeremy Flores won the Andy Irons Award for last years inspiring performance, and the French Pipemaster went on another tear in 2012. Charging every set wave of the building south swell, he suffered some of the longest hold-downs of the event. He would lose the heat to Parko in the quarters, but the ruling was unpopular. Judge for yourself here. During those those long hold-downs, the 4-way stretch shorts minimized ballooning that could pin him to the bottom longer, and allowed him to scratch to the surface quicker.
Check the tech boardshorts.
Taj Burrow took the unconventional approach at Chopes by attacking the lip to put an exclamation point on his wave scores. He was taken down by giant-killing Brazilian Ricardo Dos Santos. His Komplete boardshorts have the function and flare worthy for Taj’s insane approach to any venue.
See the Komplete package here.
Mick Fanning secured his slot atop the standing with multiple last second victories. After everyone suffered infections from reef rash last year, Mick opted for the extra protection from his Rip Curl springsuit. It was all smiles when he took out his best mate from the Gold Coast. Mick and Joel head to Trestles as #1 and #2 ranked surfers in the world.
Surf Industry CEOs, World Champs, and Watermen of the world took to the links at the St. Regis golf course perched over the Salt Creek surf break. The Waterman’s Weekend tournament is infamous for crazy costumes and rowdy high-octance antics. This year was no different when team SWELL rolled out a jello shot ice-luge that gave a new meaning to “handicapping” in golf.
Standout performances came from Team Hurley with Kai Barger’s Olympic size luge shots, Billabong retail wining longest drive, Dane Gudauskas’ hair-piece of team Vans, and the ever present and ever delicious Peligroso tequila crew.
The event was followed by the Surf Industry Manufacturer’s Association Waterman’s Ball, where they raised over 6 million dollars for sea protecting initiatives.
The reception awarded legendary achievements in surfing. Watermen of the Year: Shanne Dorian Environmentalist of the Year: Jean-Michel Cousteau Lifetime Achievement Award: Sean Collins
For those of you still stuck in your Coachella bubble: The following may not be suitable for those who fear the unconstitutionality of music not necessarily played on KIIS FM. The countdown officially begins to Outside Lands 2012 and we’re only hours away! (We meaning you, or those that are going. Not meaning me, who is sadly not going, and will be working inside the confines of her cubicle.)
The art and music festival begins this Friday and lasts three glorious days in the Golden State Park of San Francisco. Not ONLY is it just oh-so-fabulously-amazingly going on its 5th year, but the minds behind the madness haven’t lost their original eco-friendly initiatives. Eco Lands is the name and sustainability is its game. Serving as an educational forum, Eco Lands’ efforts include an alternative and solar powered stage, urban gardening workshops for all, a farmer’s market and a recycling store.
If you just so happened to bike your way up the California coast, no fear! Your two wheels have a happy home at the Levi’s bike valet. What makes this all dear and special to our heart here at SWELL, is our (not-so-coincidentally-timed) Saturday Ocean Beach clean-up with San Fransisco Surfrider! This is a serious win-win situation, wouldn’t you say?! Just one more good excuse to find yourself in SF over the weekend.
For all of those in my boat, which I’m hoping is a very, very large boat, like Moses and the Ark style, I’ve compiled a little playlist for you to enjoy above. Just close your eyes and imagine you’re there! … haha I’m just kidding! That never works! But at least you have something nice to listen to while you go on that run tonight. Riiiiiight? – Chanel