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.