Posts Tagged ‘slater’

December 7th, 2012 | By | 849 Comments

Complete Guide to Pipemasters 2012

Not since 2009 has the Men’s ASP World Title Race come down to the final stop of the year, the Billabong Pipeline Masters in memory of Andy Irons. Back to back wins at Trestles and France skyrocketed Kelly Slater into a world #2 position and is now within striking distance of Joel Parkinson’s #1 spot. Surfline forecasts epic 8-10 ft waves for the first 3 days of competition, which definitely heightens the drama.

As the math goes, in order for Parko to clinch the title he will need to place better than Kelly Slater. A feat that judging by Kelly’s stellar record at Pipeline, could be a mental hurtle for Parkinson even though  Slater lost to Joel in the semi-finals. And don’t count out Mick Fanning, who mathematically can still take the crown with a win at the Pipeline. Three surfers in the title race at Pipe, it’s all so exciting!

Here’s the breakdown of scenarios:
If Parkinson finishes 13th, 9th or 5th at the Billabong Pipe Masters:
• Slater needs a 5th or higher to take the 2012 ASP World Title.
• Fanning needs to win at Pipeline to take the 2012 ASP World Title. (*Contingent upon Slater finishing 5th or lower at Pipeline.)
If Parkinson finishes Equal 3rd at the Billabong Pipe Masters:
• Slater needs a 3rd or higher to take the 2012 ASP World Title.
• Fanning needs to win at Pipeline to take the 2012 ASP World Title. (*Contingent upon Slater finishing 5th or lower at Pipeline.)
If Parkinson finishes 2nd at the Billabong Pipe Masters:
• Slater needs to win at Pipeline to take the 2012 ASP World Title.
• Fanning cannot win the 2012 ASP World Title.
If Parkinson wins the Billabong Pipe Masters, he will take the 2012 ASP World Title.

At this point all of the team houses from Off The Wall to Pipeline are full of ASP elite surfers. Aussies Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson and Taj Burrow decided to opt out of the Triple Crown in order to focus their energy on Pipe, while the hungry pack of local wildcards have been facing off at Haleiwa and Sunset.

As you may or may not have heard, Nike surf is no longer. All the Nike riders were escorted over to Hurley and surfers like Julian Wilson and Kolohe Andino will dawn the Hurley logo come Pipe Masters. This means Hurley will be the main sponsor of 8 out of 34 surfers on the WCT (Julian, Ace, Michel, Alejo, Miguel, Brett, Kolohe and Yadin).

Local "Enforcers" in SWELL Truckers, Volcom Pipe House, Billabong Off the Wall House

More often than not the team houses mentioned above are run by local heavies hired by each company to make sure their team riders don’t get themselves into trouble out in the lineup. Because as most everybody knows, Hawaii is one place you don’t want to slip up.

Pipeline, Backdoor and Off the Wall are three of the heaviest waves in the world sitting right next to each other. A small mistake out there can cost you your life, so any dropping in on locals is considered a threat to their life. Therefore, the locals take surfing this break very seriously and a misstep by an outside surfer can result in heavy consequences. As you can see in the footage below, Nathan Fletcher’s life was put in jeopardy from a sponger dropping in on him. And he paid the consequences. Surfing this stretch of beach is not for the faint of heart.

The Billabong Pipeline Masters in memory of Andy Irons celebrates the life of a champion and friend to many, A.I. It has been just over two years since the tragic passing of the 4-time Pipemaster and one of best personalities our sport has ever known. The Billabong Pipe Masters is dedicated to the 3-time surfing World Champion, who famously stole the crown from Slater at Pipeline in 2006 in what many say is the best Pipe Masters final of all time. A true legend.

Billabong is also proud to announce the new global AI Forever collection for release in Summer 2013 in stores and online March 15, in the USA. Proceeds from the AI Forever line will go toward ongoing guaranteed support for Andy’s wife Lyndie and young son Axel. Aloha and #goparko.

Thank you for visiting the Swell blog. Visit us on www.facebook.com/swell for more exclusive fan offers, giveaways and more.
May 16th, 2012 | By | 7,420 Comments

Battle of the Boardshorts: Rio Pro Brasil 2012

When the world tour came to the home of  “The Brazilian Airforce”, many expected the local young punters to air-reverse their way to a brazo-heavy final, but it was all Aussies and a Hawaiian into the Semis at the 2012 Billabong Rio Pro.  The precise tube riding and fine tuned gear of  these top ten ranked surfers continued to show why they are perennial title threats .

 Adrian “Ace” Buchan (World #8) came out firing in round one, taking out event favorite Gabriel Medina and progressive rookie Yadin Nicol. Ace relies on Hurley’s Phantom stretch technology for maximum stretch and lightweight performance when he unleashes  his combinations of  signature power hacks. This 60s Block Party style combines a rigid waistband with the 4-way stretch material that has made this patented Hurley technology the surf industry’s best boardshort for 4 years. Unfortunately Adrian fell to an in-form Jeremy Flores, but we look forward to his front-hand attack at Tavarua during next month’s Volcom Fiji Pro.  Get Ace’s style – Hurley.

ace buchan

Owen Wright (World #10)  was another Australian who smoked a local hero Raoni Montieri, and out-gunned past Brazil winner Taylor Knox.  Owen owes it to Rip Curl’s Mirage Flex technology for sticking those tricky vertical re-entries and stomping airs. For such a big guy, it’s important that Owen’s shorts offer minimal  resistance and weight in such a tricky beachbreak. Owen went down to quarter finalist Tiago Pires in a wonky, stormy and low scoring 3rd round affair.  Get this Rip Curl technology

owen wright

John John Florence (World #5) stole the show with buzzer beater barrels against Julian Wilson, and two no-grab 360 airs to win the final over current world #1 Joel Parkinson. John’s hot streak continues in his signature Epic Stretch trunks that contain elastane stretch fabric for his freakish abilities above and beneath the lip.  He has been wearing this lucky style ever since his historic run to become the youngest Triple Crown Champion in 2011. He’s another goofy-footer that is poised to place high in the upcoming Volcom Fiji Pro.  Get John John’s signature style here

john-john-florence

Parko  (World #1) surpassed the sidelined Slater in the rankings with his second place result.  Joel made it through four extremely close heats decided by only fractions of a point (0.4, 0.7, 1.3, 0.83) In a game of inches, Parko trusted the super-stretch panels of the Flux boarsdshort, and the good karma of this recycler series style. Get the Flux here

Watch the heat reviews here

Photos courtesy of the ASP