Taj was stoked to have the ASP title back in his homeland, but very disappointed that he wasn’t the one to take it from Ke11y. Watch Taj and trainer Johnny Gannon at his home in Yalingup, West Oz, making serious preparations for a run at the world title in 2013.
-Throw a twist into your sit-ups: Olique exercises are key to power snaps
-Focus on fast-twitch muscles: Explosive reps with medicine balls breeds hi-performance maneuvers
-Hydrate often & refuel with protein within 30 minutes of your workout for max results
With surf contest prize purses exceeding $500K, every pro works with trainers, and Johnny Gannon is the best is the biz. Along with Taj’s daily regiment and top notch gear, he powers up with that pre-surf smoothie seen in the vid.
Here’s the Recipe:
1 cup organic soy milk or Almond milk
500ml coconut water or filtered water, cold
1 banana (preferably frozen)
1 heaped tsp ground flax seeds/chia seeds (or a combination)
5 ice cubes
1 heaped tsp maca powder
3 heaped spoons of protein powder
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When you hear touring surfers say “I’ve been focusing on my equipment a lot lately” they’re not just talking about working with shapers. With today’s seven figure prize purses, surfers spend the off-season in Olympic style training facilities, boosting into foam pits, and testing new competitive sportswear technology like they were Apolo Ohno.
The first stop on the World Championship meant the unveiling of the world’s best surfers’ new signature designs they rely on for the marathon 9-month dream tour. The challenging conditions at the Quiksilver Pro Snapper Rocks required competitors to generate their own speed, rather than the wave propelling them through sections. Judges awarded the highest scores for aerial maneuvers, a trick that would be impossible with the constricting old nylon trunks of yesteryear.
Here’s a few of our favorite world title contenders, and the trunks they depended on for max agility and performance.
Slater’sCyhper Nomad trunks feature a diamond dobby fabric that reduces contact with skin, therefore minimizing the dreaded “balloning” or trapped water that acts like a parachute. Kelly landed an equal 5th, which we hope retains his interest to pursue #12.
Jordy’s semi-final finish came via powerful railwork and 100m long combos. He had to muscle his big frame extra hard in the soft conditions, but managed to whip his tail around and take out contest favorite Joel Parkinson. His O’Neill Neurosis features 4-way epic stretch technology helped him blow up, and start his 2012 world title campaign.
Daynolds’ tour aspiration are less predictable than Slater’s, but we always know he’ll put on a show. In just two heats, he stomped 3 of the best 5 maneuvers of the contest. His freakishly agile and aptly named Cypher Revolt boardshorts features a poly-spandex fabric blend.
Parko’s Platinum-X Flux trunks by Billabong have ergonomic panels and water-repellant epic stretch fabric. His attention to those features have kept him a title threat into his 12th year on tour.
Taj’s intense dedication to training and equipment paid off with a victory at the 2012 Quiksilver Pro. His ocean friendly trunks made from recycled plastic bottles fall just above the knee. His Komplete shorts use zero gravity quad stretch, so they can have a less baggy fit without restricting motion. CONGRATS TAJ!!!
Last night’s awards ceremony at the The Grove theater in Anaheim celebrated surfing’s best products, and the campaigns used to sell them. The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) holds this annual event where the surfing’s top players like Volcom CEO Richard Woolcott, RVCA’s Pat Tenore, Bob Hurley, and 750 others get together and measure their successes one beer at a time.
Here are the big winners in the Men’s Categories.
Environmental Product Of the Year WINNER: Recycled Boardshort Series by Billabong
This year Billabong took home a special trophy for their Recycler Series Boardshort. Single use plastics obviously threaten surfing’s playground, so its no surprise that Billabong wins the eco-award year after year. Billabong boasts that this boardshort has saved 40 million plastic bottles from ending up in a landfill.
But don’t worry, these boardshort don’t feel like your wearing a plastic bottle. Just watch Taj destroy these waves while he saves the environment here.
Wetsuit of the Year WINNER: FLASHBOMB by Rip Curl
Rip Curl dethroned the 3-time winning Xcel Drylock suit with their Flash-bomb technology. Rip Curl claim the Flash-Bomb is the world’s lightest, warmest, most flexible and fastest drying wetsuit on the market. So it’s no surprise we cant keep these on the shelves at SWELL.
Men’s Apparel Brand of the Year WINNER: RVCA
RVCA pulled a 3-peat, claiming the best Men’s Apparel brand for the third straight year. Their ongoing Artist Network program, RVCA sport line, and “Don’t Call it Cool” summer exhibition in Paris proved once again who is the most forward thinking company in the industry.
John John scores 10s, Slater nails buzzer-beater comebacks, and Kieren Perrow (literally held together by duct tape) redeems last year’s finals fail. Pipemasters 2011 was the culmination of a record year of amazing surf on the World Championship Surfing Tour, and most surfers have the scars, staph, and cover-shots to prove it.
After the opening ceremonies came a special blessing in memory of Andy Irons, and a first birthday cheers to his son Axel Irons smiling on the beach with mom Lyndie. The wave gods proceeded to put on a spectacle of bombing surf that continuously drenched spectators like the Shamu Show.
Surfline predicted the swell would break at second and third reef pipeline during the first day of competition, something we haven’t seen since the 97′ Pipemasters. An irregularly sober mood swept the field of surfing’s favorite jokers. Perhaps out of fear for his riders, Jeff Hurley suggested starting to run heats a day early in more contestable conditions. But Slater said “There’s about 100 yards of sand that still needs to wash off the reef, and the wave doesn’t know where to go until this first pulse can push it off” and everyone reluctantly agreed.
Round 1 started with pipe-savvy Hawaiian wildcards like Marcus Hickman, Ian Walsh, and Jamie O’Brien winning 8 of 12 heats, while the visiting CT boys were just happy to make it back to the sand.
Here’s a few post comments that surfers told the SWELL team after their round 1 heats:
“Those were the worst beatings I’ve ever taken in a contest”-Ian Walsh “Has anyone seen the other half of my board?”-Jamie O’Brien “I was praying they would postpone the heats until the swell died down” -Kolohe Andino “I got slapped around so hard, and had no idea which way I was paddling” -Bruce Irons
In Round 2 John John Florence continued his triple crown campaign scoring a perfect 10 and a 9.93 in round 3. But who other than Slater to nearly dash his lifelong hopes of a triple crown title in their quarter final face-off. From the beach it appeared the judges would be accused of another scoring scandal, but decide for yourself in this heat recap.
After losing to Slater, Michel Bourez had to make the finals to steal surfing’s second highest honor, but honorary Hawaiian Kieren Perrow weaved through backdoor to keep the crown in Hawaii with John John Florence.
Kieren earned his first elite victory after 20 years as a touring pro. Only a day earlier he was facing elimination from next year’s tour, but went on to beat Taj, Dorian, Gabriel Medina, Michel, and finally Parko, to become the 2011 Billabong Pipemasters Champion. This smiling 34 yr old Aussie is the surfer’s representative to the ASP, a respected big-wave charger, and a role model family-man.
Even Slater teared up as he announced the victory over the live webcast. Everyone was “over the moon”
Watch thrills and spills from the first day of firing surf.