January 28th, 2016
Posts Tagged ‘teahupoo’
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.
The Quiksliver Pro New York kicked off this morning, and the first question the announcers asked was “What fin set-up is Kelly using?” For the third straight event he screwed in his signature FCS K2.1 quad fins, and easily advanced through his round 1 heat. He sent fellow Quik rider and local wild-card Balaram Stack into the losers round. For more contest updates, visit quiksilverpro.com
Critics thought Slater’s fins were too big for the gutless 2-4ft waves, but Kelly anticipates significant swell to move in via Hurricane Katia, and he looks ready to destroy any wave/anyone with his current fin configuration. He forecasts “We’ll find some peaky barrels and we’ll see what happens. I know that Hurricane swell is out there.” Not one to over-hype conditions, we look forward to seeing what Kelly and Katia bring in the coming rounds at the Quiksilver Pro New York.
The quad fin set-up has gradually gained popularity in the past few years, and Kelly is taking it to new levels this year as he four-fins his way to winning three straight events in 2ft-TOH surf.
At the Billabong Pro Tahiti Kelly Slater proved once again that he’s the best surfer on the planet. In what many described as the heaviest and most terrifying World Tour Event to date, Slater defeated Aussie surfer Owen Wright at the 2011 Billabong Pro at Teahupoo. On a board much smaller than his competitors’ and ridinghis signature K2.1 quad fin set-up, Slater weaved through slabby, 6-12ft barrels to claim his 2nd World tour Victory this year.
Of his fin choice the 10x World Tour Champ said, “I rode my K2.1 Quad set-up for the entire event, it felt really fast and comfortable in the tube. The quad set-up seems to provide a little more security especially in the barrel, it also gives you more control when you’re riding a shorter board.”
Not only did this choice of equipment propel him at the infamous reef pass, but it also helped him win at the sloppy 2-4ft beach break surf at the US Open of Surfing as well. There, with the same K2.1 set-up, Kelly both won the event and pulled off one of the craziest maneuvers in the competition’s history by landing a no grab, backside 360 during a heat (This was against yet another hyper-progressive Lost Atlas surfer, Dusty Payne).
These wins have put Slater at the top of the World title ratings and it seems like only a matter of time before we start seeing the KE-11-Y flags being raised. In an interview in Tahiti he remarked “Since there’s no other multi-contest winners at this point in the year, it’d be almost impossible to catch up if I had three wins after New York.”