Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Heat Draw

ASP 2014 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Heat Draw for your Fantasy Surfer decisions.

Heat 1: Nat Young (USA), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Aritz Aranburu (EUK)
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA), Bede Durbidge (AUS), TBD
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), TBD
Heat 7: Julian Wilson (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Dion Atkinson (AUS)
Heat 8: C.J. Hobgood (USA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 10: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Owen Wright (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 11: Kai Otton (AUS), Michel Bourez (PYF), Mitch Crews (AUS)
Heat 12: Gabriel Medina (BRA), John John Florence (HAW), Kolohe Andino (USA)

Drug Aware Margaret River Pro: Teaser Vid

2014 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro: Teaser Vid

2014 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro teaser vid

2014 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro teaser vid

Here’s the latest teaser vid put together by the ASP.

The ASP Top 34 are headed to Stop No. 2 of 11 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, from April 2 – 13, 2014.

Aerials in Surfing: Hoping the ASP Awards Risk

Kelly Slater, Julian Wilson, Dane Reynolds, Gabriel Medina

Kelly Slater, Julian Wilson, Dane Reynolds, Gabriel Medina

Aerials in Surfing: Hoping the ASP Awards Risk

The old Medina would have gone to the air, but the new and improved Medina finishes off with a couple nice turns.
– Martin Potter (ASP announcer, Snapper 2014)

That quote felt like a punch in the gut. Over past few years, there has been a buzz in many of the heats that someone could try something big at any time. Something seems to be discouraging that risk (and thus aerials) lately. Whether it’s the judges scoring criteria or the results that Mick and Parko are getting with rail to rail surfing, it seems that guys like Medina, Kolohe and some of the others who can throw jaw-dropping aerials are sticking with “safer” surfing to pick their way through the heats (Josh Kerr seems to be an exception).

My take on aerials in surfing:
Aerials should be treated like every other maneuver. How hard are they to pull off? How well are they executed? How does it fit into the overall ride? A huge stalefish is way harder than a “big wrapping turn”. Score it like that. Give the points making the risk worth it. And if it’s sandwiched between some other great sections, score the wave even higher. If Parko gets a slightly better barrel at Pipe than John John, but John John pulls a huge inverted air at the end of his wave, John John should get the score.

To be fair, that may already be the case (although some would argue they are scoring airs less these days), but rather, the risk of falling on an air attempt isn’t worth it when it could ruin a scoreable ride. Hence: “surf to the judges’ criteria and take advantage of the entire wave” (another quote we hear on the broadcast from time to time). Maybe that’s why it was exciting when the judges were throwing huge scores for a single air–it became worth the risk. I dunno. I just hope we see more guys pushing it in the heats down the road.

– pull big gouging turns
– ride deep critical barrels
– huck great spinning airs
– huck even bigger straight airs
– do all the above switch (…I can dream, can’t I?)

…and call out and cut anyone playing it safe by R3.

I agree that only having an air reverse in your quiver should only get you so far, but I’m hoping the ASP brings back that push for pushing it.

Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Predictions

Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Predictions 2014

  • Judges read the forums and start giving Pupo 10s for style.
  • John John & Jordy go f-ing crazy….like 23 year olds on their first rebound relationships.
  • Slater, feeling threatened that Dion has a similar double-jointed back as him, takes to the air like he did in NY.
  • Flores drops in on Adriano and gets disqualified–he pulls a Bobby and quits the tour.
  • Parko takes out Pupo…the judges just couldn’t resist.
  • Freddy-P needs a 7.74 to win his quarterfinal heat….he gets a 7.73–he pulls a Bobby and quits the tour.
  • Josh Kerr, after studying tape of Mark McMorris at the Olympic Slopestyle in Sochi, pulls a triple cork–surfing changes forever.
  • The Spartan does a deep gouging hack and without knowing it, runs over the 141 pound Toledo and cuts him in half.
  • After a low score scare in R1 with some awesome risky surfing, Kolohe and Medina “surf to the judges’ criteria and take advantage of the entire wave”….they go deep.
  • Taj makes it to the semis and loses in the dying minutes.
  • Mick does a “round arcing carve into a foam climb and then a beautiful floating maneuver” for the win.
On that note, let’s reflect back on Bobby Martinez (interviewer’s face is priceless)…

Playing Doc’s Games by William Finnegan

Playing Doc’s Games by William Finnegan

Playing Doc's Games by William Finnegan

Playing Doc’s Games by William Finnegan

For those of you looking for something to read, here’s a great one:

Playing Doc’s Games by William Finnegan
written in 1992 and published in New Yorker

And here’s a great interview with the author:
http://www.theinertia.com/surf/william-finnegan-author-of-possibly-the-greatest-surf-story-ever/

I read the whole thing in one sitting. And I read it again the next day. I sent it to all my friends, surfers and non-surfers. I had found the voice I was looking for, a voice that represented surfing in an authentic, compelling, and complicated way.
– Ashton Politanoff

If you are interested in other surf-inspired books, check out our Books page.

Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Preview

Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Preview 2014 Fantasy Surfer preview

The contest at Margaret River started in 1985, but 2014 is the first year it has been apart of the World Tour. From what I’ve heard, the wave offers a punchy right or longer left. If the waves are smaller, we might see some of them taking to the air (Josh Kerr, I’m looking at you), but I’d guess we’ll see more power surfing. For more info, see the schedule.

It’s a good wave. It’s a tricky wave too. I think we might see some upsets go down there. You know, especially guys…you know…with those big frames that can throw a lot of water and stay heavy on their board. I think they’re going to be really dangerous out there.
– Mick Fanning

Josh Kerr winning the 2010 event (check out the 10 point ride at 1:57):
Kelly Slater at the 2011 contest:

Dusty Payne winning in 2013:

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Highlights: Final Rounds

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Highlights: Final Rounds 2014

1.) Gabriel Medina–The Giant Killer
Check out these final waves from Medina. Mind blowing comebacks three heats in a row.

Quarterfinals: Medina gets a 9.40 with 5 minutes left to take out Mick Fanning, the defending World Champion.

Semifinals: Medina gets a 7.23 with 40 seconds left to take out Taj Burrow, the 2012 Gold Coast Champion.

Finals: Parko opened with a quick 9.00 and backed it up with a 7.27. With 7 minutes left, Medina was comboed and needed two waves to win. He got them–first an 8.50 and then a minute later a 7.83. …as Mac said in his 1:15 am text to me: “Medina…CLUTCH!”

2.) Parko–Unstoppable…almost
Parko looked unstoppable. He was getting shacked over and over again–more than anyone else by far. He just knew where to be. Medina took the event, but Parko’s overall performance was unreal. Here are a few waves worth watching.

Quarterfinals: 8.93 vs Pupo

Semifinals: 9.93 vs Adriano (Adriano didn’t know what hit him)

Finals: 9.00 vs Medina

3.) Interviews

Freddy-P: Freddy-P was not happy that he didn’t get the final score he needed to get past CJ in R5.

Mick: I just thought this was a cool, chill interview for a guy who just lost a big heat to an underdog.

Slater: Slater sounded a little rattled after his loss to Adriano (who is now 5-0 vs The King in their last five). Here’s to hoping they meet again at some point this year–you know Slater will be gunning to take him out.

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Highlights: R3

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Highlights: R3

Flores’ interference on Adriano: Ya, Adriano had priority, and ya, Flores could have put the brakes on a little harder, but Adriano could have easily taken off on this wave without running into Flores. Flores received an interference call that cost him the heat. It was a cheap move by Adriano. As you can see from the clip, Flores was PISSED. I would have been too.

Owen’s wave at the buzzer: Having nailed the highest single wave score of the round (9.73), Owen only needed a 6.31 to win the heat. On his last wave, he pulled a pretty technical maneuver early, and was on his way to the heat win until he bogged a rail on an easy turn and fell. That little fall cost him the heat. Gutting.

Interview with CJ: Even CJ thinks Manimal got ripped off with CJ’s win over Melling. “I don’t even know what happened ’cause it didn’t feel like I ripped any waves by any means.” Great interview.

Slater’s 9.07: Ya, Slater rules. This is probably my favorite wave of the round.

Nat’s 9.00: Not a lot of variation, but Nat tears this wave up.

Owen’s 9.73: Great back-hand surfing.

Pupo’s 8.87: He surfed well in this heat.

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Pundit Picks by Shea Lopez

2014 ASP Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Pundit Picks

Shea Lopez was on the World Tour for 10 years until a horrific knee injury at Pipe sidelined him in 2005. Here are his Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2014 pundit picks:

http://www.surfermag.com/features/snapper-picks/

Here’s a video of him talking about his injury (warning…not for the faint of heart):

Shea Lopez career ending knee injury at Pipe.

Shea Lopez’s career ending knee injury at Pipe.