Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Pundit Picks by Ross Williams

2014 ASP Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Pundit Picks by Ross Williams

Ross Williams winning the Clash of Legends in Hawaii 2011

Ross gives his picks for Margaret River

Ross Williams starred in Taylor Steele’s Momentum Series and became a professional surfer in 1990. He spent 10 years on the World Tour and four times ranked in the Top 16. Ross gives his ASP Fantasy Surfing Drug Aware Margaret River Pro 2014 pundit picks.

If you are looking to get some secure points in the bank, Nat is your boy. Consistency is only part of the equation for this athlete. Nat conjures up a crazy cocktail of power and flare that seems to detonate anyone in his path in a repeatable fashion. -more-
– Ross Williams

Jordy Smith: Is it Jordy’s year?

Jordy Smith: Is it Jordy’s year?

Mimi LaMontagne interviews Jordy Smith for Surfing Life

Mimi LaMontagne interviews Jordy Smith

Mimi LaMontagne talks with Jordy Smith about Snapper and the upcoming year in her interview for Surfing Life: Is it Jordy’s year?

I’ve been training pretty hard and surfing a bunch, and everything’s been going really well. It was just one contest, and one bad result, and it’s a long year ahead. I’d say I’m a very confident guy. I’m happy to get the bad one out of the way because the target isn’t on my back anymore. -more-
– Jordy Smith

Surfline Power Rankings: Nick Carroll’s Review of the Surfers

Surfline Power Rankings: Nick Carroll’s Review of the Surfers Fantasy Surfer

Surfline Power Rankings by Nick Carrol

Surfline Power Rankings by Nick Carroll

Check out Nick Carroll’s tongue-in-cheek write-up of each of the surfers. Might give some insight if you’re undecided on the last couple spots on your Fantasy Surfer roster.

Mick is the current master of the one-on-one heat. That’s why he’s world champ, and it’s just as well on his behalf, because it allows him to graft out reasonable results even when his form is all over the shop. -more-
– Nick Carroll

Red Bull 21 Days: Burrow/Kerr (Part 1)

Red Bull 21 Days: Burrow/Kerr (Part 1)

Red Bull 21 Days Burrow Kerr Part 1

Red Bull 21 Days: Burrow/Kerr (Part 1)

Red Bull has released a new episode of their excellent 21 Days series. This one is on Taj Burrow and Josh Kerr as they prep for the 2014 ASP Drug Aware Margaret River Pro.

The Drug Aware Margaret River Pro has been upgraded from an ASP Prime event and called up to the big leagues this year. Taj grew up half an hour north of the wave and for the first time in his illustrious career, he’ll be surfing a WCT event by day and sleeping in his own bed by night. Meanwhile, fellow Australian Josh Kerr is looking to shake a big result out of Margaret’s infamous bowl. He’s quite familiar with West Oz and even more familiar with her air wind.
– Brian Roddy

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.

Kelly Slater, Julian Wilson, Dane Reynolds, Gabriel Medina

Aerials in Surfing: Hoping the ASP Awards Risk

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: